Pollution Prevention Plans Due for Halocarbons in Canada

On May 21, 2016, the Minister of Environment published a Notice Requiring the Preparation and Implementation of Pollution Prevention Plans in Respect of Halocarbons Used as a Refrigerant (“Notice”) under Part 4 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (“CEPA”). The Notice will increase obligations for businesses which make, reclaim or import halocarbons for use as a refrigerant. Such businesses have a short window to prepare pollution prevention plans concerning halocarbon management.

The Notice obligations specifically apply to any business which, on or after 2015, manufactures, reclaims, or imports annually 100 kg or more, halocarbons that are to be used, whether alone or in mixtures, as a refrigerant in refrigeration systems or stationary air conditioning systems.

There are certain exclusions including an exception where halocarbons are used in “domestic appliances”. Given the penalties and disruption associated with a non-compliance finding, it is important that businesses monitor and satisfy the Notice requirements. Under the Notice, businesses may face fines, prosecution and environmental protection compliance orders which are designed to enforce the CEPA.

The Notice requires pollution prevention plans to be prepared, and implementation initiated, by November 2016. Given the immanency of the deadline, businesses should immediately look at doing the following:

  • review their operations to determine whether they manufacture, reclaim or import halocarbons for use as refrigerants; and
  • if so, promptly assess whether they need to prepare and implement a pollution prevention plan in accordance with the Notice requirements.
Jonathan D. Cocker heads the Firm’s Environmental Practice Group in Canada and is an active member of firm Global Consumer Goods & Retail and Energy, Mining and Infrastructure groups. Mr. Cocker provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environment, health and safety matters, including product content, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, extended producer responsibilities and contaminated lands matters. He appears before both EHS tribunals and civil courts across Canada. Mr. Cocker is a frequent speaker and writer on EHS matters, an active participant on EHS issues in a number of national and international industry associations and the recent author of the first edition of The Environment and Climate Change Law Review (Canada chapter) and the upcoming Encyclopedia of Environmental Law (Chemicals chapter).