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 Baker McKenzie’s Environmental Practice Group in Canada and is an active member of the firm's Global Consumer Goods & Retail and Energy, Mining and Infrastructure groups. Mr. Cocker provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environmental and product compliance matters, including extended producer responsibilities, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, and contaminated lands matters. He assisted in the founding of one of North America’s first Circular Economy Producer Responsibility Organizations and provides advice and representation to a number of domestic and international industry groups in respect of resource recovery obligations. Mr. Cocker was recently appointed the first Sustainability Officer of the International Bar Association Mr. Cocker is a frequent speaker and writer on environmental issues and has authored numerous publications including recent publications in the Environment and Climate Change Law Review, Detritus – the Official Journal of the International Waste Working Group, Chemical Watch, Circular Economy: Global Perspectives published by Springer, and in the upcoming Yale University Journal of Industrial Ecology’s special issue on Material Efficiency for Climate Change Mitigation. Mr. Cocker maintains a blog focused upon international resource recovery issues at environmentlawinsights.com.