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Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (S.C. 1999, c. 33)

Act current to 2024-05-28 and last amended on 2023-06-22. Previous Versions

SCHEDULE 6(Subsections 127(2) and (3), 128(3) and 129(3) and section 135)Assessment of Waste or Other Matter

  • 1 This schedule shall be applied with a view that acceptance of disposal at sea under certain circumstances does not remove the obligation to make further attempts to reduce the necessity for disposal.

  • 2 The initial stages in assessing alternatives to disposal at sea shall, as appropriate, include an evaluation of

    • (a) the types, amounts and relative hazard of waste or other matter generated;

    • (b) the details of the production process and sources of waste or other matter within that process; and

    • (c) the feasibility of the following waste reduction or prevention techniques:

      • (i) product reformulation,

      • (ii) clean production technologies,

      • (iii) process modification,

      • (iv) input substitution, and

      • (v) on-site, closed-loop recycling.

  • 3 In general terms, if the required audit reveals that opportunities exist for waste prevention at source, an applicant shall formulate and implement a waste prevention strategy, where it has jurisdiction to do so, (in collaboration with relevant local and national agencies) which includes specific waste reduction targets and provision for further waste prevention audits to ensure that these targets are being met. Permit issuance or renewal shall be subject to compliance with this requirement.

  • 4 For dredged material, the goal of waste management shall be to identify and control the sources of contamination. This should be achieved through implementation of waste prevention strategies and requires collaboration between the relevant local and national agencies involved with the control of point and non-point sources of pollution. Until this objective is met, the problems of contaminated dredged material may be addressed by using disposal management techniques at sea or on land.

  • 5 Applications to dispose of waste or other matter shall demonstrate that appropriate consideration has been given to the following hierarchy of waste management options, which implies an order of increasing environmental impact:

    • (a) re-use;

    • (b) off-site recycling;

    • (c) destruction of hazardous constituents;

    • (d) treatment to reduce or remove the hazardous constituents; and

    • (e) disposal on land, into the air and in water.

  • 6 A permit to dispose of waste or other matter shall be refused if opportunities exist to re-use, recycle or treat the waste or other matter without undue risks to human health or the environment or disproportionate costs. The practical availability of other means of disposal shall be considered in the light of a comparative risk assessment involving both disposal and the alternatives.

  • 7 A detailed description and characterization of the waste or other matter is an essential precondition for the consideration of alternatives and the basis for a decision as to whether the waste or other matter may be disposed of at sea. If the waste or other matter is so poorly characterized that proper assessment cannot be made of its potential impacts on human health and the environment, the waste or other matter shall not be disposed of at sea.

  • 8 Characterization of the waste or other matter and their constituents shall take into account

    • (a) origin, total amount, form and average composition;

    • (b) properties: physical, chemical, biochemical and biological;

    • (c) toxicity;

    • (d) persistence: physical, chemical and biological; and

    • (e) accumulation and biotransformation in biological materials or sediments.

  • 9 A national Action List shall be developed to provide a mechanism for screening candidate waste or other matter and their constituents on the basis of their potential effects on human health and the marine environment. In selecting substances for consideration in the Action List, priority shall be given to toxic, persistent and bio-accumulative substances from human sources (e.g. cadmium, mercury, organohalogens, petroleum hydrocarbons and, whenever relevant, arsenic, lead, copper, zinc, beryllium, chromium, nickel and vanadium, organosilicon compounds, cyanides, fluorides and pesticides or their by-products other than organohalogens). An Action List can also be used as a trigger mechanism for further waste prevention consideration.

  • 10 The Action List shall specify an upper level and may also specify a lower level. The upper level shall be set so as to avoid, as much as reasonably possible, acute or chronic effects on human health or on sensitive marine organisms representative of the marine ecosystem. Application of the Action List will result in three possible categories of waste or other matter:

    • (a) waste or other matter that contain specified substances, or which cause biological responses, exceeding the relevant upper levels shall not be disposed of at sea, unless made acceptable for disposal through the use of management techniques or processes;

    • (b) waste or other matter that contain specified substances, or which cause biological responses, below the relevant lower levels should be considered to be of little environmental concern in relation to disposal at sea; and

    • (c) waste or other matter that contain specified substances, or which cause biological responses, below the upper levels but above the lower levels require more detailed assessment before their suitability for disposal can be determined.

  • 11 Information required to select a disposal site shall include

    • (a) physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the water-column and the sea-bed;

    • (b) location of amenities, values and other uses of the sea in the area under consideration;

    • (c) assessment of the constituent fluxes associated with disposal in relation to existing fluxes of substances in the marine environment; and

    • (d) economic and operational feasibility.

  • 12 Assessment of potential effects shall lead to a concise statement of the expected consequences of the sea or land disposal options (i.e., the Impact Hypothesis). It provides a basis for deciding whether to approve or reject the proposed disposal option and for defining environmental monitoring requirements.

  • 13 The assessment for disposal shall, as appropriate, integrate information on waste characteristics, conditions at the proposed disposal site(s), fluxes and proposed disposal techniques and specify the potential effects on human health, living resources, amenities and other legitimate uses of the sea. It shall, where it is reasonably possible to do so, define the nature, temporal and spatial scales and duration of expected impacts based on reasonably conservative assumptions.

  • 14 An analysis of each disposal option shall be considered in light of a comparative assessment of the following concerns: human health risks, environmental costs, hazards (including accidents), economics and exclusion of future uses. If this assessment reveals that adequate information is not available to determine the likely effects of the proposed disposal option, then this option shall not be considered further. In addition, if the interpretation of the comparative assessment shows the disposal option to be less preferable, a permit for disposal at sea shall not be given.

  • 15 Each assessment shall conclude with a statement supporting a decision to issue or refuse a permit for disposal at sea.

  • 16 Monitoring is used to verify that permit conditions are met (compliance monitoring) and that the assumptions made during the permit review and site selection process were correct and sufficient to protect human health and the environment (field monitoring). It is essential that such monitoring programs have clearly defined objectives.

  • 17 A decision to issue a permit shall only be made if all impact evaluations are completed, and where reasonably possible, the monitoring requirements are determined. The provisions of the permit shall ensure, as far as practicable, that environmental disturbance and detriment are minimized and the benefits maximized. Any permit issued shall contain data and information specifying

    • (a) the types and sources of materials to be disposed of;

    • (b) the location of the disposal site;

    • (c) the method of disposal; and

    • (d) monitoring and reporting requirements.

  • 18 Disposal sites shall be reviewed at regular intervals, taking into account the results of monitoring and the objectives of monitoring programs. Review of monitoring results will indicate whether field programs need to be continued, revised or terminated, and will contribute to informed decisions regarding the continuance, modification or closure of disposal sites. This provides an important feedback mechanism for the protection of human health and the marine environment.


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