ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 15 — July 18, 2012

Registration

SOR/2012-140 June 29, 2012

FISHERIES ACT

Regulations Amending the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations

P.C. 2012-943 June 28, 2012

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, pursuant to subsections 34(2), 36(5), 37(3) and 38(9) and paragraphs 43(g.1) (see footnote a) and (g.2) (see footnote b) of the Fisheries Act (see footnote c), hereby makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE PULP AND PAPER EFFLUENT REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. The long title of the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:

REGULATIONS PRESCRIBING CERTAIN DELETERIOUS SUBSTANCES RELATED TO THE EFFLUENT FROM PULP AND PAPER MILLS AND AUTHORIZING THE DEPOSIT OF LIMITED QUANTITIES OF THOSE DELETERIOUS SUBSTANCES IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES

2. (1) The definitions “off-site treatment facility” and “owner” in section 2 of the Regulations are repealed.

(2) Paragraph (a) of the definition “effluent” in section 2 of the Regulations is repealed.

(3) The definitions “operator” and “outfall structure” in section 2 of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

“operator” means the person who operates, has control or custody of or is in charge of a mill; (exploitant)

“outfall structure” means a conduit or other structure through which effluent is conveyed from a mill to a location where it is deposited in water frequented by fish, or in any place from which it may enter such water, or a conduit or other structure through which effluent is conveyed from a mill to a wastewater system; (émissaire d’effluent)

(4) The portion of the definition “daily period” before paragraph (b) in section 2 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

“daily period” in respect of a mill, means

  • (a) a period of 24 consecutive hours determined by the operator of the mill, in respect of which the operator has given notification to the authorization officer, or

(5) Section 2 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

“wastewater system” has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations. (système d’assainissement)

3. Section 4 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

4. For the purpose of subsection 37(2) of the Act and in respect of mills, the Minister or a person designated by the Minister may issue an order under that subsection if the Minister or the person has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence under subsection 40(1) or (2) of the Act is being or is likely to be committed.

4. The heading “MILLS AND OFF-SITE TREATMENT FACILITIES” before section 5 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

MILLS

5. Subsections 5(2) and (3) of the Regulations are repealed.

6. (1) Subsection 6(2) of the Regulations is repealed.

(2) Subsection 6(3) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(3) For the purpose of paragraph 36(4)(b) of the Act, the owner or operator of a mill may deposit, or permit the deposit of, any concentration of acutely lethal effluent, any BOD matter and any quantity of suspended solids into a wastewater system that is regulated by the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations.

7. (1) The portion of subsection 7(1) of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

7. (1) The authority of the owner or operator of a mill under subsection 6(1) is conditional on the operator

(2) Paragraph 7(1)(i) of the Regulations is repealed.

(3) Paragraph 7(3)(a) of the Regulations is repealed.

8. Subsection 9(2) of the Regulations is repealed.

9. (1) Paragraph 10(1)(a) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (a) the name and address of both the owner and the operator of the mill;

(2) Subsection 10(1) of the Regulations is amended by adding “and” at the end of paragraph (b), by striking out “and” at the end of paragraph (c) and by repealing paragraph (d).

(3) Paragraph 10(1.1)(b) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (b) the name and address of both the owner and the operator of the wastewater system into which effluent is deposited.

10. (1) Paragraph 11(1)(a) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (a) the identification of any deposit out of the normal course of events that can reasonably be expected to occur at the mill and that can reasonably be expected to result in damage or danger to fish habitat or fish or the use by man of fish, and the identification of the damage or danger;

(2) Subsection 11(4) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(4) If a mill has not been subject to the requirements of these Regulations for more than one year, a new emergency response plan shall be prepared on the day on which the mill again becomes subject to these Regulations.

11. Subsection 15(1) of the Regulations is amended by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (b) and by repealing paragraph (c).

12. Subsection 16(4) of the Regulations is repealed.

13. Section 21 of the Regulations is repealed.

14. Subsection 29(3) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), the owner or operator of a mill that deposits effluent from the outfall structure referred to in subsection (1) on fewer than 120 days in any calendar year is required to conduct and submit the report on the sublethal toxicity tests only once in respect of that calendar year.

15. (1) Paragraph 30(1)(a) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (a) the day on which a mill first becomes subject to these Regulations, which day shall not precede the coming into force of this section;

(2) Subsection 30(1) of the Regulations is amended by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (a), by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (b) and by repealing paragraph (c).

16. The portion of subsection 32(3) of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

(3) For the purpose of evaluating the effect of a deposit out of the normal course of events that has occurred from an outfall structure, the operator shall, in accordance with subsection 2(1) of Schedule II and as soon as possible in the circumstances,

17. Schedule II to the Regulations is amended by replacing the section references after the heading “SCHEDULE II” with the following:

(Subsections 7(1), 8(1), 9(1), 29(1), 32(3), 35(1) and (2) and 38(3) and paragraph 38(5)(e))

18. (1) The portion of subsection 1(1) of Schedule II to the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

1. (1) Effluent from a mill other than the effluent from a mill that is deposited into a wastewater system, shall be monitored in accordance with this Schedule for

(2) Subsection 1(2) of Schedule II to the Regulations is repealed.

19. (1) The portion of subsection 2(1) of Schedule II to the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

2. (1) The sampling of effluent from a mill, other than the effluent from a mill that is deposited into a wastewater system, that is required by this Schedule — except for sampling conducted in accordance with sections 14 and 15 or sections 18 and 19 — shall be conducted at any point of an outfall structure that is located upstream of the deposit point of the effluent and downstream of

(2) Subsections 2(2) and (3) of Schedule II to the Regulations are repealed.

20. The portion of subsection 6(1) of Schedule II to the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

6. (1) For the purpose of monitoring the BOD of BOD matter and the quantity of suspended solids in the case of a mill whose effluent is described in subsection 1(1), there shall be collected, from each outfall structure during each daily period that the mill is depositing effluent,

21. Sections 8 and 9 of Schedule II to the Regulations are repealed.

22. Subsection 10(1) of Schedule II to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

10. (1) For the purpose of monitoring the volume of effluent in the case of a mill whose effluent is described in subsection 1(1), the volume of effluent that is deposited through each outfall structure during each daily period shall be determined using the monitoring equipment referred to in paragraph 8(1)(b) of these Regulations.

23. Section 11 of Schedule II to the Regulations is repealed.

24. Subsection 3(2.1) of Schedule III to the Regulations is repealed.

25. Subsection 3(4) of Schedule III to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

3. (4) Despite subsections (1) and (2), an owner or operator of a mill who seeks an authorization shall provide, in addition to the information that they are able to provide under those subsections, the projections for the 12 months following the application for the authorization of the information that they were not able to provide under paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) or (2)(a), (b) and (d), the plans, specifications, design and a detailed description of the production process and, if applicable, the treatment process if

  • (a) the owner or operator has not provided all of the information required by subsection (1) or (2) but they have provided the information required by paragraphs (1)(c) or (2)(c), as applicable; or

  • (b) the owner or operator has not provided all of the information required by subsection (1) or (2) for the full three-year period referred to in subsection (3) but they have provided the information required by paragraphs (1)(c) or (2)(c), as applicable.

26. Schedule IV to the Regulations is amended by replacing “of mill or off-site treatment facility” with “of mill”.

27. The note of Schedule IV to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

NOTE: These parameters are defined in sections 19 and 20 of the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations.

28. Paragraph 5(1)(d) of Schedule IV.1 to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (d) the type of production process and treatment system used by the mill; and

29. Subsection 8(2) of Schedule IV.1 to the Regulations is amended by replacing “the owner or operator” with “the owner or operator of a mill”.

30. The Regulations are amended by replacing “a mill or an off-site treatment facility” with “a mill” in the following provisions:

  • (a) the portion of section 3 before paragraph (a);

  • (b) subsection 7(4); and

  • (c) subsection 28(1).

31. The Regulations are amended by replacing “the mill or off-site treatment facility” and “the mill or the off-site treatment facility” with “the mill” in the following provisions:

  • (a) paragraph 10(2)(b);

  • (b) paragraph 11(2)(b);

  • (c) paragraph 27(2)(b);

  • (d) subsection 32(1);

  • (e) paragraph 3(1)(c) of Schedule I;

  • (f) paragraph 4(1)(c) of Schedule I;

  • (g) section 3 of Schedule II; and

  • (h) section 2 of Schedule III.

COMING INTO FORCE

32.These Regulations come into force on the day on which the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations are registered, but if these Regulations are registered after that day, they come into force on the day on which they are registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT
ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issue and objectives

Pulp and paper mills operating in Canada deposit effluent either directly to the environment, exclusively to an off-site treatment facility (OSTF), or to a combination of the two (a portion to the environment and the remainder to an OSTF). Mills are subject to the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (the Regulations) pursuant to the Fisheries Act, which prescribe effluent quality standards as well as other requirements. OSTFs that receive effluent from pulp and paper mills are also subject to the Regulations, provided the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) matter is equal to or exceeds a minimum threshold.

The Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (the Wastewater Regulations) developed under the Fisheries Act are published concurrently in the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅱ, and establish new national effluent quality standards for wastewater systems. The scope of application of the Wastewater Regulations includes the OSTFs that are regulated under the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations and those facilities continue to be subject to similar regulatory limits.

The objectives of the Regulations Amending Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (the Amendments) are to remove OSTFs from the application of the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations to avoid a duplication of regulatory requirements, and to reduce the administrative burden on pulp and paper mills depositing effluents to OSTFs.

Description and rationale

Background

On May 20, 1992, the Regulations, made under the Fisheries Act, were published in the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅱ. The Regulations set limits for the maximum quantity of BOD matter, which consumes oxygen dissolved in water, and the maximum quantity of suspended solids that may be deposited from pulp and paper mills. They also prohibit the deposit directly into the environment of any effluent that is acutely lethal, as defined in the Regulations.

All pulp and paper mills that meet the definition of “mill” and deposit an effluent are subject to the Regulations, as are OSTFs in cases where the quantity of BOD matter treated, originating from pulp and paper mills, equals or exceeds the levels specified in the Regulations.

Pulp and paper mills operating in Canada deposit effluent either directly into the environment, exclusively to an off-site treatment facility (OSTF), or a combination of the two (i.e. a portion into the environment and the remainder to an OSTF). OSTFs were regulated under the Regulations due to the fact that there previously were no other Fisheries Act regulations applicable to OSTFs. This also ensured that both off-site treatment facilities and on-site mill wastewater treatment plants depositing pulp and paper mill effluents to the environment remained subject to similar regulatory limits.

The Wastewater Regulations developed under the Fisheries Act are published concurrently. They apply to effluent at the final point of discharge of the wastewater system. Therefore, they impose effluent discharge requirements on wastewater systems including those currently regulated as OSTFs under the Regulations. This results in a duplication of regulatory requirements for these sites. It is thus no longer necessary to regulate OSTFs under the Regulations.

In addition, pulp and paper mills depositing effluent to OSTFs are currently required to provide regulatory information regarding the quantity of effluent deposited, the quantity of BOD matter deposited, and the quantity of finished product produced at the mill. This information is collected to determine whether or not the OSTF to which the mill deposits is receiving an amount of BOD matter from the mill that would make the OSTF subject to the Regulations. If the amount of BOD matter treated by the OSTF equals or exceeds a minimum threshold specified in the Regulations, the OSTF is subject to the Regulations and required to report regulatory information. Since OSTFs will no longer be regulated under the Regulations, it is no longer necessary to collect this information as it would no longer be used for regulatory purposes.

The Amendments

The following highlights the major areas of change to the Regulations that are contained in the Amendments.

1. The Amendments remove OSTFs from the application of the Regulations and all references to OSTFs.

In order to remove the application of the Regulations to OSTFs, a number of provisions addressing OSTFs have been repealed and others have been replaced. In particular, subsections 5(2) and (3) are amended to remove OSTFs from the application section of the Regulations. The Amendments also remove all references to OSTFs throughout the Regulations and the definition of off-site treatment facility in section 2 of the Regulations. The requirements repealed for OSTFs in section 7 include the monitoring and sampling of effluent, submission of monitoring reports, preparation of an emergency response plan, compliance with effluent quality standards, and conducting environmental effects monitoring.

2. In respect of mills that deposit effluent to OSTFs, the Amendments remove the requirement to submit some regulatory information that will no longer be of use for regulatory purposes.

For pulp and paper mills that deposit effluent to OSTFs, the Amendments repeal subsection 9(2), the requirement to submit information regarding the quantity of effluent deposited, the quantity of BOD matter deposited and the quantity of finished product produced at the mill. This information is no longer necessary as OSTFs will no longer be regulated under the Regulations.

3. The Amendments add the requirement that mills depositing to a wastewater system only deposit effluent to a wastewater system that is regulated by the Wastewater Regulations.

To ensure that all pulp and paper mill effluent is subject to a Fisheries Act regulation, the Amendments replace subsection 6(3) to require that pulp and paper mills only deposit effluent to a wastewater system that is regulated by the Wastewater Regulations. Section 2 of the Regulations is amended to add the definition of a “wastewater system.” “Wastewater system” has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Wastewater Regulations.

The Wastewater Regulations apply to wastewater systems treating more than a specified minimum volume of effluent. Given the quantity of effluent that is deposited by pulp and paper mills, it is the case that only wastewater systems that have the capacity to treat these quantities of effluent would agree to receive effluent from pulp and paper mills. Wastewater systems capable of treating these volumes of effluent will be regulated under the Wastewater Regulations given the de minimis stipulated. Furthermore, the Regulations maintain within their purview all effluent discharges deposited directly into the environment by pulp and paper mills.

Under the Regulations, current regulated parameters include biochemical oxygen demanding matter, suspended solids and acutely lethal effluent. Under the Wastewater Regulations, regulated parameters include carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demanding matter, suspended solids, total residual chlorine and un-ionized ammonia. In addition, the Wastewater Regulations establish as a condition to deposit the release of an effluent that is not acutely lethal. The introduction of the Wastewater Regulations presents an opportunity for greater environmental protection as all pulp and paper mill effluent deposited to the environment, directly, via a pulp mill, and indirectly, via a wastewater system, will be regulated under the Fisheries Act.

Currently, there is only one OSTF subject to the Regulations. It is located in a small community in Quebec. The Amendments come into force on the day on which the Wastewater Regulations are registered to ensure that the federal regulatory requirements applicable to OSTFs and pulp and paper mills are clearly delineated.

Benefits and costs

There are currently 16 pulp and paper mills depositing effluent to OSTFs. The Amendments will result in a positive impact for those 16 mills and for the government through the removal of some administrative burden. The cost of testing for a mill under the Regulations is about $600 per year, so the impact is expected to be, nonetheless, minimal.

There will be no incremental costs to the public, industry or governments associated with the Amendments. Overall, the net impact of the Amendments is expected to be positive.

Consultation

Given that the Amendments are administrative in nature with no negative impacts and are not expected to raise any concerns, no formal stakeholder consultations were held. However, a letter was sent to the one OSTF subject to the Regulations in order to ensure that the OSTF was aware of the proposed changes. To date no comments have been received from the OSTF.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Since the Amendments are administrative in nature, they will not result in the implementation of any new programs or activities. The Amendments do alter slightly the manner in which the Regulations are implemented and enforced. The regulatory requirements removed for pulp and paper mills depositing effluent to an OSTF will no longer need enforcement. In addition, given that OSTFs will no longer be subject to the Regulations, there will be no enforcement actions taken under the authority of the Regulations at off-site wastewater treatment facilities that receive pulp and paper mill effluent. The additional requirement that mills ensure that they are depositing only to an OSTF that is regulated by the Wastewater Regulations would be enforced. This would not alter the service standards at these sites. Given the nature of these alterations, no major changes to the implementation plan, enforcement strategy or service standards for the Regulations are required as a result of the Amendments.

Contacts

Matthew Hamilton
Head, Risk Management
Forestry, Agriculture and Aquaculture Division
Environment Canada
351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-953-3199
Fax: 819-994-9848
Email: Matthew.Hamilton@ec.gc.ca

Brenda Tang
Acting Director
Regulatory Analysis and Valuation Division
Environment Canada
10 Wellington Street, 25th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-997-5755
Fax: 819-953-3241
Email: Brenda.Tang@ec.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 1991, c. 1, s. 12(2)

Footnote b
S.C. 1991, c. 1, s. 12(2)

Footnote c
R.S., c. F-14

Footnote 1
SOR/92-269