The Regulation respecting mandatory reporting of certain emissions of contaminants into the atmosphere came into force as of November 6, 2007. The Regulation establishes the thresholds over which an enterprise, facility or establishment ("facility") is required to report its emissions in relation to the contaminants associated with the phenomena that increase the greenhouse effect, acid rain, smog and toxic pollution and identifies the information to be provided. This includes confidential information that is necessary to calculate the quantity of the contaminants emitted, such as data pertaining to production, fuels, raw materials, equipment and processes.
The Regulation applies to every operator whose facility emits a contaminant listed in Schedule A of the Regulation into the atmosphere at a level that is equal to or greater than the reporting threshold prescribed for the contaminant. The report required by the Regulation must be communicated to the Minister no later than June 1st of each year for the preceding calendar year. The information to be provided must include any data pertaining to production, fuels used and raw materials relevant to the calculation or assessment of the quantities of contaminants emitted on an annual basis, and the emission factors used for the calculation or assessment. Fuels integral to a process or used to supply transportation machinery integral to a process must be taken into account, as well as fuels used to heat facilities. If an enterprise has several establishments, a separate report must be made for each of them. Where an establishment has more than one facility, the data pertaining to each facility must also be identified separately. In every case, the operator of the facility must identify the activities, processes or equipment that are the source of contaminant emissions by indicating separately, for each of them, the quantity of fuels and raw materials used, as well as the volume of production.
In the case where the operator of a facility is required, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999), to report to the Minister of the Environment of Canada, in accordance with the National Pollutants Release Inventory, the information reported to the federal Minister of the Environment on emissions to the air of contaminants listed in Schedule A of the Regulation must also be transmitted to the provincial Minister. Any new contaminant that would have to be reported to the federal Minister of the Environment must also be reported to the Minister.
The information to be communicated to the Minister can be determined based on one of the following methods of calculation or assessment:
- emissions or sampling;
- a sampling and continuous emission monitoring system;
- an emission estimation model;
- a calculation that may include the use of an emission factor published in the scientific literature or documentation specific to the facility;
- mass balance; or
- predictive emission monitoring.
The report to the Minister must state that the data transmitted was established in conformity with the best practices that apply and the requirements of the Regulation.
The persons or municipalities required to provide the information pursuant to the Regulation must retain the information and the calculations, assessments, measurements and other data on which emission data was based, for a minimum of five years from the date on which they were produced.
Failure to communicate the required information to the Minister, or the inclusion of false or inaccurate information, or the failure to include prescribed data or to retain it for the prescribed period constitutes an offence that may give rise to a fine of $5,000 to $25,000 where the offence is committed by a legal person, any such fine doubling in the case of a second or subsequent offence.
It is anticipated that the pulp and paper, aluminum, cement, petroleum refining, chemical and petrochemical industrial sectors, as well as municipal installations such as landfills and incinerators will be the main target of the Regulation.
Where an operator wishes to ensure the confidentiality of the information provided to the Minister under the Regulation, appropriate measures should thus be taken in accordance with the principles set forth under Québec access to information legislation when submitting the information. The Regulation is available at http://www2.publicationsduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/dynamicSearch/telecharge.php?type=3&file=/Q_2/Q2R3_3_A.HTM.