Haz-waste treatment, land disposal and import/export changes

Environment Canada has pre-published the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Recyclable Material Regulations for consultation purposes. The proposed regulations would replace the existing Export and Import of Hazardous Waste Regulations, and revise and build upon the existing control regime for internationally traded hazardous wastes. In particular the regulation will define separately "hazardous waste," and "hazardous recyclable materials," and exclude certain low-risk recyclable materials from the definitions in order to facilitate recycling.

The regulation would impose specific time periods for the completion of disposal or recycling operations following acceptance by an authorized facility, and require recyclers of hazardous materials to maintain $1 million in liability insurance within the OECD system and $5 million outside of it. Finally, the regulations will permit Canada to prohibit the export of hazardous waste or recyclable materials when informed by the U.S. or by a party to the Basel Convention that the waste is considered hazardous under domestic legislation, where the notifying country has prohibited import or transport. Comments may be submitted for 60 days from March 20, 2004 (see www.canadagazette.gc.ca/partI/2004/20040320/pdf/g1-13812.pdf).

In related news, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment has announced that later in 2004 it will be pre-publishing a draft regulation on the restriction of land disposal of hazardous waste. The decision to publish the draft regulation follows the review of public comments on a discussion document released on December 18, 2001. The ministry’s proposed approach would implement the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s land disposal restrictions for hazardous waste being disposed of in Ontario, through the adoption of the U.S. Universal Treatment Standard for pre-treatment of hazardous waste, prior to disposal. The pre-treatment requirements and land disposal restrictions would be phased in based on Ontario’s domestic hazardous waste processing capacity, and would begin with a requirement that hazardous waste imports must meet the pre-treatment requirements of their countries of origin prior to landfill disposal in Ontario.

Source: Gowlings Environmental Bulletin