Retailers who handle and store hazardous substances, including anhydrous ammonia (NH3), must be fully compliant with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s revised Environmental Emergency (E2) Regulations by Aug. 24, 2020.

The revised E2 regulations, which came into effect on Aug. 24, 2019, were put in place to reduce the frequency and severity of accidental releases of hazardous substances into the environment and encourage a higher level of emergency preparedness and communication at facilities handling hazardous substances. Facilities were allowed 12 months to become fully compliant with the new regulations.

As reported in the December 2019 issue of The Communicator, the biggest change that retailers should be aware of is the requirement to perform more frequent live simulations of their facility’s environmental emergency plan. Under the updated regulations, a live simulation must be conducted within five years from the day on which the plan is brought into effect, and every five years thereafter, ideally with the involvement of local fire departments and emergency response teams.

“Until now, retailers had the choice of doing an annual tabletop exercise or a live simulation to test their facility’s emergency plan,” said Mark Coppicus, agro regulatory and safety manager with Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL). “With the new regulations in place, retailers can continue to do their annual tabletop exercises, but they must conduct at least one live simulation with their management team and staff every five years to test the effectiveness of their plan and identify possible shortfalls.”

There are several additional changes to the E2 regulations that affect retailers who handle NH3, including: consolidation and modification of Schedule 1; conditions for notice of substance at a facility; development of an environmental emergency plan; requirements for periodic submission of notices; and requirements for communication to the public.

Coppicus says the best way for retailers to update their existing environmental emergency plan is to carefully and methodically compare their plan to the new E2 regulations.

“Through the review process, retailers will be able to identify and make the necessary adjustments to remain in compliance,” he says. “The regulations spell out exactly what has to be in their plan.”

Read the rest of the story here: E2 Regulations Update – The Communicator, Dec. 2019

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