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Environmental Emergency Plans

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The Environmental Emergency regulations have been developed in response to severe and catastrophic events that resulted in substantial chemical releases to the natural environment. These hazardous releases came from facilities that stored large quantities of hazardous chemicals. In order to mitigate that risk, Environment Canada, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 1999), developed Environmental Emergency Regulations. This addition will help reduce the consequences associated with unplanned, and/or uncontrolled releases of hazardous substances into the natural environment.

Simply put, on-site storage of hazardous chemicals may be a source of harm to not only the facility, but to residents in the surrounding areas as well as the natural environment.

Environmental emergency plans and regulations provide a formal process to identify, and reduce the risks associated with storing hazardous products, while also protecting residents, workers and emergency responders.

Under the Environmental Emergency regulations, companies are required to prepare Environmental Emergency plans when the onsite chemical storage exceeds approved thresholds for various substances deemed hazardous. Storage thresholds can be as low as 200 kg depending on the chemical substance.

If your facility stores more than the approved threshold for the substances listed below, contact the environmental consultants at Rubidium Environmental to ensure that your facility follows all necessary and required environmental emergency regulations.

The list of substances covered under the regulation is extensive, and has been broken down into three subcategories:
Part 1 – Substances likely to Explode
Part 2 – Substances Hazardous When Inhaled
Part 3 – Other Hazardous Substances.

For the complete list of substances, and the associated concentration threshold click here.

Part 1 – Substances Likely to Explode

These substances include a variety of common fuels, solvents, oxidants, and fertilizers. There are approximately 80 substances included in Part 1. Some hazardous substances included in this category are: butadiene, butane, acetaldehyde, acetylene, ammonium nitrate, benzene, ethane, ethylene, gasoline, hydrogen, hydrogen peroxide, isobutene, propane, styrene, toluene, vinyl chloride, and xylene amongst many others.

Part 2 – Substances Hazardous When Inhaled

This list includes a wide variety of over 80 hazardous chemicals commonly used in industrial facilities. Some of the hazardous substances listed as a Part 2 Substance include: ammonia, arsine, bromine, chlorine, fluorine, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, methyl isocyanate, nitric acid, phosgene, toluene diisocyanate, and vinyl acetate.

Part 3 – Other Hazardous Substances

This group includes the remaining substances that were deemed hazardous but are not flammable or likely to be inhaled. This includes substances such as: arsenic, chromic acid, naphthalene, nickel nitrate, nonylphenol, and trichloroethylene.

What are the requirements for Environmental Emergency Plans if your company stores more than the threshold amount?
To help ensure that chemical management plans abide requirements needed to receive an environmental compliance approval, environmental emergency plans are broken down into four key aspects:

  • Prevention
  • Preparedness
  • Response
  • Recovery

Environmental Emergency Prevention

This section of an environmental emergency plan recognizes the possible mechanisms for sudden chemical releases, and how they can be prevented. Are staff aware of the hazards associated with the substances they work with? Are gas sensors installed to detect leaks? Are proper preventative maintenance and operating procedures being followed? To ensure your chemical management plan does an adequate job to prevent the release of these chemicals into the environment, call the environmental consultants at Rubidium Environmental. Our environmental consults will identify and help your facility manage the risks associated with the unplanned release of any hazardous substance.

Environmental Emergency Preparedness

Identifying the necessary environmental emergency response needed in the event of an environmental emergency can be challenging. The environmental consultants at Rubidium are comprised of environmental, health and safety experts that have experience from a diverse industrial background. Building on these experiences, particularly with process hazard and operability studies (HAZOP), Rubidium’s environmental consultants can assist in identifying the environmental emergency response that may be necessary to take in the event of an emergency. This includes: identification of required staff training to handle emergency situations, and determining impacted areas in the event of a hazardous release as well as environmental emergency regulations for:

  • Toxic gas clouds
  • Flammable gas clouds
  • Boiling liquid expanding vapour explosions (BLEVE)
  • Jet Fires
  • Pool fires
  • Vapour cloud explosions

Environmental Emergency Response

This part of the environmental emergency plan is about implementing all of the necessary environmental emergency responses your facility prepared Implementation of the evacuation plan, contacting appropriate emergency and first responders, contacting Environment Canada, and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to notify them of the spill are all examples of environmental emergency responses. Environmental emergency responses also include controlling and fixing the problem safely and effectively to ensure the situation does not become a bigger problem. These environmental emergency responses are the first step to any environmental solutions that may need to be carried out to recover.

Environmental Emergency Recovery.

The final aspect of your facility’s environmental emergency plan is carrying out all necessary environmental solutions needed to start the recovery process. Our environmental consultants will help issue a chemical management plan that helps identify the necessary environmental solutions and actions needed to re-enter the impacted spaces, and help to recover any damage that may have occurred. Our environmental consultants will help your facility determine environmental solutions such as monitoring the air quality of the surrounding area, determining whether there is any contaminated debris and if it needs to be removed and finally how you can learn from the incident to improve the environmental emergency plan to prevent future accidents.

How can Rubidium Environmental Assist you?

Rubidium provides environmental consulting services, with headquarters in Burlington, Ontario. We have experience with environmental emergency preparedness, environmental emergency response procedures and implementation of Environmental Emergency plans across Canada. We have prepared environmental emergency plans for the following sectors:

  • Automotive
  • Brewery
  • Chemical
  • Fertilizer
  • Food & Beverage
  • Plastics
  • Coatings / Adhesives / Surface Finishing
  • Wastewater Treatment

In addition to all the work we do with environmental emergency plans, our environmental consultants are well versed in all the necessary forms needed to gain an environmental certificate of approval, needed by most businesses and corporations. With the recent changes made to the environmental compliance approvals, Rubidium Environmental helps fill out all the necessary applications.

Use Rubidium Environmental for all your facility’s environmental needs from environmental compliance approvals to environmental emergency plans. Our experienced environmental consultants can help with all your environmental queries.

To find out more about how we can assist with you with the preparation and submission of your Environmental Emergency plan contact us at: (905) 635-4063 or email us at: info@rb-enviro.com.

 

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