Regulatory requirements and due process for transporting hazardous waste into Canada for disposal

Petition: 386

Issue(s): Compliance and enforcement, federal provincial relations, toxic substances, transport, waste management

Petitioner(s): Resident of Canada

Petitioner Location(s): Dundas, Ontario

Date Received: 14 September 2015

Status: Completed—Response(s) to petition received

Summary: The petition raises questions about the federal requirements and regulatory due process for importing hazardous material into Canada for disposal, following the import of toxic waste at a facility near Sarnia, Ontario, from the Wheatfield landfill, a US site associated with the Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York. The petition asks for clarification of the processes for the federal assessment and approval of applications to import hazardous waste, and asks about the decisions made regarding the disposal method used for the waste (that is, thermal desorption instead of incineration). The petition also requests a description of the chemical nature of the toxic waste from the Wheatfield site, a list of toxic substances contained in the waste, and information about the amount of waste imported into Ontario. In addition, the petition expresses concerns that residents potentially exposed to this waste, and the various levels of government involved, were not fully informed of the receipt of this shipment. The petition asks about the federal oversight of hazardous waste shipments to ensure accurate reporting, and whether there has been any monitoring of potential health or environmental impacts to the area near Sarnia since the receipt of the toxic waste from the Wheatfield site.

Federal departments responsible for reply: Canada Border Services Agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada