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Canada | The Regulations Amending the PCB Regulations and the Regulations Designating Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999) were published

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The objective of the proposed amendments is to provide flexibility for the use and storage of PCB-containing equipment under unique circumstances that were not foreseen when the Regulations came into force in 2008.

The proposed amendments would allow for the following:

  • Continued use and storage of PCB-containing equipment that is radioactive. Nuclear facilities would be required to remove and destroy their PCB-containing equipment when it could be safely done.
  • Extension of the use of PCB-containing equipment at electrical facilities that are due to be decommissioned by December 31, 2029. This would be done through an application process following which the Minister of the Environment could grant authority to continue the use of the equipment.
  • Continued use and storage of military equipment containing PCBs. This would be permitted for cases in which non-PCB-containing alternatives cannot be substituted.
  • Retention of objects of historical value containing PCBs. Currently, the use of such objects is not permitted under the Regulations, and the objects must be destroyed.
  • Clarification that mixing PCB oil with non-PCB oil to reduce the concentration of PCBs is not allowed.

Regulatory analysis:

The proposed amendments are expected to have a net benefit to Canadian society. They would defer the cost of replacing or modifying equipment that uses PCB oils to a future date, thus providing one-time cost savings. The replacement of PCB-containing equipment would not be necessary during the period of deferral. In addition, the proposed prohibition on mixing PCB oil with non-PCB oil to reduce the concentration of PCBs would ensure that regulatees respect the required concentration levels, without being able to dilute the concentration of PCBs as a workaround to the Regulations. This would ensure that high concentration PCB oils are destroyed.


The Department consulted with stakeholders on the proposed amendments. The Department received comments from different industry sectors, such as hydroelectricity, nuclear, energy and gas, and waste management; and from other federal departments.


The proposed amendments would come into force on the day they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The Department would undertake several compliance promotion activities to raise awareness of the new requirements.


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