Like the OHS laws, the environmental laws require companies to report certain kinds of environmental incidents, such as spills of hazardous substances into waterways, to appropriate governmental authorities. Although some environmental incidents must obviously be reported, whether you must report others isn’t always so clear cut—and failing to report an incident can result in an environmental violation. For example, the Supreme Court of Canada recently upheld a broad reporting duty under Ontario’s environmental law.
HOW TO USE THE TOOL
Adapt this checklist, which is based on the Supreme Court case mentioned above, for the environmental incident reporting requirements in your jurisdiction’s environmental law and regulations (See, Around the Provinces: Types of Environmental incidents You Must Report). Ensure that your staff use the checklist if there’s any uncertainty about whether to report an environmental incident.