Role of the responsible party

The Responsible Party is the person or company in possession, control, or charge of the released pollutant or the facility (e.g. dike, landfill, etc).


Industry facilities that store, manufacture, transport, recycle or handle dangerous goods, hazardous wastes, or hazardous chemicals should prepare a response (contingency) plan to respond to emergencies involving the accidental release of these substances into the environment. Such facilities can include but are not limited to, waste landfills, recycling facilities (e.g., plastics, tires, paint, pesticide, and batteries), and chemical and petroleum bulk storage or transportation facilities. Industrial sectors that respond planning applies to include the mining, forestry, manufacturing, retail, and oil and gas sectors.

Response plans should identify potential hazards, develop systems for preventing accidents, provide appropriate mechanisms for minimizing risk, loss, and damage resulting from such incidents (i.e. reduce exposure to communities), and provide an incident management structure to guide response activities.

The Province has established guidelines to assist industry in preparing emergency response plans. Response plans help ensure that when a spill occurs, the responsible party is able to launch an effective response.


When a spill occurs, the Responsible Party is expected to report the spill if a reportable level has been spilled into the environment and implement the operational decisions set out in the emergency response plan. Often the Responsible Party will have either a contractor that can be called in to respond to the spill or will have an incident management team set up in case a spill occurs. The Responsible Party is expected to take reasonable steps to contain the spill and to restore the environment to its original condition.


Responsible Parties need to follow provincial and federal regulations concerning environmental management, environmental protection, spill reporting and spill cost recovery.