How Compliance Is Assessed

When an authorization holder is out of compliance, the province’s response is based on the level of environmental, human health or safety impacts (actual or potential) and the likelihood of compliance. Responses are also based on history, willingness and capacity to comply.

A risk-based non-compliance decision matrix is used to determine which tools to apply to restore compliance quickly and to encourage future compliance.

Figures 1 to 3 describes the non-compliance decision matrix. Figure 1: Non-Compliance Decision Matrix. To be used in conjunction with Figures 2 and 3

Compliance Brochure (PDF, 1.6 MB) 

Click to enlarge: Figure 1

Environmental compliance decision matrix

Increasing levels of actual or potential impacts on the environment, human health or human safety.  

Level one to five

The extent and promptness with which occurrences of non-compliance are addressed help to form part of an authorized party’s compliance history. Should future occurrences of non-compliance occur, this shows how likely a party is to comply as measured on the matrix (figure 1). 

Likelihood of compliance


Compliance Tools

There are a variety of compliance tools available under the Environmental Management Act (EMA) to address non-compliance. Tools used by our inspectors are explained below. All compliance data is publicly reported quarterly and includes company names and inspection results. 

Inspection Response Tools

  • Notice: written record advising that no non-compliances were noted during an inspection
  • Advisory: written record advising of current occurrences of non-compliance found during an inspection
  • Warning: in addition to advising of current occurrences of non-compliance this written record also warns of possible escalating enforcement action if non-compliance continues
  • Order: creates new requirements to prevent or remedy pollution
  • Administrative Monetary Penalty: financial penalties up to $75,000
  • Administrative Sanction: suspension or cancellation of a permit or approval

Detailed information on all compliance responses available under EMA is found in the Compliance and Enforcement Policy and Procedures (PDF).

The Conservation Officer Service uses additional compliance tools to address non-compliances. These tools are generally more prosecutorial in nature and include but are not limited to, violation tickets, court convictions and restorative justice.