How Compliance Is Assessed

When a regulated party 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.

The non-compliance decision matrix uses levels of environmental or human impact and categories of the likelihood of compliance to determine available enforcement responses as shown in the table below. See below for the descriptions of each level and category on the matrix.

Graphical images of the matrix, levels and categories are also available:

Please use the horizontal bar to view through the table below. 

Non-Compliance Decision Matrix

  Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Category A Advisory Advisory, Warning Warning, Admin Penalty Admin Penalty  Investigation
Category B Advisory, Warning Warning, Admin Penalty Warning, Admin Penalty Admin Penalty, Investigation Investigation
Category C Warning, Admin Penalty Warning, Admin Penalty, Admin Sanction Admin Penalty, Investigation Admin Penalty, Investigation Investigation
Category D Warning, Admin Penalty, Admin Sanction Admin Penalty, Admin Sanction, Investigation Admin Penalty, Investigation Admin Penalty, Investigation Investigation
Category E Admin Penalty, Admin Sanction, Investigation Investigation Investigation Investigation Investigation

 

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

Level 1

  • Non-compliance that does not result or is unlikely to result in any environmental, human health or safety impact; or
  • Minor administrative non-compliance

Level 2

  • Non-compliance resulting in a minor, temporary impact on the environment or minor, a temporary threat to human health or safety; or
  • Significant administrative non-compliance

Level 3

  • Non-compliance resulting in a moderate, temporary impact on the environment or moderate, temporary threat to human health or safety

Level 4

  • Non-compliance resulting in a significant impact to the environment or significant threat to human health or safety (may be temporary or permanent)

Level 5

  • Known or likely human health impact that is severe in effect, i.e. resulting in hospitalization and/or long term human health consequences

The extent and promptness with which occurrences of non-compliance are addressed help to form part of a regulated 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 (see table). 

Category A: Indications of future and ongoing compliance are very high

  • No previous occurrences of non-compliance
  • Good demonstrated awareness of and/or capacity to meet the regulatory requirement; and/or
  • The offender has a reasonable and cooperative attitude

Category B: Indications of future and ongoing compliance are uncertain

  • Few previous occurrences of non-compliance; and/or
  • Questionable awareness of and/or capacity to meet the regulatory requirement

Category C: Indications of future and ongoing compliance are unlikely

  • Numerous previous occurrences of non-compliance; and/or
  • Little or no awareness of and/or capacity to meet the regulatory requirement

Category D: No indication of future and ongoing compliance

  • Wilful violation of ministry regulatory requirement; and/or
  • Little or no demonstrated willingness or capacity to meet the regulatory requirement

Category E: Indications of obstruction and ongoing or future non-compliance

  • Hindering or obstructing a ministry official
  • Refusing to furnish required information; and/or
  • Intentionally including false or misleading information in any required document

 

Compliance Tools

There are a variety of compliance tools available under the Environmental Management Act (EMA) and the Integrated Pest Management Act (IPMA) to address non-compliance. The 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 or pesticide-related issue
  • 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 and the IPMA is found in the Compliance and Enforcement Policy and Procedures (PDF, 1.4MB).

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.