Compliance Inspections

Compliance inspections can be characterized as any action taken to verify compliance with regulatory requirements.

Inspections are conducted on-site at regulated sites and facilities or at various other locations in the field such as at the roadside. Inspections can also include reviewing monitoring data or other materials supplied by the regulated party. They are both scheduled and unscheduled, operation-specific or sector based. Unscheduled or additional inspections may also occur in response to information or complaints.

The Natural Resource Compliance and Enforcement Database (NR C&E Database) currently includes inspections conducted under the Environmental Management Act and the Integrated Pest Management Act.

When searching compliance inspections in the NR C&E Database, the result of the inspection is provided in the "Summary" column of the Search Results table. Use the drop down windows below to learn more about the different levels of response for compliance inspections conducted under Environmental Management Act and the Integrated Pest Management Act:

A notice of compliance informs the person or business responsible that the inspected activity, substance, or works were found to be in compliance with a specified regulatory requirement.

An advisory notifies the non-compliant party in writing that they are not in compliance with a specific regulatory requirement and often recommends a course of action that is expected to achieve compliance. An advisory may:

  • include an exchange of information on best management practices or technical solutions;
  • reference where additional information and educational materials can be sourced; and
  • include requests for a description of the cause of the non-compliance, measures being considered to prevent further non-compliance and a remedial action plan.

An advisory is often the first enforcement response taken in cases of minor to moderate non-compliance when there is a high likelihood of achieving compliance. An advisory, like a warning serves as a formal record of the alleged non-compliance and forms an important element of the compliance history of the party in question. An advisory can be issued in one of a number of formats such as a letter, a pre-printed notice similar in appearance to a violation ticket, or as part of a standardized inspection form in which a copy is provided to the individual or business being inspected.

 

Similar to an advisory, a warning notifies the non-compliant party in writing that they are not in compliance with a specific regulatory requirement; however, the warning differs from an advisory in that it warns of the possibility of an escalating response should non-compliance continue. Warnings are generally used when it is determined that an exchange of information alone would not be sufficient in achieving compliance.

A warning serves as an important formal record of the alleged non-compliance and forms an important element of the compliance history of the party in question. This becomes particularly relevant when assessing and responding to any subsequent non-compliance by the party. Although verbal warnings in the field are sometimes used, when it is important to have a record of the non-compliance, staff should follow up by issuing a written warning. A warning may:

  • require a description of the cause of the non-compliance, measures being considered to prevent further non-compliance and a remedial action plan;
  • require an inspection prior to issuing the warning letter in order to gather sufficient information regarding the non-compliance (a follow-up inspection may also be undertaken in order to verify compliance); and
  • request written confirmation from the client that compliance has been achieved.

Referred for further action means that the results of an inspection were forwarded to a director, statutory decision maker, agency (such as the Conservation Officer Service), or professional association for further review or investigation. The referral may subsequently result in enforcement action for the non-compliances observed during the inspection. Enforcement actions can include orders, administrative sanctions, administrative penalties, violation tickets, court prosecution, or restorative justice forums.