Waste discharge authorizations

Last updated on September 28, 2022

A waste discharge authorization is written permission to release waste into the environment under the Environmental Management Act (EMA). Find out what you need to apply, manage, and search for authorizations.

You must have an authorization in place before discharging waste into the environment. After you are authorized you need to maintain your authorization and notify the ministry of any changes.

Waste discharge rules

The Waste Discharge Regulation defines what activities and types of waste need to be authorized under the Environmental Management Act (EMA)

Waste under the EMA includes:

  • Air contaminants. For example, dust from an industrial site
  • Effluent. For example, wastewater from industry or sewage
  • Garbage. For example, municipal and industrial garbage
  • Hazardous waste. For example, batteries, asbestos and waste oil

Don't have an authorization

Do you need an authorization?

Review the types of waste and activities that require an authorization.

Review the list

Apply for an authorization

You must get an approved authorization before discharging any waste. 


Understand the process

What to expect when applying for an authorization, how approval works, and how long it takes. 

Review the process

Have an authorization 

Comply with your authorization

Submit reports and data, prepare for an inspection, and report non-compliance.

Comply and report

Change your authorization

Amend your authorization to reflect administrative and operational changes. 

Make a change

Find authorization information

How to find documents, reports, and monitoring data regarding authorizations.

Find information