Inspection reports are legal document and an integral part of compliance management. They can help identify where actions may be needed to avoid a future non-compliance and assist in achieving compliance after a non-compliance has occurred.
Writing the Report
The observations made during the Inspection Process, are verified against the Regulatory Requirements and evaluated by the level of environmental, human health, and safety impacts. These observations are recorded in the report, including information about the attendees, the purpose of the inspection and all noted observations. It is common for inspectors to include photos in inspection report to provide clarification in a visual format.
Based on the tools in the C&E Policy, the inspector may include in the report, Advisories, Warnings, or Orders if deemed necessary to achieve compliance. If a non-compliance is identified, the inspector may give the permittee a varying degree of time to make corrective measures in addressing the non compliance. A written response is required within 15 days to the inspector, outlining the remedial steps taken so far and work outstanding.
Compliance & Non-Compliance
Advisories : Proactive tool that can be used to advise and/or remind proponents of pending regulatory deadlines and requirements, industry best practices, or actions that may be needed to avoid a future non-compliance.
Warnings: notification that a non-compliance with a specific Regulatory Requirement was identified at the time of inspection and the non-compliance is remedied to the satisfaction of the inspector prior to the completion of the inspection.
Orders: when an inspector observes, or has reason to believe there is, non-compliance with the Regulatory Requirements or a non-compliance with previous orders. Orders may also be used to address immediate dangers to health, safety or the environment.
Escalated Enforcement: In the event that repeated non compliance occurs, additional escalation tools may be used. These could include, are Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMP), Administrative Sanctions and Prosecution. These can be used at any point when deemed appropriate, and are usually in letter format.
Mine Managers Review
The Mine Manger or designate must review the Inspection Report and provide a written response to the Inspector. The managers response must outline the remedial steps taken to address the non compliance, a specified date of completion and any work still outstanding, if applicable. Photographic proof of compliance achievement is common in Mine Mangers written responses.
If there is immediate danger to people or the environment, a mine can be shut down or the activity/machinery will be ordered to stop until the problem is rectified. This may be a verbal order that is identified at the time of the inspection or discussed during the close out meeting. The mine manager would be notified before receiving an inspection report with this type of Order included.
Once an Inspector has received a Mine Mangers response and has deemed it sufficient, the Order(s) will be closed, and the mine site is now compliant.
Inspection reports, related enforcement actions and authorizations for major mines are reported on the BC Mine Information website. Through this website, EMLI, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and the Environmental Assessment Office collaborate to make information on the Province’s oversight of major mines publicly accessible.