On Sep. 5, 2008 a regulation governing the use, storage, and disposal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) came into force. A program has been developed to gather the requisite information to file our annual report. If you use PCBs in research or in your department's operations, familiarize yourself with the content of the procedure.
PCBs have been known for many years to have an adverse effect on the environment. They are not readily degraded in the environment and bio-accumulate in the food chain. They require very large amounts of energy to undergo thermal destruction. Several PCBs are toxic or carcinogenic and incomplete destruction results in the formation of dioxins and other harmful compounds. The Government of Canada, through Environment Canada regulates the production, sale, use, and disposal of PCBs to fulfill Canada’s obligations as established by international agreement. All provincial governments impose regulation within their respective jurisdictions, and transportation is also regulated both federally and provincially.
This page outlines the appropriate steps to ensure the University of Calgary is in compliance with the federal legislation known as "PCB Regulations" enacted under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. A brief synopsis of the requirements for the purchase, use, storage, and disposal of PCBs is also included. In addition, the responsibilities of select groups are outlined to ensure the University of Calgary is able to fulfill its obligations as mandated by these regulations
Environment, Health and Safety
- Develop, implement, and review this document.
- Provide advice to stakeholders pertaining to the regulations and this document.
- Generate and submit annual reports to Environment Canada as required by the regulations.
- Maintain accurate inventory and identify all equipment containing PCBs, including the concentration thereof. PCB concentrations must be determined by an accredited laboratory and be expressed in mg/Kg.
- This report shall be submitted on the Annual PCB Usage Report- In Use Equipment form.
- Submit a copy of this inventory to the Environmental Consultant, Environment Health and Safety. This report must be accurate to Dec. 31 in each year and shall be submitted by Jan. 31 for the preceding calendar year. This reporting requirement specifically excludes light ballasts.
- Ensure that all labelling requirements in Part 4 of the regulation are adhered to in facilities under Facilities Management control.
- Review this document prior to working with PCBs.
- Comply with internationally recognized laboratory best practices as dictated in Section 8(1)(b) of the PCB Regulations.
- Engage in and/or permit only research which complies with current regulations.
- Maintain accurate record of PCB usage, inventory, and storage on the Annual PCB Usage Report- Research Laboratories form.
- Submit a copy of this inventory to the Environmental Consultant, Environment, Health and Safety, accurate as of Dec. 31 in each year. This report shall be submitted by Jan. 31 for the preceding calendar year.
- Review this document prior to working with PCBs.
- Follow the requirements set out in this standard and any additional requirements determined by the principal investigator to facilitate compliance with legislation.
Hazardous Materials Services
- Transport and store all PCBs in accordance with applicable legislation and current best practices.
- Ensure that all facility markings at the Materials Handling Building as required by Part 3 and all labelling requirements mandated in Part 4 of the PCB Regulation are adhered to.
- Maintain accurate record of PCB disposal and prepare an annual report of this activity on the Annual PCB Usage Report- Storage Facility form. Note that this is a two page document.
- Submit a copy to the Environmental Consultant, Environment, Health and Safety, accurate as of Dec. 31 in each year. This report shall be submitted by Jan. 31 for the preceding year.
- This reporting requirement specifically includes all fluorescent light ballasts shipped in the reporting period.
PCB Purchase, Usage, and Storage
The purchase of PCBs or products containing PCBs in a concentration higher than 2 mg/Kg is generally prohibited in Canada. The purchase of PCBs is permitted when this purchase is by an analytical or a research laboratory that conforms to internationally recognized guidelines on laboratory best practices and research is confined to determining the effects of PCBs on human health or on the environment.
PCBs having a concentration higher than 2 mg/Kg used in the servicing of equipment is permitted under certain circumstances, subject to specified end-of-use dates. Refer to current legislation for details. Uses not specifically authorized in the regulation are prohibited.
- Laboratory research is permitted on an on-going basis provided the conditions outlined in the Responsibilities and Purchase sections of this document are met.
- Electrical cables and transformers containing PCBs that were in use on Sep. 8, 2008 and are currently in use may continue to be used. When these items are removed from active use they must be sent for disposal.
- Fluorescent light ballasts containing 50 mg/Kg of PCBs or more may remain in service until they are removed from the fixture or Dec. 31, 2025, whichever comes first.
- Fluids containing more than 2 mg/Kg of PCBs that are removed from equipment must be disposed of. This includes removal for the purpose of servicing of the equipment.
Areas having equipment or solids containing PCBs in storage should contact the Environmental Consultant in Environment, Health and Safety for guidance. Liquids containing PCBs should be transferred to Hazardous Materials Services for disposal at the earliest opportunity.
Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB): any substance having the chemical formula C12H10-nCln, where n=2 to 10 that is regulated by the referenced regulation.