Annex C National Environmental Response Standards

The National Environmental Response Standards have been developed to provide regional planners specific guidelines with respect to the development of Regional Contingency and Geographically Specific Response Plans. These standards help to further define the Pattern of Response elements outlined in 4.3.1 Pattern of Response and ensure national consistency.

Each region shall integrate these standards in their Regional Contingency Plans and Geographically Specific Response Plans.

C.1 Geographically Specific Response Plans

Geographically specific response plans shall be completed to cover the entire region under the following priorities:

  • Priority 1: An individual response plan for each of the Canada Port Authorities (as identified in the Canada Marine Act) paying close attention for the inclusion of municipalities and aboriginal communities that port operations impact.
  • Priority 2: An individual plan for each large Municipality and Aboriginal Community that have a significant shipping / fishing vessel / pleasure craft nexus.
  • Priority 3: An individual plan for the remaining areas in between the above areas, with consideration given to appropriate of waterways, or grouping of smaller Municipalities / harbours that have an identified shipping / fishing vessel / pleasure craft risk.

Required Information

The individual geographically specific response plans shall contain the following information, organized as follows:

  • Section 1:
    • Authority, signatories, application, date in-force and amending procedures in the specific response plan.
  • Section 2:
    • Introduction, overview, and description of the roles and responsibilities of positions and / or agencies involved in the response to a marine pollution incident in the specific response plan.
  • Section 3:
    • Description of how / when reports of a marine pollution incident are made.
  • Section 4:
    • Description of notification procedures in the specific response plan:
    • Notification procedures for the 24/7 Environment Canada National Environmental Emergencies Centre Duty Officer;
    • Notification procedures for the 24/7 Transport Canada Marine Safety Duty Officer;
    • Notification procedures for the 24/7 Provincial / Territorial Ministry of Environment Duty Officer;
    • Notification procedures for the 24/7 Port Authority emergency Duty Officer (as appropriate);
    • Notification procedures for 24/7 Municipal emergency Duty Officer;
    • Notification procedures for 24/7 emergency Duty Officer from the aboriginal community;
    • Notification procedures for other appropriate 24/7 emergency Duty Officers (as appropriate).
  • Section 5:
    • List strategy for the contact procedures / capabilities / limitations of any asset that could be identified to provide surveillance of, or verify, any report of a marine pollution incident.
  • Section 6:
    • Provide a description of the initial actions (post activation) taken, including any pre-identified strategies and / or response tactics, as well as a description of pre-identified joint communications procedures.
  • Section 7:
    • Procedures for contacting other agencies / stakeholders, as follows:
      • Potential unified commander from Province / Territory / Ports Authorities / Municipality / Aboriginal Community;
      • Environment Canada regional office (as applicable) with jurisdiction;
      • Transport Canada regional office with jurisdiction;
      • The appropriate Provincial / Territorial agency office with jurisdiction;
      • The appropriate Municipal agent that would participate as a resource agency / supporting agency or provide persons to participate in an Emergency Operations Centre or Incident Command Post;
      • The appropriate aboriginal community agent that would participate as a resource agency / supporting agency or provide persons to participate in an Emergency Operations Centre or Incident Command Post.
  • Section 8:
    • List strategy for or details on the location and contact procedures of likely applicable personnel and equipment available within 12 and 24 hours.
    • Ideally all response plans should identify environmental, cultural, economic vulnerabilities and strategies / tactics to address the protection of these vulnerabilities.
  • Section 9:
    • Identification of likely sources / location of pollution: Oil Handling Facility facilities; maritime reception facilities; marinas; fishing ports; etc. in the specific response plan.
    • Description of likely locations for incident command posts, staging areas, and incident bases.
    • Description of notable feature, limitation, or consideration for response operations in the area defined by the plan.
  • Section 10:
    • Any necessary appendices.

C.2 Notification Call-out and Activation Assessment

The regional Superintendent Environmental Response is responsible for:

  • ensuring 7/24/365 contact methods for the reception of the reporting of pollution and potential pollution from sources external to the Canadian Coast Guard are made available to the public and other reporting bodies external to the Canadian Coast Guard;
  • maintaining and publishing internal procedures for the timely movement of accurate information from a likely reception source to the group responsible for notifying the Environmental Response Duty Officer;
  • maintaining and publishing a daily roster which includes on-call duty personnel, their contact particulars for a determined timeframe for the assessment of incoming reports;
  • maintaining and publishing a redundancy procedure for the assessment of in-coming reports; and
  • maintaining and publishing a redundancy procedure for the activation of a response.

C.3 Assessment

The standard applies to individuals charged with the responsibility of conducting assessments once a report of marine pollution incident has been received.

The objective of the standard is to describe the acceptable end-state of the assessment of a report of a marine pollution incident received by the Canadian Coast Guard.

The assessment is complete 10 only when:

  • immediate hazards 11 are identified and actions are taken for the safety of those reporting / on-scene;
  • the marine pollution incident is confirmed to fall within the mandate of the Canadian Coast Guard;
  • the marine pollution incident is verified;
  • the polluter is identified and their intentions are known 12 or the spill is assessed to be a “mystery spill 13”;
  • pollutants (as cargo / bunkers) are identified as follows:
    • type of pollutants involved; and
    • quantity: volumes spilled; volumes at risk and volumes not at risk.
  • Transport Canada duty officer is contacted for any appropriate risk assessment for the stability and / or integrity of the vessel;
  • the Environment and Climate Change Canada’s National Environmental Emergencies Centre duty officer is contacted for trajectory, fate & effects estimates are identified for volumes spilled and volumes at risk, as required;
  • Canadian Ice Service is contacted for ice conditions and forecast, as required;
  • the United States Coast Guard or any other agency duty officer identified for a particular location, as found in the geographically specific response plans, as required;
  • response hazards are identified;
  • resources at risk are identified;
  • environmental / cultural / economic vulnerabilities are identified;
  • key stakeholders 14 are alerted;
  • Superintendent Environmental Response is briefed on the incident assessment details;
  • the National Incident Notification Procedure initial situation report is triggered;
  • appropriate Notices to Shipping are issued.

C.4  Assessment Termination

Upon termination the Canadian Coast Guard Incident Commander / Superintendent of Environmental Response (as appropriate) shall:

  • notify regional senior management in accordance with any established regional protocol;
  • as appropriate, notify any joint Authorities (United States Coast Guard; Arctic Council members, etc.) of incident facts and Canadian Coast Guard intentions, in accordance with any agreements;
  • notify impacted stakeholders 15 of incident facts and Canadian Coast Guard intentions, and in accordance with any plans / Memorandum of Understanding;
  • ensure the final National Incident Notification Procedure is completed and submitted; and
  • notify the Ship-Source Oil Pollution Fund and the Manager, Operational Service Delivery.

C.5 Activation

In support of activation, the Superintendent of Environmental Response shall:

  • assign (or retain) the incident command function, appropriate for the response level 16;
  • select 17 regional staff to occupy positions in the (initial) Incident Management Team;
  • establish 18 initial command direction: priorities and objectives; limitations and considerations; and, safety information from assessment;
  • augment 19 (as required; as directed) standing Critical Information Requirements for the Incident Management Team;
  • notify regional senior management, in accordance with any established regional protocol;
  • as appropriate, notify any joint Authorities (United States Coast Guard; Arctic Council members, etc.) of incident facts and Canadian Coast Guard intentions, in accordance with any agreements;
  • notify impacted stakeholders 20 of incident facts and Canadian Coast Guard intentions, and in accordance with any plans / Memoranda of Understanding;
  • ensure the National Incident Notification Procedure is completed and submitted;
  • obtain Financial Coding (project) and an official file number; and
  • notify the Ship-Source Oil Pollution Fund, Manager, Operational Service Delivery, and the Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Chief Financial Officer (for Type 3, 2, 1 incident).

C.6 Response Termination

In support of closing a case, the Superintendent of Environmental Response shall:

  • notify regional senior management, in accordance with any established regional protocol;
  • as appropriate, notify any joint Authorities (United States Coast Guard; Arctic council members, etc.) of incident facts and Canadian Coast Guard intentions, in accordance with any agreements;
  • notify impacted stakeholders 21 of incident facts and Canadian Coast Guard intentions, and in accordance with any plans / Memoranda of Understanding;
  • ensure the final National Incident Notification Procedure situation report is completed and submitted; and
  • notify the Ship-Source Oil Pollution Fund and Manager, Operational Service Delivery.

C.7 Regional Watchkeeping Officer

The Environmental Response Duty Officer is the 24-7 / 365 watchkeeping function of the Environmental Response branch and is charged with receiving and assessing a report of marine pollution. The regional Superintendent Environmental Response is responsible for:

  • selecting Environmental Response personnel with sufficient experience to become Duty Officers;
  • ensuring each Duty Officer is trained in pollution report assessment;
  • ensuring each Duty Officer is trained as a Pollution Response Officer pursuant to section 174.1(1) of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001;
  • providing communication and / or computer equipment for the assessment of pollution reports;
  • providing and maintaining pollution report assessment tools;
  • maintaining a team of qualified Duty Officers to ensure a Duty Officer is available on a daily (37.5 hour paid / 16.5 hour standby weekday / 48 hour standby weekend) watchkeeping schedule; and
  • ensuring the branch workplan does not interfere with performance of the daily Duty Officer function.

Please note that this function will be transferred to the Regional Emergency Coordination Centre in accordance with the Environmental Response Concept of Operations.

C.8 Regional Response

The individual Regional Chapters shall contain the following information, organized as follows:

  • Section 1:
    • Authority, application, date in-force, and amending procedures in the region.
  • Section 2:
    • Introduction, overview, and general description of the roles and responsibilities of positions and / or agencies involved in the response to marine pollution in the region.
    • List of subordinate geographically specific response plans.
  • Section 3:
    • Description of how reports of pollution are received in the region.
  • Section 4:
    • Description of how, when, and among whom external and internal notification occurs in the region.
  • Section 5:
    • Description of who conducts assessments in the region.
  • Section 6:
    • Description of how activation occurs in the region.
  • Section 7:
    • Details on the location of Environmental Response personnel and equipment within the region, and the response services they are capable of providing.
  • Section 8:
    • Details on the Fleet resources available and the response services they are capable of providing, and equipment description and location / range associated with these vessels;
  • Section 9:
    • Description of specific agreements with other agencies that impact the Environmental Response program or the response to marine pollution.
  • Section 10:
    •  Any necessary appendices.
Response domains →
Core response priorities ↓
The casualty The clean-up The continuity of the impacted resource

Safety of responders and the public

Provide for the safety and welfare of citizens and response personnel by (dd:mm / hh:mm).#
Conduct an operational risk assessment and ensure controls are in place to protect responders and the public by (dd:mm / hh:mm).#
Incident stabilization / Control of the scene Develop and implement a salvage plan by (dd:mm / hh:mm)* Initiate actions to stop, control, collect at / near the source to minimize the total volume released by (dd:mm / hh:mm).#
Contain, treat, and recover spilled materials from the water’s surface by
(dd:mm / hh:mm).#
Implement measures to limit usage of the impacted resource by
(dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Protection of the environment, infrastructure, and property Develop and implement a pollution impact mitigation plan by
(dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Develop and implement a transit plan to include final destination and berth for vessel(s) by
(dd:mm / hh:mm)*
Protect identified environmentally sensitive areas by (dd:mm / hh:mm).#
Haze, recover, and rehabilitate injured wildlife by (dd:mm / hh:mm).#
Conduct shoreline assessment by (dd:mm / hh:mm).#
Conduct pre-impact shoreline debris removal by (dd:mm / hh:mm).#
Conduct shoreline cleanup efforts by (dd:mm / hh:mm).#
Restore basic functionality of the impacted resource to facilitate the rapid resumption of normal usage by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Situational awareness Conduct damage/stability assessment of vessel by (dd:mm / hh:mm)*
Identify safe refuge/berth for impacted vessels by (dd:mm / hh:mm)*
Identify social, political, and economic issues by (dd:mm / hh:mm)*
Implement a coordinated response with regulatory and other law enforcement / investigating agencies by
(dd:mm / hh:mm)*
Conduct surveillance and monitoring operations of plume, air/water quality, presence and type of wildlife by (dd:mm / hh:mm)#
Identify environmentally sensitive areas, wildlife, habitats, and culturally significant properties by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Identify threatened species at risk by (dd:mm / hh:mm). #
Determine oil and hazardous substance fate and effect (trajectories by
(dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Investigate the potential for and, if feasible, use alternative technologies to support response efforts by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Identify social, political, and economic issues by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Implement a coordinated response with regulatory and other law enforcement / investigating agencies by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Identify impacts to resources by
(dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Identify constraints on impacted resource as a result of an incident by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Identify a pre-impact baseline for the impacted resource(s) by
(dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Identify social, political, and economic issues by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Implement a coordinated response with regulatory and other law enforcement / investigating agencies by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Community engagement Establish an information transfer process to facilitate communications with stakeholders and organizations by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Establish a Joint Information Centre (JIC) with partner / stakeholder agencies by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Develop and implement multi-language/culture outreach program by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Establish a Volunteer Management Program and assign a coordinator by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
Establish a Vessels of Opportunity Program and assign a coordinator by (dd:mm / hh:mm).*
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