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Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (SOR/2002-222)

Regulations are current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2022-06-24. Previous Versions

PART 2Conditions Governing Authority to Deposit

DIVISION 1General

Prohibition on Diluting Effluent

 The owner or operator of a mine shall not combine effluent with water or any other effluent for the purpose of diluting effluent before it is deposited.

Environmental Effects Monitoring

  •  (1) The owner or operator of a mine shall conduct environmental effects monitoring studies in accordance with the requirements and within the periods set out in Schedule 5.

  • (2) The studies shall be conducted using documented and validated methods, and their results interpreted and reported on in accordance with generally accepted standards of good scientific practice at the time that the studies are conducted.

  • (3) The owner or operator shall record the results of the studies and submit to the Minister of the Environment, in accordance with the requirements set out in Schedule 5, the reports and information required by that Schedule.

  • SOR/2006-239, s. 3
  • SOR/2018-99, s. 6

Identifying Information

  •  (1) The owner or operator of a mine shall submit in writing to the Minister of the Environment the information referred to in subsection (2) not later than 60 days after the day on which any of the following occur:

    • (a) the mine becomes subject to these Regulations;

    • (b) ownership of the mine is transferred; and

    • (c) the mine returns to commercial operation after it has become a recognized closed mine.

  • (2) The information that shall be submitted is

    • (a) the name and address of both the owner and the operator of the mine;

    • (b) the name and address of any parent company of the owner and the operator; and

    • (c) the design-rated capacity of the mine, expressed as tonnes per year, and a description and rationale of how the design-rated capacity was determined.

  • (3) The owner or operator shall submit in writing to the Minister of the Environment any change in the information not later than 60 days after the change occurs.

  • SOR/2018-99, ss. 7, 36

Final Discharge Points

 The owner or operator of a mine shall identify each final discharge point and submit in writing to the Minister of the Environment, not later than 60 days after the day on which the mine becomes subject to these Regulations, the following information:

  • (a) plans, specifications and a general description of each final discharge point together with its location by latitude and longitude;

  • (b) a description of how each final discharge point is designed and maintained in respect of the deposit of deleterious substances; and

  • (c) the name of the receiving body of water, if there is a name.

  • SOR/2006-239, s. 4
  • SOR/2018-99, ss. 8, 36
  •  (1) The owner or operator of a mine shall submit in writing to the Minister of the Environment the information required by section 9, for

    • (a) any final discharge point that is identified by an inspector, and that was not identified as required by section 9, within 30 days after the discharge point is identified; and

    • (b) each new final discharge point, at least 60 days before depositing effluent from that new final discharge point.

  • (2) The owner or operator shall submit in writing to the Minister of the Environment the information on any proposed change to a final discharge point at least 60 days before the change is to be made.

  • SOR/2018-99, s. 36

Monitoring Equipment Information

 The owner or operator of a mine shall keep records relating to effluent monitoring equipment that contain

  • (a) a description of the equipment and, if applicable, the manufacturer’s specifications and the year and model number of the equipment; and

  • (b) the results of the calibration tests of the equipment.

DIVISION 2Effluent Monitoring Conditions

Deleterious Substance and pH Testing

  •  (1) The owner or operator of a mine shall, not less than once per week and at least 24 hours apart, collect from each final discharge point

    • (a) a grab sample or composite sample of effluent and record the pH of the sample at the time of its collection and record, without delay after collecting the sample, the concentrations of the deleterious substances prescribed in section 3 except un-ionized ammonia; and

    • (b) a grab sample of effluent and record the temperature and the pH of the sample at the time of its collection and record, without delay after collecting the sample, the concentrations of total ammonia expressed as nitrogen (N).

  • (2) Testing conducted under subsection (1) shall comply with the analytical requirements set out in Table 1 of Schedule 3 and shall be done in accordance with generally accepted standards of good scientific practice at the time of the sampling using documented and validated methods.

  • (3) Despite subsection (1), the owner or operator of a mine is not required to collect samples for the purpose of recording the concentrations of cyanide if cyanide has never been used as a process reagent at the mine.

  • (4) The owner or operator of a mine shall determine and record the concentration of un-ionized ammonia, using the temperature, pH and concentration of total ammonia recorded under paragraph (1)(b), in accordance with the following formula:

    A (1/(1 + 10pKa-pH))

    where

    A
    is the concentration of total ammonia — which is the sum of un-ionized ammonia (NH3) and ionized ammonia (NH4+) — expressed in mg/L as nitrogen (N);
    pH
    is the pH of the effluent sample; and
    pKa
    is a dissociation constant calculated in accordance with the following formula:

    0.09018 + 2729.92/T

    where

    T
    is the temperature of the effluent sample in kelvin.
  • SOR/2006-239, s. 5
  • SOR/2018-99, s. 9
  •  (1) The owner or operator of a mine may reduce the frequency of conducting tests relating to the concentrations of arsenic, copper, cyanide, lead, nickel, zinc or un-ionized ammonia at a final discharge point to not less than once in each calendar quarter, each test being conducted at least one month apart, if that substance’s monthly mean concentration at that final discharge point is less than 10% of the value set out in column 2 of Schedule 4 for 12 consecutive months.

  • (2) The owner or operator of a mine, other than an uranium mine, may reduce the frequency of conducting tests relating to the concentration of radium 226 at a final discharge point to not less than once in each calendar quarter, each test being conducted at least one month apart, if the concentration of radium 226 at that final discharge point is less than 0.037 Bq/L for 10 consecutive weeks.

  • (3) The owner or operator of a mine shall increase the frequency of conducting tests relating to the concentration of a deleterious substance at a final discharge point to the frequency prescribed in section 12

    • (a) in the case of a deleterious substance mentioned in subsection (1), if that substance’s monthly mean concentration at that final discharge point is equal to or greater than 10% of the value set out in column 2 of Schedule 4; and

    • (b) in the case of radium 226, if the concentration of radium 226 at that final discharge point is equal to or greater than 0.037 Bq/L.

  • (4) The owner or operator of a mine shall increase the frequency of conducting tests relating to the concentration of a deleterious substance at all final discharge points to the frequency prescribed in section 12 for all the substances mentioned in subsections (1) and (2) if the owner or operator

    • (a) fails to perform a test required under those subsections in accordance with the prescribed frequency; or

    • (b) fails to submit a report required under subsection 21(1) or section 22 within the prescribed time.

  • (5) If the owner or operator of a mine changes the location of a final discharge point, the owner or operator shall increase the frequency of conducting tests relating to the concentration of a deleterious substance at that final discharge point to the frequency prescribed in section 12 for all the deleterious substances mentioned in subsections (1) and (2).

  • (6) The owner or operator of a mine who reduces the frequency of conducting tests under subsection (1) or (2) shall

    • (a) notify the Minister of the Environment, in writing, at least 30 days in advance, of that fact;

    • (b) select and record the sampling dates not less than 30 days in advance of collecting the samples of effluent; and

    • (c) collect the sample on the selected day except if, owing to unforeseen circumstances, they cannot sample on that day, in which case, they shall do so as soon as practicable after that day.

  • SOR/2006-239, s. 6
  • SOR/2018-99, s. 9

Acute Lethality Testing

General
  •  (1) Subject to section 15, the owner or operator of a mine shall collect, once a month, a grab sample of effluent from each final discharge point and determine whether the effluent is acutely lethal by conducting acute lethality tests on aliquots of each effluent sample in accordance with sections 14.1 to 14.4.

  • (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the owner or operator of a mine

    • (a) shall select and record the sampling date not less than 30 days in advance of collecting the grab sample;

    • (b) shall collect the sample on the selected day except if, owing to unforeseen circumstances, they cannot sample on that day, in which case, they shall do so as soon as practicable after that day; and

    • (c) shall collect the grab samples not less than 15 days apart.

  • (3) When collecting a grab sample of effluent for the purposes of subsection (1), the owner or operator of a mine shall

    • (a) collect a sufficient volume of effluent to enable the owner or operator to comply with paragraph 15(1)(a); and

    • (b) record the temperature and the pH of each grab sample of effluent at the time of the sample’s collection.

  • SOR/2006-239, s. 7
  • SOR/2011-92, s. 4
  • SOR/2012-22, s. 3
  • SOR/2018-99, s. 10
  • SOR/2021-125, s. 2
Acute Lethality Test — Rainbow Trout
[
  • SOR/2022-159, s. 1
]

 Unless the salinity value of the effluent is greater than ten parts per thousand and the effluent is deposited into marine waters, the owner or operator of a mine shall determine whether the effluent is acutely lethal by conducting an acute lethality test in accordance with the procedures set out in section 5 or 6 of Reference Method EPS 1/RM/13.

Acute Lethality Test — Threespine Stickleback

 If the salinity value of the effluent is greater than ten parts per thousand and the effluent is deposited into marine waters, the owner or operator of a mine shall determine whether the effluent is acutely lethal by conducting an acute lethality test in accordance with the procedures set out in section 5 or 6 of Reference Method EPS 1/RM/10.

Acute Lethality Test — Daphnia magna

 Unless the salinity value of the effluent is greater than four parts per thousand and the effluent is deposited into marine waters, the owner or operator of a mine shall, in addition to conducting the acute lethality test set out in section 14.1, determine whether the effluent is acutely lethal by conducting an acute lethality test in accordance with the procedures set out in section 5 or 6 of Reference Method EPS 1/RM/14.

Acute Lethality Test — Acartia tonsa

 If the salinity value of the effluent is greater than four parts per thousand and the effluent is deposited into marine waters, the owner or operator of a mine shall, in addition to conducting the acute lethality test set out in either section 14.1 or 14.2, determine whether the effluent is acutely lethal by conducting an acute lethality test in accordance with the procedures set out in section 5 or 6 of Reference Method STB 1/RM/60.

Increased Frequency of Acute Lethality Testing

  •  (1) If an effluent sample is determined to be acutely lethal by an acute lethality test, the owner or operator of a mine shall

    • (a) without delay,

      • (i) conduct the effluent characterization set out in subsection 4(1) of Schedule 5 on the aliquot of each grab sample collected under subsection 14(1),

      • (ii) record the concentration of total ammonia and, using that concentration and using the temperature and pH recorded under paragraph 14(3)(b), determine the concentration of un-ionized ammonia in accordance with the formula set out in subsection 12(4), and

      • (iii) record the concentrations of the deleterious substances prescribed in section 3;

    • (b) collect a grab sample twice a month from the final discharge point from which the effluent sample determined to be acutely lethal was collected, record the temperature and the pH of each sample at the time of its collection and, without delay, conduct the acute lethality test that determined the effluent sample to be acutely lethal on each grab sample in accordance with the procedure set out in section 6 of the applicable reference method and, if the sample is determined to be acutely lethal, without delay,

      • (i) conduct the effluent characterization set out in subsection 4(1) of Schedule 5 on the aliquot of each grab sample,

      • (ii) record the concentration of total ammonia and, using that concentration and using the temperature and pH recorded under this paragraph, determine the concentration of un-ionized ammonia in accordance with the formula set out in subsection 12(4), and

      • (iii) record the concentrations of the deleterious substances prescribed in section 3; and

    • (c) collect the grab samples not less than seven days apart.

  • (2) The owner or operator may resume sampling and testing at the frequency prescribed in section 14 if the effluent is determined not to be acutely lethal in three consecutive tests conducted under paragraph (1)(b).

 Despite paragraph 15(1)(c), if an effluent sample is determined to be acutely lethal when tested using the acute lethality test set out in section 14.3, the owner or operator of a mine shall, without delay, collect the first grab sample required by paragraph 15(1)(b) and comply with the requirements of that paragraph.

Reduced Frequency of Acute Lethality Testing

  •  (1) The owner or operator of a mine may reduce the frequency of conducting an acute lethality test at a final discharge point to once in each calendar quarter if the effluent from that final discharge point is determined not to be acutely lethal by that acute lethality test for 12 consecutive months.

  • (2) For the purpose of determining whether that effluent is acutely lethal for the 12-month period referred to in subsection (1), the owner or operator of a mine shall use the results of the acute lethality tests conducted under subsection 14(1).

  • (3) The owner or operator of a mine shall notify the Minister of the Environment in writing at least 30 days before the reduction of the frequency of acute lethality testing.

  • (4) The owner or operator who reduces the frequency of conducting acute lethality testing under subsection (1) shall

    • (a) select and record the sampling date not less than 30 days in advance of collecting the grab samples; and

    • (b) collect the grab samples not less than 45 days apart.

  • (5) If a grab sample is determined to be acutely lethal by an acute lethality test when the owner or operator of a mine is testing at the frequency prescribed in subsection (1), the owner or operator shall increase the frequency of conducting that test to the frequency prescribed in section 15 and conduct that test in accordance with that section.

  • (6) If the location of a final discharge point is changed, the owner or operator of a mine shall, at that final discharge point, increase the frequency of conducting all the acute lethality tests to the frequency prescribed in subsection 14(1) and conduct those tests in accordance with that subsection.

  • SOR/2012-22, s. 4
  • SOR/2018-99, s. 14
 
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