Canada: $150K fine for improper storage of petroleum products

It could be a sign of a toughening of enforcement in Canada.  A company in Saskatchewan was recently fined $150,000 for improper storage of petroleum hydrocarbons under the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations, made pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.  The company, Crop Production Services (Canada) Inc., recently plead guilty to transferring petroleum products into unidentified storage-tank systems.  Storage of petroleum products in unmarked containers is a violation of the federal regulations.

In 2016, enforcement officers from Environment Canada and Climate Change conducted an investigation of Crop Production Services (Canada) Inc.  During the course of the inspection, they discovered the petroleum product in an unmarked container.  No spillage of petroleum product had occurred.

The Court ordered the company to pay a total penalty of $150,000 to be directed to the federal Environmental Damages Fund.  As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.

Crop Production Services (Canada) Inc. (CPS) is a leading provider of agricultural products and services for western Canadian growers. A subsidiary of Nutrien Ltd., CPS provides a wide range of services to the agricultural industry including agronomy Services; crop protection;  plant nutrition; precision agriculture; fuel, oil and lubricants; and storage and handling. CPS has over 220 retail locations in communities across Western Canada.

CPS offers Esso bulk fuels to the farm and commercial market across the Prairies through an agreement with Imperial Oil

The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations aim to reduce the risk of contaminating soil and groundwater due to spills and leaks of petroleum products from storage-tank systems.  The regulations require owners and operators to identify their storage-tank systems with an identification number from Environment and Climate Change Canada. This requirement allows an inventory of storage-tank systems to be maintained in a registry that captures the type of tank, the type of piping, and the year of installation of the storage-tank system. Suppliers that deliver petroleum products and allied petroleum products (e.g., thinner for vinyl coatings) are prohibited from transferring petroleum products into any storage tank, unless the storage-tank system identification number is visible.

1 reply
  1. John Nicholson
    John Nicholson says:

    Please Note the following Clarification of this article and the application of the Canadian federal Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations (Regulations).

    This note is to correct any potential misconception that fuel providers are prohibited from transferring petroleum products into any storage tank that is not registered with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). It is important to note that these Regulations only apply to storage tanks operated by a federal department, board, agency or Crown Corporation, or that is providing services to federal works or undertakings that are a port authority, airport, railway, or that is located on federal or aboriginal lands. In the case in question fuel was being unlawfully transferred into storage tanks on aboriginal lands contrary to the Regulations.

    Below is the relevant excerpt from the Regulations that specifies where these regulations do apply:

    2. These Regulations apply to any storage tank system located in Canada in which petroleum products or allied petroleum products are stored and
    o (a) that is operated by a federal department, board or agency, or belongs to Her Majesty in right of Canada;
    o (b) that is operated to provide a service to, or belongs to, a federal work or undertaking that is
    • (i) a port authority set out in the schedule to the Canada Marine Act,
    • (ii) an airport within the meaning of subsection 3(1) of the Aeronautics Act, or
    • (iii) a railway;
    o (c) that is located on federal land or aboriginal land; or
    o (d) that is operated by a Crown corporation, as defined in subsection 83(1) of the Financial Administration Act, or that belongs to such a corporation.

    It is important to note however, that other requirements under different regulatory regimes, may apply to storage tank systems to which the Regulations do not apply.

Comments are closed.