Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category
To help your organization meet its environmental and health and safety management system requirements, Nimonik offers three levels of legal registers. Working with your staff and our world-class database of environmental, health and safety legal information, Nimonik is capable of delivering a comprehensive list of applicable codes, statues, laws and regulations with easy to understand summaries and implications. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Option A: Basic Listing of Applicable Legislation, Codes, Statutes and Standards
Nimonik can build a basic legal register for your organisation, which consists simply of a listing of the Acts and Regulations applicable to your industrial or commercial activities. Nimonik will conduct a telephone interview of up to 2 hours to determine the scope of your operations. Nimonik will build the listing for first the environmental legislation, and separately for health and safety.
The register will have the following structure:
- Register name (Environment, H&S)
- Title of the legislation (click to legislation text and history of recent updates)
A general description of the legislation (approx 2 – 4 lines) is already associated with the title of each piece of legislation.
This is the most cost-effective way to identify legislation applicable for your activities.
Cost : $1,300 per province or state, including federal and municipal obligations for Environmental and Health and Safety Obligations.
Option B: Entry-Level Legal Register
Nimonik can build a legal register for your organisation that is organised so that there is a clear association between the activities of the organisation and the legal requirements. To organise the register, Nimonik will use a hierarchy of headings to present the organisation’s industrial and commercial activities and the topics for which there are requirements
Nimonik will conduct a telephone interview of up to 4 hours and review high level documentation to determine the scope of your operations. Nimonik will build a register first the environmental legislation, and separately for health and safety. The organisation may add further registers.
The register will have the following structure:
- Register name (Environment, H&S)
- Activity name
- Sub-activity name
- Title of the legislation (click to legislation text and history of recent updates)
A general description of the legislation (approx 2-4 lines) is already associated with the title of each piece of legislation.
This is the most cost-effective way to meet ISO 14001 or equivalent standards for your activities. The filtered register will structured according to your activities and present the legislation applicable to those activities, with a brief text describing the implications of the legislation and how it is applicable.
Cost : $2,500 per province or state, including federal obligations for Environmental and Health and Safety Obligations.
Customized Legal Register
Nimonik can build a fully customized legal register for your organisation that includes detailed guidance text on your regulatory requirements and individual sections of legislation that are relevant. Nimonik will conduct a detailed analysis of your operations and up to 2 days (16 hours) of interviews and meetings to determine your operations. This is the most cost-effective way to meet ISO 14001 for large, complex organisations.
Nimonik will deliver a legal register for a specified type of legislation (environmental, health and safety, …) with the following structure:
- Register Name
- Custom fields relevant to your organization (Procedures, operational managers…)
- Title of Legislation
- Applicable sections of the legislation
- Up to 10 lines identifying the applicability of the legislative sections to your activities.
Cost : $ TBD (approx. $9,999 per province or state, including federal obligations)
Our team just added three free checklists for alarm and detection system inspections, available on the web and on iPad and iPhone.
Noise in the workplace is a significant risk for the health and safety of workers. Here are a few free checklists to assess and better manage noise in your workplace, all available on iPad and iPhone too! Make sure your workplace is well set up for noise and each employee has appropriate equipment to protect themselves.
Le 17 Décembre 2013, le Ministre du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs a annoncé la mise en place d’un programme d’inspection (le “Programme ”) qui permettra d’assurer un meilleur suivi de la présence de matières contenant des Biphényles polychlorés (BPC) et de superviser leur transfert vers un site autorisé. Les BPC, bien que non fabriqués au Canada, et malgré l’interdiction de leur importation et de leur vente par la règlementation fédérale, sont utilisés dans plusieurs activités industrielles. Ainsi, de nombreux appareils électriques contiennent des BPC. C’est dans le but d’éliminer l’utilisation des équipements contenant ces substances que le Gouvernement Fédéral a mis en place le Règlement sur les BPC.
Au Québec, le règlement sur les matières dangereuses (voir l’art.4) considère tout liquide solide ou boue contenant plus de 50 mg/kg de BPC, tout objet contenant des BPCs avec une concentration supérieure à 50 mg/kg, ou tout objet contaminé par des liquides, des solides ou des boues avec une concentration supérieure à 50 mg/kg, ainsi que tout objet dont la surface est contaminée par plus de 1 mg BPC/m2 comme des matières dangereuses.
Impact environnemental? Pour la santé humaine?
Les BPCs sont surtout véhiculés par l’eau puis rapidement emmagsinés dans les sédiments dont se nourrissent certains mammifères, certains poissons et certains oiseaux carnivores. En conséquent, ce n’est pas sans impact pour l’environnement du fait de leur persistance. Bien que les effets pour la santé humaine ne soient pas vraiment établis, les BPCs sont décrits comme des agents pouvant causer le cancer.
La mise en place du programme au Québec est une réponse à l’entreposage illégal par la compagnie Les Équipements de puissance Reliance Ltée à Pointe-Claire en 2013. Environ 1300 sites où des BPCs ont été déclarés ou décelés depuis les vingt-cinq dernières années, sont donc visés. Classés en cinq catégories, ils seront vérifiés chaque 5 ans. Ainsi, les lieux concernés sont:
- Les titulaires de permis délivrés pour la gestion des BPC;
- Les intervenants qui ont reçu une autorisation d’entreposage prolongé de BPC (durée d’entreposage de plus de 12 mois);
- Les lieux qui ont déclaré des BPCs depuis 2007 dans leur bilan ou leur rapport annuel et qui n’ont pas fait de déclaration en 2011;
- Les lieux qui ont entreposé ou géré des BPCs et qui ont été inspectés par le MDDEFP depuis le début des années 2000;
- Les lieux qui utilisent actuellement des BPCs dans leurs appareils.
Pour lire le communiqué de presse, veuillez cliquer ici.
Pour plus d’informations sur les BPC, veuillez cliquer ici.
Just last month we announced our plans to improve our compliance tools that help organizations audit on iPads and monitor legislation and standards for important changes. Here is a short update on our progress! Prefer a video update? Take a look at our new video overview here or on Youtube here.
Today, Nimonik is thrilled to announce a new version of EHS Audit Mobile for iPad and iPhone. This new version has a new rebuilt synchronization system for large complex regulatory audits and for teams of inspectors. Each audit question can now contain multiple photos and multiple audio recordings, auditors can annotate each photo, give weights and scores to each question and then send beautiful reports to your colleagues.
The app is free and you can download it here.
On the EHS Audit website, you will soon be able to conduct comparative analysis of your facilities, audits and corrective actions with new reporting tools to be launched in December. Also, with our new weighted audit questions feature and numerical statuses, you can calculate scores and create metrics for your compliance efforts!
Need to conduct international EHS legal compliance audits? Nimonik has you covered in Canada, the United States, the UK and more countries. Contact us about our legal compliance audit protocols, we would be happy to help you stay compliant.
Please give us a call at 1-888-608-7511 to set-up a personal demonstration.
P.S. Want a free iPad mini? Learn more here.
Contact us at email@example.com or at 1-888-608-7511
Nimonik is growing the EHS Tracker database with more Alberta laws, regulations, rules and compliance templates. Last year, significant changes were announced for Alberta’s regulation of energy developments. The Responsible Energy Development Act (SA2012,cR-17.3) (“the Act”) was introduced by Alison Redford’s government and promptly received royal assent. If all goes to plan, the Act is expected to come into full force by years’ end. The main intent of this Act is to simplify the approval process for oil, natural gas, oil sands and coal projects. It also replaces the Energy Resources Conservation Act. In doing so, it will merge the regulatory functions previously administered by the (now de-funct) Energy Resources Conservation Board and some functions of the Alberta Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development and Alberta Energy into one single regulating agency: the Alberta Energy Regulator: (AER).
The objective of the AER is to provide regulatory oversight of Alberta’s energy development projects. Once fully developed, it will be involved in an energy operation’s full cycle of events: from application of authorization to development and eventual decommissioning. You can read more about the application process here. The AER is already responsible for the administration of laws, such as: the Oil Sands Conservation Act (RSA2000,cO-7), the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (RSA2000,cO-6). As well as administering a variety of regulations, including the Pipeline Regulation (Alta.Reg.91/2005) and the Oil Sands Conservation Regulation (Alta.Reg.76/1988). When the remaining parts of the Responsible Energy Development Act come into force, certain elements of the following Acts will also be administered by the AER, the: Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (RSA2000,cE-12), Water Act (RSA2000,cW-3) and the Public Lands Act (RSA2000,cP-40).
So what’s new at EHS Tracker and EHS Audit?
EHS Tracker already hosts and tracks changes to a variety of environment, health & safety legislation to help companies to stay compliant. What’s new is that we are tracking many new Alberta Energy Regulator Directives (“the Directives”). The AER Directives, over 80 and counting, are documents that describe how the AER requirements are to be implemented. They can additionally serve as guidelines for operations. The AER states “all licensees, permittees, and other approval holders under the jurisdiction of the AER are required to obey all directives” ( [accessed October 24, 2013]. You can view the Directives, hosted on EHS Tracker, here.
Having access and tracking changes to Directives are the first step, but operations need to understand how the Directives apply to their operations. Luckily, Nimonik and our partner Conformance Check, can help with that: we host audit templates, specifically for the petroleum sector. These guide users through a variety useful AER Directives, noting all relevant actions to be taken to ensure compliance. To view these templates, go to EHS Audit and search for “Petroleum”.
The AER is in its’ infancy and is yet to be fully developed and operational. At the same time, national and international pressure is mounting for changes to Alberta’s environment, health and safety regulatory landscape. Oil and gas operators are especially advised to stay vigilant of their evolving obligations.
As the founder of Nimonik, I wanted to offer you a sneak peak of our projects for the upcoming year. At Nimonik, we believe in simple and powerful software and in 2014, EHS Tracker, EHS Audit and EHS Audit Mobile will all be upgraded to make compliance simpler.
Nimonik’s products are designed to help you ensure end-to-end compliance for legal requirements, corporate obligations and industry standards. In 2013, too many companies still use email, Excel documents, and informal mechanisms for ensuring compliance, which increases operational risks.
Since we launched Nimonik in 2008, we have worked with companies around the world and learnt a tremendous amount about improving compliance from the boardroom to the shop floor. Based on your feedback we continue to improve our products. Your requests are absolutely essential to the development of new features, so please keep the comments, ideas and suggestions coming! Here is a quick overview of the updates we have planned, for more details, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 1-888-608-7511.
Over the next year, we will simplify our tools to quickly understand legislative changes, assign responsibility and monitor progress of review. Some features we will roll out over the next year include the following.
- Section by section updates with easy navigation to understand exact legislative changes;
- A new Notifications center that keeps you on-track with all compliance items that need your attention;
- Improved control of user rights to access Legal Registers, Files, and Audits; and
- A tool to quickly identify relevant legislation that you might want to track in your register.
EHS Audit is constantly being improved, our aim is to help you audit quickly and powerfully across your operations. When the technology disappears in your hands and you see only your audit, we know we are on the right path. Here are a few features we will roll out over the next year include the following.
- Richer reporting tools to compare audits and facilities by time, by audit template and by location;
- Scoring systems to measure your audit results;
- Drag and drop addition of photos and audio recordings to audit questions; and
- “Smart” Audits with the ability to skip questions and pull up reference material.
EHS Audit Mobile
EHS Audit has been completely rebuilt to handle much larger audits conducted by big teams of auditors and inspectors. These changes delayed some feature releases, but we will soon be issuing an update to the software and you can expect more updates over the coming year to help you audit quickly in the field. Some features we will roll out over the next year include the following.
- Multiple photos and audio recordings per audit question;
- Annotate your photos;
- GPS tag all events during an audit;
- Score and weight your audit questions;
- Issue corrective actions right on your iPad; and
- Access live links to legislation, reference material and other documentation.
Canada has great environmental laws, but does not apply them
It's no secret that Canadian industry pollutes. Due to our large-resource rich land mass and cold winters, we are amongst largest consumers of energy and biggest emitters of greenhouse gases – per capita. Yet, we have both strong government and strong environmental laws, so what’s wrong? The principal issue is that we do not seem to have the will to enforce those laws.
Whereas the United States has a centralized and freely available database of environmental infractions, Canada's reporting of environmental infractions is sparse at best. No provincial or federal government offers an open database of environmental infractions – let alone the inspection status, warnings and other pertinent information. If an environmental law is broken and no one inspects, was there ever an infraction?
A recent report on the Alberta regulatory system for the Oil Sands industry revealed less than 1% of potential environmental infractions were followed up on by government authorities. The Alberta government was quick to retort that they have some of the best laws in the world, great! But, if no one applies them do they matter?
Nimonik conducted an analysis of Federal and Provincial environmental fines between 2000 and 2009 and found equally damning evidence of a lack of interest in applying our laws. Why bother when, for example, in Québec we only follow up on less than half of reported and identified major environmental infractions, we don't publish results of inspections and some infractions last more than twenty years before correction. All that and more is available in the Québec’s auditor general's report back in 2012 and again in the more recent 2013 one.
One might hope that the Federal government would perform better at inspection and follow-up, but alas no. Eco Justice, an Ottawa based legal organization that fights for the environment, outlined in 2012 the flagrant lack of inspections, follow-up and public information on environmental enforcement (report). We might hope that with our educated population, healthy government budgets and dynamic industries, we could actually apply our existing environmental laws and regulations. I know, crazy idea.
Canada has much to be proud of, but our lack of regard for our environmental impacts is not excusable. They used to say the solution to pollution was dilution. While that might no longer be the case, Canada, with its massive land mass seems content to let companies and organizations infringe on existing environmental law, hurt local communities and continue to pollute without much to worry about. Of course, enforcement is not a magic wand, but as any experienced criminal will tell you, the threat of enforcement is real and meaningful. Let's change things – let us publish inspections, follow-ups and warnings so that companies are pressured to improve their environmental performance – good companies who believe in environmental responsibility will be rewarded and poor performance will be improved!