February 13, 2006

Yukon special waste carriers to require new transport permit

The Yukon Environment Department has introduced a new special waste transportation permit to help companies protect themselves and the environment if an accident or mishap results in transported special waste being spilled onto the land or into waters.

Territorial Environment Minister Dennis Fentie said the new permit, issued under the Special Waste Regulations, will be required for all transportation companies or individuals operating in Yukon transporting dangerous goods no longer used for their original purpose. These goods include waste oil, used batteries, used antifreeze, leftover solvents, cleaners, paints and pesticides in quantities exceeding specified limits (in most cases, five litres or kilograms of liquid or solid material).

This is the first mechanism aimed at ensuring that drivers, shippers and receivers understand the hazards associated with special wastes. Existing regulations and codes have focused on driver training and vehicle safety.

The new permitting process provides clear directions on what companies and individuals need to do when they contract their services to transport special wastes originating within Yukon. Permits are not required to transport these wastes through or into the territory, as those shipments are subject to the requirements of the originating jurisdiction. Also, individuals wishing to transport household special wastes to a facility that is allowed to handle them do not need this new permit.

Companies applying for the permit will be required to show that they have at least $2 million in liability insurance to pay for cleanup costs. They will also have to provide a list of special wastes commonly carried and will need to file an approved spill response plan that addresses the types of waste being carried. Similar requirements are in place in British Columbia and Alberta.

These requirements will ensure that the company is prepared to handle a spill emergency and minimize any environmental damage, and that cleanup costs will be covered by the responsible party's insurance rather than taxpayer funds. Permits will be issued for a three-year renewable term. Companies covered by the new permit requirement will have until April 3, 2006 to apply for their permit.

More information about the Special Waste Transportation Permit is available from the department's environmental programs branch, 867/667-5683, FAX 867/393-6205, E-mail envprot@gov.yk.ca, Web site www.environmentyukon.gov.yk.ca/pdf/SW14TransportationofSpecialWastes.pdf.

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