Commissioner's Directive

Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development


  • Ensure compliance with applicable environmental protection legislation
  • Contribute to the conservation of natural resources by reducing the adverse environmental impacts of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) activities consistent with the concept of sustainable development


Applies to staff members that have roles and responsibilities in activities subject to environmental legislation, Internal Services Directives (318 series) and the Sustainable Development Strategy commitments for facilities owned by CSC


  1. The Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services, is responsible for publishing Internal Services Directives (ISD) on environmental management and protection as well as other instructions, to ensure compliance with federal acts, regulations and standards. The Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services, will also prepare a Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) every three years to continually improve CSC’s environmental performance.
  2. The Director General, Technical Services and Facilities, with the support of the Senior Directors, will ensure that any adverse environmental impacts of CSC activities are minimized or mitigated.
  3. The Director, Environmental Protection, will:
    1. provide scientific, technical and operational advice to ensure environmental compliance with federal acts, regulations and standards
    2. develop, implement and support corporate environmental protection programs, initiatives and internal policies as well as the Sustainable Development Strategy.
  4. The Regional Deputy Commissioners will:
    1. support the necessary actions for any environmental compliance and performance issues
    2. invite, twice each fiscal year, the Regional Coordinator, Environmental Protection, to the Regional Management Committee (RMC) to present a status update on the environmental protection programs and the Sustainable Development Strategy.
  5. The Chief Executive Officer of Corcan will ensure that new projects comply with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), and current operations meet the applicable requirements as stated in federal environmental legislation and CSC’s internal policies.
  6. The Chief Audit Executive (in collaboration with the Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services), will ensure that audits of the Internal Services Directives on environmental protection are periodically performed.
  7. The Institutional Heads, the Assistant District Directors, Management Services, and their delegates will advance the environmental protection and sustainable development agendas by actively supporting the implementation, maintenance and monitoring of environmental compliance measures and performance initiatives.
  8. The Regional Administrators, Technical Services, the Regional Managers, Engineering and Maintenance, and the Chiefs, Facilities Management, must ensure that CSC’s infrastructure is maintained and construction projects are managed to meet environmental compliance and performance expectations.
  9. The Environmental Protection staff, whether located at the institution, Regional Headquarters or National Headquarters, will provide to all stakeholders with regard to environmental legislation, internal policies and the Sustainable Development Strategy:
    1. guidance (e.g. provide interpretation on environmental compliance/performance)
    2. active assistance (e.g. collaborate in project implementation)
    3. support (e.g. conduct environmental risk analysis and recommend measures).

Environmental Management Committees

  1. The Institutional Head, in coordination with the Assistant Warden, Management Services, the Chief, Facilities Management, the Regional Coordinator, Environmental Protection, and the Institutional Environmental Officer will:
    1. establish a permanent Environmental Management Committee (EMC) for the institution. The EMC must hold at least one meeting per fiscal year
    2. establish a subcommittee of the EMC that will hold quarterly meetings
    3. produce, by March 31, a summarized annual report indicating the progress achieved during the previous fiscal year and submit it to the Regional Coordinator, Environmental Protection.

Environmental Records

  1. The Chiefs, Facilities Management, will maintain environmental files on site, in line with regional record keeping processes, which will meet the following requirements:
    1. the official paper and electronic filing system must follow the designated Information Classification Plan (ICP) for environmental records under series 590 (refer to Annex B)
    2. all paper documents must be kept on site for at least five years from their date of publication or longer as per legislative requirements. The electronic documents also have to remain available for the above-mentioned period.

Environmental Emergencies

  1. If significant quantities of hazardous materials are stored on site, with the exception of petroleum products in registered storage tank systemsFootnote 1 or halocarbonsFootnote 2, the Chiefs, Facilities Management, and all unit heads (including Corcan), will ensure that an environmental risk analysis or study is conducted and, where applicable, that a specific Environmental Emergency Plan for managing potential spills is prepared.
  2. The risk analysis and the Environmental Emergency Plan must be prepared using the methodology outlined in ISD 318-8 – Environmental Management of Petroleum Storage Tank Systems and be updated annually.
  3. If any significant leak and/or spill of hazardous materials is released into the surrounding environment, with the exception of petroleum products in registered storage tank systems or halocarbons, the Chiefs, Facilities Management, will:
    1. follow the established Environmental Emergency Plan
    2. document the relevant circumstances surrounding the incident and the steps taken by promptly completing an Environmental Incident Report (CSC/SCC 1265-03)
    3. ensure that the Environmental Incident Report is submitted to the Regional Coordinator, Environmental Protection, or the assigned Institutional Environmental Officer
    4. where applicable, consult the Regional Coordinator, Environmental Protection, or the assigned Institutional Environmental Officer, who will prepare and submit a written report to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
    5. in the event of an environmental emergency or a significant environmental incident (major release), advise immediately by telephone the federal and provincial authorities (refer to Annex C) of the region where the incident occurred, as well as a CSC’s Communication and Engagement Sector representative.

Contaminated Sites

  1. When contaminated sites are suspected on CSC properties, Facilities Management and Environmental Protection staff must be informed (email: in order to ensure that the contaminated sites management process is carried out in accordance with the standardized federal approach.



Original Signed by:

Don Head




ISD 318-2 – Energy and Water Conservation
ISD 318-4 – Environmental Management of Halocarbons
ISD 318-6 – Management of Wastewater and Wastewater Treatment Systems
ISD 318-7 – Environmental Management of Waste
ISD 318-8 – Environmental Management of Petroleum Storage Tank Systems
GL 318-10 – Drinking Water Quality Management
ISD 318-11 – Federal Environmental Assessment of Projects

Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) of the Correctional Service of Canada
Applicable environmental provincial acts and regulations (such as treatment of wastewater)
Treasury Board Directive on Recordkeeping


Adverse environmental impacts: any negative change or harmful effect to the natural environment including degradation of soil, water or air and reduction of flora and fauna and their habitat.

Contaminated site : a location at which soils and/or sediments are contaminated by substances (chemical, organic or radioactive) that are above exceeding levels specified in applicable legislation and guidelines and/or that pose a current or imminent threat to human health and/or the environment. In CSC, contaminated sites are usually a legacy from historic activities.

Contaminated site management: the process used to identify, assess and clean up a contaminated site based on the applicable risks.

Delegate : in CSC’s governance structure (shared accountability), a representative that is designated to accomplish a specific duty via the direct reporting line, a functional line or a service level agreement (SLA). At the institutional level, the environmental portfolio is usually assigned to the Assistant Warden, Management Services (AWMS). For every district, the environmental portfolio is typically the responsibility of the Assistant District Director, Management Services (ADDMS).

Environmental emergency: the accidental release of a toxic substance or hazardous material into the environment that requires a rapid response to limit the negative impacts; or the reasonable likelihood of such a release that may affect human health and/or the environment.

Environmental Emergency Plan (EEP): a procedure to minimize and mitigate the adverse environmental impacts through rapid response to incidents involving release of contaminants in the environment. The EEP is typically integrated in the Institutional Contingency Plan.

Environmental Management Committee (EMC): a permanent committee established at each institution or complex by the Institutional Head, which is responsible for making improvements in environmental management. The EMC shall include, at a minimum, representatives from Management Services, Facilities Management (Technical Services), Corcan, Food Services, Institutional Services, Security, Environmental Protection, and the Aboriginal community when on Aboriginal land.

Hazardous materials: any materials listed in the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and which by their nature are potentially hazardous to human health and/or the environment. Hazardous materials may be explosive, gaseous, flammable, toxic, radioactive, corrosive, combustible or leachable.

Major release: an incident involving the release of 100 litres/kilograms or more of hazardous materials into the environment.

Regional Management Committee: a committee that is chaired by the Regional Deputy Commissioner with members representing each institution/district and regional sector heads which typically meets once a month to discuss and action any management issues/items.

Significant quantities: depending on the toxicity and the concentration of the hazardous material involved, 100 litres/kilograms are generally considered as thresholds.

Stakeholders : in CSC’s governance structure, stakeholders typically include Institutional Heads, Assistant Wardens, Management Services, Assistant Deputy Commissioners, Integrated Services, Regional Administrators, Technical Services, Regional Managers, Engineering and Maintenance, Regional Managers, Facility Planning, Chiefs, Facilities Management, Director General, Technical Services and Facilities, Assistant District Directors, Management Services, Corcan management, and the Aboriginal community when on Aboriginal land.

Sustainable Development Strategy: a departmental planning document that considers environmental, social and economical aspects, typically prepared on a three year cycle, that sets goals and commitments/targets for responsible environmental management of operational activities



590-0 Environmental Policy
590-1 Environmental Management System (EMS)
590-2 Energy Conservation and Greenhouse Gases (GHG)
590-3 Water Conservation
590-4 Solid Waste
590-5 Hazardous Waste
590-6 Environmental Emergency Plans
590-7 Halocarbons
590-8 Petroleum Storage Tanks
590-9 Wastewater
590-10 Contaminated Sites
590-11 Environmental Assessments
590-12 Composting
590-13 Recycling
590-14 Smog – VOCs
590-15 Acid Rain – NOx and SOx Emissions
590-16 Hazardous Materials
590-17 Green Procurement
590-18 Pesticides
590-19 Fertilizers
590-20 Drinking Water Quality
590-21 Environmental Management Committees
590-22 Environmental Budget
590-23 Staffing
590-24 Environmental Training
590-25 Environmental Compliance
590-26 Environmental References
590-27 Alternative Fuels
590-28 Environmental Performance Reporting
590-29 Environmental Audits
590-30 Miscellaneous
590-31 Administration
590-32 Corcan

NOTE: The definitive list for environmental records is available on the page of the Information Classification Plan (section Administration, subsection Buildings and Properties, 590 – Environmental Protection).



In the event of an environmental emergency incident (pollution), provincial authorities need to be notified. These authorities will inform Environment and Climate Change Canada of the notifications. Call the 24-hour telephone number below for the region in which the event occurred.

Alberta Ministry of Environment
Telephone: 780-422-4505 or 1-800-222-6514

British Columbia
British Columbia Emergency Management
Ministry of Justice
Telephone: 1-800-663-3456

Manitoba Department of Conservation
Telephone: 204-944-4888 (collect calls accepted within province)

New Brunswick
Maritimes Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Telephone: 902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633

Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Telephone: 709-772-2083 or 1-800-563-9089

Nova Scotia
Maritimes Regional Office
Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Telephone: 902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633

Spills Action Centre
Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Telephone: 416-325-3000 or 1-800-268-6060

National Environmental Emergencies Centre
Environment Canada
Telephone: 514-283-2333 or 1-866-283-2333

Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment
Telephone: 1-800-667-7525


Footnote 1

The procedures applicable to the storage of petroleum products (including spills) are outlined in ISD 318-8 – Environmental Management of Petroleum Storage Tank Systems.

Return to footnote 1


Footnote 2

The procedures applicable to halocarbon containing equipment (including leaks and releases) are outlined in ISD 318-4 – Environmental Management of Halocarbons

Return to footnote 2

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.