Compliance – Manufacturing

Canfor was in substantial compliance with regulatory requirements at its manufacturing facilities with the following exceptions:

Canadian Operations


An inspection by the BC Ministry of Environment identified an unauthorized air emission source at one sawmill. An application to authorize the dust control cyclone had been submitted to MOE some months earlier. The sawmill in question has since been closed permanently.

An MOE inspection at another mill resulted in an advisory letter for failure to suppress road dust on the mill site. Details of the mill’s dust suppression program were submitted to the MOE. A public complaint regarding road dust generated at another mill resulted in an advisory letter from the MOE. The mill conducted road watering and the MOE was advised of plans to upgrade dust control measures.

Due to an oversight, one sawmill submitted a compliant energy system stack testing report one month after the required submission date. We are establishing compliance calendars for each operation to minimize the likelihood of such incidents.

The MOE issued an advisory letter to a sawmill after woody debris containing oil cleaned up after a debarker hydraulic oil spill was burned in the mill energy system. The mill reported the spill and submitted a request to MOE for approval to burn the material but acted before receiving approval. Canfor has reinforced with mill environmental coordinators the necessity of obtaining appropriate approvals in advance.

Another sawmill received an advisory letter when the 2014 annual report submitted to the MOE indicated the authorized operating hours for one of the lumber dry kilns had been exceeded by 178 hours. A permit amendment to extend the operating hours of the kiln has since been issued. 

At a CHP (combined heat and power) facility, high moisture content fuel and general fuel quality issues led to numerous carbon monoxide emission exceedances in January and February. We are looking at ways to reduce snow and ice in biomass fuel coming over the belt from the adjacent sawmill. In June there were two hours of carbon monoxide exceedances when slag fell from the roof of the combustor, smothering the fire. Furnace inspection and cleaning practices have been reviewed to prevent a recurrence. At the CHP facility the continuous opacity meter was available for 88% of the facility operating time versus the 90% authorization minimum due to malfunction of the meter and delay in obtaining replacement parts over the Christmas period. The meter has been repaired, and is working properly.


At one mill, annual oil water separator samples were not collected in 2015 as required by permit. When the oversight was realized, winter had set in and there was no discharge from the separators to sample. Development of a regulatory calendar will help ensure samples are collected in a timely manner.

At another mill a firewater berm breach resulted in release of water over the frozen lake and creek bed below temporarily flooding the local highway. An upgraded dam structure meeting BC Dam Safety Program requirements has been constructed, which will minimize the likelihood of a recurrence.


There were three reportable spills at sawmills in 2015 – one when a contractor was tying in a thermal oil line for a new lumber dry kiln, another in a logyard due to a broken hydraulic hose on a log stacker, and the third due to vibration and breakage of a debarker hydraulic oil line. All three incidents were contained and cleaned up. Appropriate regulatory agencies were notified promptly, and internal follow-up investigations and preventive actions completed. 

At one sawmill, an MOE inspection identified signs of spillage at the waste oil storage facility. The small quantity of hydrocarbon-stained soil was cleaned up and appropriately disposed. 


At one mill, an MOE inspection identified wood residue accumulation issues. A wood residue management plan was developed for the site and submitted to the ministry. At another mill, MOE identified that woody debris on the landfill had not been compacted and intermediate cover not been applied. Landfill management practices have been reinforced with the mill in question.

US Operations

One of our US South operations was assessed a $16,000 penalty in 2014 for 2013 boiler opacity and particulate exceedances that were missed in our 2014 sustainability report compliance reporting. In addition, a missed stack testing deadline resulted in a letter of notice from the state. At the same mill in 2015, a letter of contravention was issued and an $8,000 penalty was assessed for boiler opacity exceedances. New emission control equipment installed for the boiler has achieved compliance.