Compliance – Manufacturing

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

Canadian Operations


A sawmill we recently purchased in British Columbia received a warning letter following a Ministry of Environment inspection due to unauthorized air emissions sources. The issue was recognized when the mill was purchased so an application had been submitted several months prior to the inspection for an amendment to the air permit to include all current sources. The final amendment application is under review by the ministry. When it is approved, all current air discharges with be authorized.

Another sawmill had a marginal exceedance on an energy system stack emissions test. The system was shut down for inspection and cleaning, and subsequently passed the retest.

A short-term exceedance of the opacity limit was reported to Alberta Environment at a CHP (combined heat and power) facility. However, the report was needed only if the 24-hour average opacity was over the limit, and this was not the case.


Discharge sample results from oil-water separators at three sawmills indicated total extractable hydrocarbon levels exceeded permit limits. All three mills had been performing regular inspections and maintenance on the systems prior to discharge sampling. Systems were cleaned out and retested, and subsequently tested within compliance. Inspection schedules and sampling protocol will be reviewed to prevent reoccurrences.


There were two reportable spills of thermal oil at sawmills in 2017. In both cases, appropriate regulatory agencies were notified promptly.

At one sawmill, an above-ground thermal oil line was struck by a forklift mast. The oil that spilled was contained to an area covered by asphalt, cleaned up and disposed of with a licensed waste firm. Internal follow-up investigations and preventive actions were completed.

At another sawmill, an underground thermal oil line ruptured. Excavation of impacted soil for treatment was completed. Follow-up investigative environmental drilling indicated that the remaining impact to soil and groundwater was localized. The ruptured line was replaced and encased in a protective culvert to prevent reoccurrence. Remedial activities will continue in 2018.  


At one sawmill, a British Columbia Ministry of Environment inspection noted unauthorized waste in the landfill consisting of concrete and rebar. The concrete and rebar were removed from the landfill.


US Operations

In response to a 2016 compliance issue regarding boiler particulate exceedances, we continue to upgrade our drying production equipment with the installation of a continuous dry kilns. These kilns do not have to meet US EPA Boiler MACT Standards, and operate utilizing much less wood-waste fuel and fewer emissions overall.