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Linking to Policy and Decision Making

Environment Canada's Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate’s air quality research supports federal government air quality policies and regulatory initiatives. At the basis of these activities, the research and science provides sound science to support the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), the cornerstone of the Government of Canada's environmental legislation.

In addition to providing sound science support to Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999(CEPA 1999), Environment Canada's air quality research contributes to a number of key policies and programs:

The research and monitoring programs support Canada's Clean Air Regulatory Agenda by providing scientific and technical knowledge, data, information and expertise on air pollutants and by supporting the development, implementation and reporting on air quality regulations.

The air toxics research and monitoring efforts support the federal Chemicals Management Plan by generating scientific and technical knowledge, information, data and techniques to facilitate the assessment and management of risk associated with atmospheric releases of chemical substances in commercial use.

The research results and monitoring data are used by other decision-makers. For example, air quality research supports national approaches to issues, such as the Canada-Wide Acid Rain Strategy, and many reference methods are incorporated into Canada-Wide Standards which provide harmonized regulatory frame­works for the management of specific pollutants.

Research and development carried out by Environment Canada's air quality research experts contributes to the Department's Science Plan by: developing more comprehensive and integrated air quality and atmospheric prediction models and air quality monitoring systems; understanding trends, projects and scenarios for atmospheric and air quality changes; and developing tools to increase our ability to assess the risks and opportunities arising from existing atmospheric and air quality stressors.

The expertise and science and technolology activities also support key national programs such as the Air Quality Health Index by developing air quality forecasting techniques and conducting real-time air quality monitoring.