REPORT FROM THE CANADA-CHILE COMMISSION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION (2002)
Canada`s Minister for the Environment
Chile`s National Commission for the Environment
The main objectives of Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (CCAEC) are: to foster the protection and enhancement of the environment in both countries; to promote sustainable development policies; and to promote transparency and public participation in the development and improvement of environmental laws, regulations, policies and practices.
The CCAEC also provides for the preparation of an Annual Report by the Commission and specifies a range of areas that the report must cover. These include both the activities of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation established under the CCAEC and the actions taken by each Party in connection with its obligations under the Agreement, including reporting on enforcement activities.
The Annual Report addresses the following:
- Section I:
Report of the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC)
- Section II:
Canadian and Chilean government country reports highlighting significant actions taken during the year 2000 to fulfill each Party’s specific obligations under the Agreement
- Section III:
Report on the cooperative activities and expenses of the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation since June 2000.
- Section IV:
Report on Submissions on Enforcement Matters
- Section V:
an overview of the Canada-Chile Agreement and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and a report of the work carried out by the National Secretariats
On October 3-4, 2000, the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) organized a seminar in Santiago, Chile on "Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making in Chile and Canada". Four key themes were discussed throughout the seminar: Public Participation in Environmental Management, Strengthening Civil Society for Environmental Management; The role of civil society in monitoring, assessment and oversight of environmental regulations and policies; and Public participation and Environmental disputes. These themes were discussed by knowledgeable professionals from the public and private sector at an event representing over sixty people representing government, non-governmental organizations, academia and others. The activity was separated into presentation and breakout sessions where detailed discussions took place on the themes.
In addition to the workshop on public participation, the JPAC met several times via conference call to discuss issues related to the implementation of the Agreement.
ARTICLE 2 - GENERAL COMMITMENTS
Article 2(1)(a) - State of the Environment Reports
Two reports were published under the federal government’s new Vision for State of the Environment (SOE) Reporting in 2000. Environment Canada produced Ecological Assessment of the Boreal Shield Ecozone, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada published The Health of Our Water -- Toward Sustainable Agriculture in Canada. SOE reports serve two key purposes: to report to Canadians on environmental issues and ecosystems of national significance; and to foster the use of science in policy and decision-making.
Each report satisfies the content and presentation guidelines for the federal government’s reporting program described in the New Vision for SOE Reporting under the five Natural Resource Departments (5NR) Memorandum of Understanding on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development. These reports are accessible in print and on the Internet at www.ec.gc.ca/soer-ree/English/National/soeass.cfm (see also res2.agr.ca/research-recherche/science/Healthy_Water/toc.html for the Agriculture report).
Three other Environment Canada SOE reports were largely completed by the end of 2000, for publication in the first half of 2001:
- Tracking Key Environmental Issues;
- The State of Municipal Wastewater Effluents in Canada; and
- Nutrients in the Canadian Environment -- This report will accompany the science assessment Nutrients and Their Impact on the Canadian Environment, which will also be published in 2001.
Statistics Canada published an SOE-related report, Human Activity and the Environment 2000, which provides a statistical picture of Canada's environment with special emphasis on human activities and their relationship to ecosystems such as: air, water, soil, plants, and animals. This report is available as a package --book and CD-ROM. See www.statcan.ca/english/ads/11-509-XPE/ for further information.
The State of the Great Lakes Ecosystem Conference (SOLEC) produced two background papers for its 2000 Conference: Selection of Indicators for Great Lakes Bas Ecosystem Health (March 2000), and SOLEC 2000 - Implementing Indicators (November 2000).
One new bulletin in Canada’s National Environmental Indicator Series was published in 2000: Environmental Sustainability of Canada’s Agricultural Soils. The National Environmental Indicators Series is available in hard copy, and electronically on the State of Canada’s Environment Infobase web site www.ec.gc.ca/soer-ree/English/National/IndWelc.cfm. New and updated regional environmental indicators are posted on Environment Canada’s Pacific and Yukon Region Environmental Indicators website www.ecoinfo.org/env_ind.
The State of Canada's Environment Infobase
The State of Canada’s Environment Infobase website on Environment Canada’s Green Lane (www.ec.gc.ca/soer-ree/), operational for the past five years, continues to evolve and provides access to an increasingly broad range of environmental and ecological information and reports. The web site provides access to: SOE reports; Canada’s National Environmental Indicator Series; the National Ecological Framework; and environment-related Tools, including electronic links to: the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment (EMAN) Network; Pacific and Yukon Region’s environmental indicators, 5NR SOE-related products, and provincial, territorial, and some international agency documents related to SOE Reporting.
Sustainable Community Indicators
The Sustainable Community Indicators interactive software package was released in June 2000. It is designed to help communities develop indicators, monitor their progress towards sustainable development and facilitate the exchange of indicator-related information. In response to client reactions, plans for more flexible tools, directly available on the Internet, have been developed. Further information can be found on the Environment Canada website at: www.ec.gc.ca/scip-pidd.
National Water Quality Index
After testing and refining the index, the Water Quality Index Technical Subcommittee of Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s (CCME) Water Quality Guidelines Task Group produced the Canadian Water Quality Index Technical Report in March 2000.
In August 2000, Minister Anderson invited top level experts with diverse backgrounds to form a Task Force to advise him on a design and implementation strategy for a Canadian Information System for the Environment. The mandate of the Task Force was to develop plans for a demand driven information system that could meet three specific goals: to enable informed public policy decisions; to provide accountability to citizens concerning the management of Canada's environment; and, to enable citizens and civil society to make informed decisions which include environmental implications. An interim report from the Task Force was provided to the Minister in May, 2001. This report was used as the basis for wide consultations.
Wild Species 2000 provides an overview of the status of Canada's species. It brings the results of Provincial, Territorial, and Federal monitoring efforts onto a single platform for the first time. This report is the first of a series, with others to be released every five years. This is the commitment of all of Canada's Ministers responsible for wildlife in the Accord for the Protection of Species.
In this first report are the general status assessments for a broad cross-section of over 1 600 Canadian species, from all provinces, territories, and ocean regions. In addition to the written report, datasets are available on a companion CD and on the website http://www.wildspecies/ca where the following are available: a report card to all Canadians; a guide indicating where more information is needed; an effective tool for improved conservation; and a testament to the cooperative will of Canadians to protect wild species.
In the month of August 2000, the Conservation Branch – Quebec Region made public (among others, on the Internet) the Biodiversity Portrait of the St. Lawrence. This portrait summarizes the knowledge acquired over more than thirty (30) years on the St. Lawrence fauna and flora. This piece of work elaborated within the framework of the St. Lawrence Action Plan Vision 2000 (SLAP) is unique in Canada to this day. It is both a decision-making tool in terms of conservation and sustainable development and an exceptional teaching tool.
Article 2(1)(b) - Environmental Emergency Preparedness Measures
Environmental Emergency Plans for Toxic Substances:
Under the new Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA, 1999) proclaimed in 1999, once a substance is declared "toxic" to human health or to the environment, the Ministers of health and the environment have new authorities to manage these toxic substances. This ministerial action can take several forms, including regulations, pollution prevention plans, environmental emergency plans, guidelines, codes of practice and economic instruments.
A plan under Section 199 of CEPA 1999 represents one of the important components of a comprehensive emergencies management framework and will assist in reducing gaps in or between federal and provincial legislation for the prevention of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from an environmental emergency. However, environmental emergency plans will not be required for all substances which have been declared toxic under CEPA. Rather, the process to determine which substances require an environmental emergency plan involves the review of substance specific data such as the quantity in commerce or storage, toxicity of the substance, spill frequency and severity, and whether or not the risks posed by an uncontrolled, unplanned, or accidental release of the substance are being adequately managed.
To date, guidelines for the Implementation of the Environmental Emergency Planning Provisions of Part 8 of CEPA 1999 have been published. Parties who may be required to prepare and implement environmental emergency plans will have to submit two declarations to the Minister the first stating that an environmental emergency plan has been prepared and is being implemented, and the second stating that the implementation of the environmental emergency plan has been completed. These declarations will be posted on the CEPA Registry where they will be available for public review.
Business Plan for the Environmental Emergencies Program:
After consultation with all stakeholders the implementation of the Environmental Emergencies Program Mandate Renewal is well underway. HQ/Regional Working Groups have been formed to implement each initiative identified in the business plan and the progress is being monitored. The current program activities are reviewed against mandated responsibilities and strategies are developed to take advantage of efficiencies and alternative service delivery opportunities. The objective is to build capacity for the next five years to address gaps and vulnerabilities in the existing capacity to effectively deliver the program.
Emergency Simulation Drills
During the coverage period, two emergency simulation drills were held by the EPB – Quebec Region, together with the local intervention community (municipalities, industries, fire and police departments, etc.) and with government partners (Coast Guard, Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans). A drill took place in May 2000 with the Groupe Alliance 2000 on the hydrocarbon handling facilities of IMTT Company in Quebec City and the other one, in June 2000, with the Montreal Pipeline company in Boucherville.
Article 2(1)(c) - Environmental Education
Environment Canada has been engaged in a nation-wide consultation with environmental educators to determine how best to respond to the commitments made by Canada for Chapter 36 of Agenda 21: Promoting Education, Public Awareness and Training. Over 5000 Canadians have participated in this process and Environment Canada is leading in the drafting of a broad-based multi-stakeholder national framework on environmental education and sustainability, with a view to tabling action plans from all supporters at the 10th Anniversary of the Rio Summit to be held in Johannesburg in the fall of 2002.
According to its mission, the Biosphère of Environment Canada essentially works at disseminating information and at educating people on the environment, water and ecosystems such as the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. In 2000, the Biosphère held the "Climate Warning!" exhibition aimed at making young and older people aware of global warming on our planet and of its consequences on our lives.
Article 2(1)(d) - Scientific Research and Technology Development
Canada, through the Environmental Technology Centre (ETC), undertook a variety of initiatives:
Federal --provincial National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS) Network for monitoring criteria pollutants SO2, CO, NOx, and O3 and total suspended particulate matter was sustained. Data were also collected on other pollutants, including PM with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 microns (PM10) (using hi-volume, dichotomous, and real-time ‘TEOM’ samplers), PM2.5 (using dichotomous and real-time TEOM samplers), particulate lead, particulate sulphate, nitric oxide, and over 100 organic compounds and over 70 metals and ions.
Stack sampling in support of inventory development and strategic options planning was performed to evaluate greenhouse gas emissions from a variety of sources. The work involved measurement of: emissions from three active landfills in Calgary; gas flaring; waste incineration from "TeePee" burners in Newfoundland; mercury emissions; volatile organic compounds (VOC) from landfills; fine particulate emissions; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) emissions from coal-fired power plants in Alberta; and priority pollutants from federal heating plants in the National Capital Region.
Landfill gas contains numerous aliphatic, aromatic and halogenated compounds. Volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are present in the order of a few hundred ppm, are major precursors for smog formation, while Freons are known ozone-depleting substances. The VOC also contain vinyl chloride and 1,3-butadiene, which are CEPA toxic substances. VOC data have been collected from landfills in western Canada (Calgary, Regina and Saskatoon), the Toronto area, eastern Ontario and the Montreal urban community. A database on emissions has been developed. Development work was undertaken and is still underway for sampling and analytical procedures for other organic compounds of interest such as aldehydes and ketones, sulphur species and mercury.
In support of the Toxic Substance Management Policy (TSMP) on virtual elimination of CEPA Track-1 substances, studies on the Level of Quantification (LOQ) for PCB in stack emissions, ash and landfill gas was completed and a report published. Two emission sources, an enclosed flare burning landfill gas and a bio-medical incinerator, were used to collect the stack samples. The PCB LOQ included the co-planar isomers. The LOQ for hexachlobutadiene (HCBD) was also determined and reported. A study of the LOQ for five (tetra and penta) chorobenzenes is ongoing, and a screening run was conducted to determine the suitability of a combustion sources for the determination of the LOQ.
The effectiveness of flares, engines, turbines and boilers for the destruction of non-methane components of landfill gas was assessed. The study included measurement of VOC and other toxic substances such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and polychlorinated dibenzo dioxins and furans (PCDD/F). Other pollutants of interest include particulate matter, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Measurements were earlier completed at two sites – an 800-kW reciprocating engine in Montreal and a 30-MW boiler in Toronto. Two additional sources were completed this fiscal year – a 900-kW engine in Waterloo and an enclosed flare in the Ottawa-Carleton Region. Some preliminary testing was conducted on a micro-turbine burning landfill gas.
The ETC is providing technical support to CanAmera Foods, a MAPTM (Microwave-Assisted Process) licensee and the world’s largest canola oil manufacturer and Canada’s leading oilseed processing company. BC Research, which also became a MAPTM licensee during the year is supporting the work. The work is aimed at demonstrating the potential use of MAPTM as a low-GHG emitting, "clean" industrial process. The project also aims at providing a substitute to the solvent hexane for canola oil production, which is a GHG contributor.
Laboratory testing was undertaken for a number of collaborative projects that will lead to reductions in emissions of GHG (primarily CO2 and methane) from mobile sources. This work included the second year of the PERD-sponsored cold-start efficiency program, which resulted in the evaluation of a number of technologies designed to reduce cold-start fuel consumption by 10%. Alternative power sources as a Georgetown-University-developed urban bus powered by a fuel cell and a gasoline-electric Toyota Prius were tested over normal operational cycles to determine the energy efficiency and GHG reductions. A fuel emulsion of 20% water and 80% diesel was investigated for potential GHG, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) reductions from medium-speed diesel engines. The results using an International Standards Organisation (ISO) marine engine test indicated the potential for 30% reductions in the regulated exhaust emissions and an average reduction of 10% for CO2.
Research continued on a PERD-sponsored university/government collaborative project to determine the concentration, composition and sources of airborne carbonaceous particles in Canada. Partners included Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Health Canada, National Research Council, Meteorological Service of Canada, and the ETC. This year, the Panel on Energy Research and Development (PERD) accepted the plan for a further four years of funding. The project is now applying the tools developed to generate the knowledge required to evaluate possible fuel and transportation standards and/or codes that may be needed to meet future particulate matter (PM) air quality objectives in Canada. The ETC is conducting the exhaust emissions measurements from transportation sources, and coordinating the analytical method development needed for chemical characterisation of particulate matter emitted from sources and in ambient air. Detailed emissions measurements of a number of advanced technology vehicles (gasoline direct-injection technology and advanced light-duty diesel vehicles) were made in an effort to understand the potential environmental benefits of these fuel-efficient vehicles. Emissions measurements designed to validate sampling and analytical methodologies were also undertaken. New particle-size-distribution-measurement and particle-counting instruments were commissioned and employed.
The state-of-the-art Scanning Laser Environmental Airborne Fluorosensor (SLEAF) prototype sensor was installed in the DC-3 aircraft and de-bugging largely completed on the unit. Specific software and hardware was developed. The earlier-generation Laser Environmental Airborne Fluorosensor (LEAF) was modified to make it available as a backup.
A final report on the first phase of evaluation of potential innovative processes applicable to the Sydney Tar Ponds (STP) was completed, using bench-scale testing on samples from the site. A number of technologies were investigated to determine their effectiveness at targeting and removing selected contaminants from the samples. Technologies were chosen based upon their previous performance at treating similar contamination, in addition to a few novel technologies that have shown promising bench-scale results.
A comprehensive report on applying and interpreting toxicity testing data was finalized and published. The guidance document is relevant to seven Environment Canada programs that use toxicity tests for assessing impacts and regulatory compliance (i.e., CEPA New Substances, CEPA Priority Substances, Ocean Disposal Permitting & Monitoring, Environmental Assessment, Contaminated Sites, Environmental Effects Monitoring, and Environmental Choice).
In a joint program with NRCan, the ETC designed and conducted a testing program to establish the best practices for light-duty vehicle idling, and cold and hot starting for reducing CO2 emissions. The work was conducted in both cold and warm ambient conditions. Additional work is planned for heavy-duty vehicles.
As part of a multi-year collaborative R&D program with Transport Canada and the marine industry, the ETC participated in the exhaust emissions measurement of a medium-speed marine diesel engine that powers the Cabot, a Ro-Ro vessel owned by Oceanex. This is the first stage of a development program to design, fabricate and implement a computer-controlled water injection system to reduce exhaust emissions from this type of heavy-duty engine application.
Flaring is widely employed in Alberta to manage the disposal of waste hydrocarbon products from the oil and natural gas industries. Some of these flares have been identified as sources of odour, smoke and air-quality-related health concerns with local residents. In cooperation with NRCan’s Energy Technology Centre, screening studies were performed at the Flare Test Facility to determine the test parameters for the speciation of flaring emissions. The flare tunnel was designed to simulate the real-world conditions of cross winds under various fuel compositions.
In a joint program with New York State’s Office of Research on Heavy Duty Engine Emissions, the ETC participated in a complete characterization of the exhaust stream from a small fleet of New York City urban buses. New York State scientists set up their fine particulate characterization instrumentation at the ETC laboratory for a detailed analysis of particulate sizing and distribution. At the same time, the ETC collected gaseous sample for VOC, carbonyls, PAH/n-PAH (nitro-PAH), semi-VOC, and specific target compounds. The sampling and analysis was conducted on four buses with and without a Continuous Regenerative Technology (particulate filter) manufactured by Johnson-Matthey.
The ETC provided exhaust emissions field-testing expertise and unique prototype instruments in a collaborative project with the City of Houston and United States Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) to develop a test methodology for conducting emissions testing of off-road vehicles. A general test procedure was developed to measure the exhaust emissions from off-road vehicles while the vehicles were operated under normal in-service conditions. With this procedure, a fleet of 27 different vehicles was tested for emissions. The fleet included fire trucks while pumping water, Gradalls digging ditches, large industrial lawnmowers, street sweepers, and vacuum trucks.
The Great Lakes Bi-national Toxics Strategy (BNS) is a collaborative process by which the Ontario Region of Environment Canada, the US-EPA, and various other stakeholders work towards the goal of virtual elimination of targeted persistent bioaccumulative toxic substances (PBTS) resulting from human activities in the Great Lakes Basin. The primary emphasis of the BNS is to achieve toxic reductions via pollution prevention and other voluntary initiatives. Emission measurements for various PBTS are being undertaken at Ontario industrial facilities under the Great Lakes BNS. The first facility tested under this program was the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where the ETC conducted source testing for various target compounds. These pollutants included PM, metals, PCDD/F, PAH), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), octachlorostyrene (OCS), and VOC. A preliminary survey was also completed at a base metal smelter in Timmins Ontario. Testing on this facility will be completed in the next fiscal year.
Residential wood combustion has been identified as a major source of PCDD/F in the atmosphere. In order to develop a sound reduction strategy, it is necessary to establish the difference in PCDD/F emissions from conventional and certified advanced-combustion stoves. The results of this work are needed to guide to the Canada Wide Standards (CWS) process and to update emissions factors used in calculating air emissions nationally. The testing program was a joint effort between a number of federal and provincial government organizations and industry stakeholders. The main participants included the ETC, the CWS Development Committee, Intertek Testing Services NA Ltd., and the Hearth Products Association of Canada. In addition to PCDD/F, samples of flue gas were collected and analyzed for PAH, VOC, and PM. The final report was released in Feb 2001 and will be posted on the Green Lane.
Both PCDD/F and HCB are Track-1 substances slated for virtual elimination. Industrial sectors/activities identified for the potential development of control options include base metal smelters, electric arc furnaces and sinter plants in the steel manufacturing industry. Since there are no North American stack-testing data for these sources, the Stakeholder Consultation (Strategic Options) Report for the Steel Manufacturing Sector recommended that source testing of representative Canadian operations be performed. In cooperation with the Minerals & Metals (2M) Division of the National Office of Pollution Prevention, the ETC measured emissions from the electric arc furnace at Gerdau Courtice Steel in Cambridge, Ontario. This program also investigated the effects of evaporative cooling on PCDD/F levels at the exit of the bag-house. These results are used to support the PCDD/F inventory for electric arc furnaces and setting Canada-wide Standards. Reviews were conducted of the independent sampling conducted at IPSCO in Regina and Alta Steel in Edmonton. A review was also conducted of US PCDD/F data from sintering plants and electric arc furnaces. A presentation was made at the 2000 National Consultation Workshop on the Development of Environmental Performance Standards for the Steel Sector. Discussions were undertaken with the 2M Division to identify future ETC support for the measurement of Track-1 substances from base metal smelters in Canada.
Research work was conducted on water-in-oil emulsion (‘chocolate mousse’) formation mechanisms. The work focused on the large-scale formation of emulsions including tank tests at the US federal OHMSETT facility in New Jersey. The emulsion formed after the ERIKA spill in France was studied and confirmed the formation mechanisms noted in the laboratory. Some work on the kinetics of emulsion formation was also completed. The data was entered into the Oil Properties database. Four research papers on this work were published in the international AMOP Technical Seminar proceedings or other international oil spill conference proceedings.
Tests have been developed to evaluate the performance of biodegradation agents (both fertilisers and organisms), emulsion-breakers, and emulsion-preventers. The biodegradation tests for both salt and fresh water were finalised and are now broadly accepted. Dispersant research focused on quantifying the performance of several new dispersant formulations entering the market. The test procedure used to measure the laboratory effectiveness of oil spill dispersants became the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) standard procedure. This was by request of the ASTM Committee on Oil Spills.
This new second edition was published of the popular Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Teams (SCAT) manual. It incorporates the experience of recent spill usage, contains new information, and was developed in consultation with the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the Texas Government Land Office, and the California Oil Spill Preparedness & Response organisation to enhance uniformity and compatibility where modifications had occurred due to agency-specific adaptations.
The scientific results on the levels of substances like CO2, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), particulate matter (PM), and carbonyls, in the emissions and residues from meso-scale oil-burn experiments were published. A handbook on in-situ burning of oil spills was also published.
In collaboration with the US Minerals Management Service (USMMS), and sorbent manufacturers and distributors, the performance of a variety of commercial oil sorbents was tested and the results posted in a Sorbents Database on the ETC web site. In addition, in partnership with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), some specialised countermeasures equipment for pumping of heavy oils (annular water injection in 4- & 6-inch hoses) was also tested. Progress continued within the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) forum on the development of protocols for testing sorbents for chemical spills and for the performance-based evaluation of hazardous material and marine spill countermeasures equipment. A state-of-the-art review was completed on containment and recovery equipment used in fast-flowing waters. Additionally, a review and summary report were completed on marine oil/water separator systems.
A report was produced to summarize available spill countermeasure technologies and technology gaps for treating soil contamination caused by six selected CEPA toxics (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, benzene, benzidine, and creosote).
Various technology information transfer steps were taken to promote the increased use in Canada of the ‘green’ MAPTM liquid-phase extraction Reference Method for organic compounds in a variety of matrices that has also been validated and approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Commercial equipment capable of performing the method is available through MAP licensees. The Reference Method is environmentally friendly and requires low solvent consumption (~90% volume reduction) and reduced energy usage (~99% reduction).
In the year 2000, Environment Canada (Quebec Region) implemented pollution prevention programs in areas of national interest such as textiles, aircraft maintenance and dry cleaning. Two Enviroclubs (20 small- and medium-size companies) were initiated. In order to support the performance of these clubs, the EPB – Quebec Region, issued a coaching guide to identify and carry out pollution prevention projects within companies. In 2000 the Quebec Region continued measuring the presence of atmospheric mercury in the air and precipitation on the Saint-Anicet and Mingan sites. The Quebec Region also pursued its studies of lindane in corn crops. Representatives from the region joined a group of national experts to pursue this research and to improve their knowledge about the pesticide atmospheric life cycle.
Article 2(1)(e) - Environmental Impact Assessment
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) is responsible for administering the federal environmental assessment process. In the 2000 fiscal year, federal departments and agencies reported a total of 6,138 screenings and 8 comprehensive studies, in accordance with their environmental obligations under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. During the same time period, CEAA managed one panel review.
Article 2(1)(f) - Economic Instruments
The federal government has been taking action in the past few years to provide incentives for sustainability. Among these is the Ecological Gifts Program (1995) which improved the capital gains taxation of lands donated to conservation. The government has since made changes that provide preferential tax treatment to firms using energy-efficient equipment and equipment for the production and distribution of heat. They have also improved the tax treatment of rail assets to make this relatively energy-efficient mode of transport more competitive with trucking.
In December 2000, Environment Canada also sponsored, with the OECD, an international conference in Vancouver to share knowledge and experience on the application of economic incentives for environmental purposes. Environment Canada continues to work with other Departments, specifically the Department of Finance, on the exploration and development of potential applications of such instruments.
With respect to climate change issues, Canada’s National Climate Change Process explored the use of economic instruments for greenhouse gas abatement. The Tradeable Permit Working Group published its report on the potential use of permit trading to reach a national emission target. Ministers of the environment and energy supported the creation of several federal/provincial/territorial working groups to inform them on key aspects of a national strategy to reduce greenhouse gases. These working groups include domestic emissions trading in their work plan as well as in-depth economic modeling of the potential benefits of emission trading.
In addition, the Government of Canada is exploring emissions trading in ongoing Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement discussions. The Ozone Annex to the agreement opens the door to transboundary trading for NOx emissions. In the context of the Ozone Annex, Canadian and U.S. officials have met to discuss transboundary trading and follow-up meetings are expected.
ARTICLE 3 - LEVELS OF PROTECTION
Species at Risk Legislation
The federal government introduced Bill C-33, the Species at Risk Act (SARA), in the House of Commons on April 11, 2000. Bill C-33 was envisioned as part of Canada’s three-part strategy to protect species at risk, which includes stewardship programs and the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, as well as federal legislation.
The proposed SARA would cover all wildlife species at risk and their critical habitats, and apply to all lands in Canada. The Bill set out a rigorous, independent scientific process to assess species and provided the Government of Canada with the mechanisms and powers to mandate plans for species recovery. Bill C-33 would be complemented by a stewardship program to empower Canadians to take actions to protect habitat, and by the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk that unifies the efforts of the provinces, territories and the federal government on this issue. This approach was designed to use incentives as the preferred way of protecting critical habitat, but would be backed up with strong prohibitions when necessary. Budget 2000 allocated $180 million over five years to implement the federal strategy. One quarter of these resources will be invested in stewardship activities across the country.
Bill C-33 died on the Order Paper at the dissolution of Parliament when an election was called for November, 2000. However, the Government planned to re-introduce species at risk legislation.
Additions to the List of Toxic Substances
On June 10, 2000, the following substances were proposed to be added to the List of Toxic Substances (Schedule 1) of CEPA 1999.
- Respirable particulate matter less than or equal to10 microns
In addition, Bromochloromethane, that has the molecular formula CH2BrCl, was proposed for addition to the List of Toxic Substances of CEPA 1999 on June 2, 2000.
- NOx and VOCs
In December 2000, Canada and the United States signed the Ozone Annex to the Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement. This agreement commits the two countries to take action to reduce the emissions and transboundary flow of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Both countries will report every two years on progress in reaching their targets and will, in 2004, revisit the agreement to see if further reductions are required.
ARTICLE 4 - PUBLICATION
The following notices were published in Canada Gazette, Part I during 2000:
- Agreements Respecting Canada-Wide Standards for Benzene - Phase I, for Particulate Matter (PM) and Ozone, and for Mercury, in which jurisdictions agreed to meet reduction targets for ambient concentrations of these substances by 2010;
- Agreement Respecting Canada-Wide Standards for Dioxins and Furans, Mercury in Dental Amalgams, Mercury-containing Lamps, and Petroleum Hydrocarbons in soil; and,
- Notice of intent to recommend that Precursors to Respirable Particulate Matter Less than or Equal to 10 Microns (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds) be added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
ARTICLE 5 - GOVERNMENT ENFORCEMENT ACTION
The majority of the provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999) came into force on March 31, 2000. The sections related to "environmental protection compliance orders" (EPCOs) would not come into force until March 31, 2001. EPCOs are similar to "stop orders" and "cease and desist orders" available under environmental statutes of Canada’s provinces as well as under the environmental laws of other nations. Persons subject to EPCOs and ordered to return to compliance under such an order, are allowed to request review of the EPCO by a review officer. The Minister of Environment is required to appoint a roster of review officers and select one of them as the Chief Review Officer. This remains to be done, and the Minister is seeking qualified candidates for these positions.
From an enforcement point of view, the most important aspects of CEPA, 1999 are:
- the obligation imposed by Parliament on the Government of Canada to enforce the Act in a fair, predictable and consistent manner;
- the obligation similarly imposed by Parliament on the Government of Canada to implement the precautionary principle in all aspects of its administration of the Act;
- the granting of all the powers of a peace officer to CEPA enforcement officers;
- the setting out of powers for analysts under the Act, giving them the authority to enter any place when accompanied by an enforcement officer, to take samples, to conduct tests and measures, and to examine data and documents. Analysts can be laboratory personnel, accountants (including those trained in forensic accounting), engineers, chemists, biologists and other environmental specialists who can bring their expertise to compliance verification and investigations;
- the expansion of definitions such as that for "place" which leads to an expanded power of entry for enforcement officers and analysts;
- inclusion of inspection warrants for abandoned premises or premises where an enforcement officer and/or an analyst has been refused entry;
- the power given to enforcement officers to stop conveyances, such as trucks, trains, planes and ships, for inspection purposes;
- expansion of the enforcement officer’s power to direct remedial measures, to deal not only with alleged illegal releases of toxic substances and discharges by federal facilities as under the previous CEPA, but also alleged illegal discharges of regulated substances in the context of international air pollution, international water pollution and environmental emergencies;
- the provision of two new enforcement tools, including EPCOs (discussed above) and "environmental protection alternative measures", which, like similar alternative measures for adult offenders under Canada’s Criminal Code and under the federal Young Offenders Act, allow negotiation of a compliance agreement once charges have been laid and with the requirement to register the agreement in court as a public document;
- the obligation for directors, officers and executives of corporations to ensure compliance with CEPA, 1999 and its regulations – an obligation often referred to as a "duty of care";
- expanded subject matter for court orders; and,
- guidelines to assist the courts in imposing sentences for CEPA, 1999 offences.
It has been the policy of the federal Department of Justice that all federal departments publish compliance and enforcement policies that set out how they will administer the laws for which they are responsible. As was done for the previous Canadian Environmental Protection Act in force from 1988 to March 2000, Environment Canada prepared a Compliance and Enforcement Policy. The policy contains guiding principles including the following:
- Compliance with the Act and its regulations is mandatory;
- Enforcement officers will apply the Act in a manner that is fair, predictable and consistent. They will use rules, sanctions and processes securely founded in law;
- Enforcement officers will administer the Act with an emphasis on prevention of damage to the environment;
- Enforcement officers will examine every suspected violation of which they have knowledge, and will take action consistent with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy; and,
- Enforcement officers will encourage the reporting of suspected violations of the Act.
The policy strikes a balance between the promotion of compliance and enforcement activity. In addition, the chapter on "Measures to Promote Compliance" specifies the compliance promotion role of Environment Canada engineers and environmental scientists. The compliance promotion role for enforcement officers is necessarily more limited, in order that action by enforcement officers, including the inspections and investigations that an officer may carry out as well as the measures available to officers to enforce the law and restore compliance, do not conflict with the technical role of Environment Canada scientists and engineers.
The document also contains a discussion of the new enforcement powers under CEPA, 1999 and how enforcement officers will use them. It sets out the factors that an enforcement officer must consider when choosing an action after investigation and confirmation of a violation of the Act or one of its regulations.
In May 2000, the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for CEPA, 1999 was published on the CEPA Environmental Registry, followed by a sixty day comment period which ended on July 28, 2000. The final text will be published both on the registry and in paper form within the first quarter of calendar year 2001.
Environment Canada’s National Enforcement Program: Action Plan
A new Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Habitat Protection and Pollution Prevention Provisions of the Fisheries Act is being finalized, and the document, in draft form, will be available for public consultation in the near future. This policy was developed jointly by Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans over an eleven year period. Its purpose is to ensure consistency in the application of the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act by both Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The draft document incorporates guiding principles similar to those in the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for CEPA, 1999, in the context of an Act respecting the protection and conservation of fish, fish habitat and human use of fish. The draft policy must be approved first by the Deputy Minister of Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. There will then be a sixty day period for public comment. It is anticipated that these steps will be completed and the policy in effect during calendar year 2001.
Compliance and Enforcement
For those involved in law enforcement programs, the goal is compliance, and in 2000, Environment Canada (EC) continued to promote compliance with legislation by providing information in printed form and on the Internet, at seminars, conferences, meetings with the regulated community, bulletins and other publications for specific audiences and publication of the names of those found guilty by the courts.
The monitoring of compliance by the federal, provincial and territorial governments is aided by regulatory requirements to submit information, permits, licenses and other authorizations that are required for many activities, such as the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes, ocean disposal, international trade in endangered species, hunting and trapping, and activities that pose a risk of releasing toxic substances and contaminants into the environment. For example, in fiscal year 99/00, Environment Canada processed 6,220 notices for proposed international shipment of hazardous wastes and 44,059 manifests associated with actual shipments. Approximately 99% of these are between the United States and Canada.
Licences, Permits and Authorizations
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to which more than 130 countries are signatories, helps to control the international trade in endangered and protected species.
The following table summarizes the CITES permits that were issued in Canada during 2000.
CITES Permits issued in Canada during 2000 Appendix I species included on permit
1Alberta does not issue CITES export permits.
Source: CITES Office, Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada has specialized training courses for their respective enforcement staffs. Courses are specifically designed to accommodate needs as they emerge as a result of variables such as changing priorities, or new or updated legislation and regulations.
In order for EC enforcement officers to employ new authorities and enforcement tools under CEPA, 1999 in a way that ensures their safety as well as the safety of the public, training was provided to enforcement managers and staff in several areas, including:
- Applied Peace Officer Sciences
- Enforcement Officer Safety and Defensive Tactics
- Driver Training and Vehicle Safety
During 2000, approximately 200 staff members received enforcement- related training in the following courses:
- General Enforcement Training (GET) for CEPA enforcement officers;
- Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Inter-provincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) Course for Environment Canada wildlife enforcement officers;
- WAPPRIITA Course for Customs Officers (Ontario);
- Negotiations Skills Training Course for CEPA enforcement officers;
- Annual Firearms Training for Wildlife Officers;
- Forensic Interviewing Course;
- Safe Boat Handling Course;
- World Customs Organizations CITES training course;
- Migratory Bird Enforcement and Waterfowl Identification (Prairie and Northern Region);
- Storage of PCB Material Regulations (under CEPA, 1999);
- (9mm) Firearms Conversion Course for wildlife officers;
- Metal Mining Liquid Effluent Regulations (under the Fisheries Act);
- Ocean Disposal Regulations (under CEPA, 1999); and,
- NEMISIS (computer-based information recording and management system for enforcement data)
On-site and off-site inspections which involve the verification of obligatory information, submitted to the Minister of Environment by regulatees, are undertaken to confirm compliance with regulations. Investigations are normally carried out when non-compliant situations are discovered. Each year, the Enforcement Branch of Environment Canada and the five regional offices prepare an inspection plan that targets specific priority regulations. Such a plan is formulated using criteria that includes: the number and types of targeted populations or activities; the profiles, compliance histories, operational complexity and capacities of the target companies; the environmental significance and geographic scale of their operations; and the nature of the applicable regulatory provisions.
Among the inspections which took place over the course of 2000, approximately 2,143 were conducted by EC’s wildlife inspection staff under the federal WAPPRIITA, (which implements Canada’s commitment to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)). In 2000, EC’s environmental protection inspection staff conducted 2,027 inspections under CEPA, 1999 , and 1525 under the Fisheries Act during the same period.
Information Management and Reporting
There is a legislated requirement for Environment Canada to report to Parliament annually on the implementation of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRITTA). EC also contributes to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Annual Report to Parliament on the Fisheries Act. The 99/00 fiscal year report is available at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/habitat/annrep97/english/index_e.htm.
The CEPA Environmental Registry, established under CEPA,1999, stores materials noted in the list below. These are available to the public at http://www.ec.gc.ca/CEPARegistry/default.cfm.
- Enforcement and Compliance Policy for CEPA, 1999
- Notices published under CEPA, 1999 in the Canada Gazette
- Annual Reports on the administration and enforcement of the Act, including a description of research carried out under CEPA, 1999
- CEC Annual Reports on Enforcement (when they deal with CEPA, 1999 issues)
- Historical court decisions on guilty parties
- Press releases and media advisories
- The complete legislative text of CEPA, 1999 and its regulations
- Brief "plain language" summaries of CEPA, 1999 regulations
- Enforcement activities reports and enforcement statistics
- Compliance Reports related to CEPA, 1999 regulations
- International Conventions/Accords that Canada has signed and are implemented in Canada by means of CEPA , 1999 and its regulations. ( e.g. The Basel Convention on the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes, The London Convention on the disposal of wastes at sea)
- Proposed new regulations under CEPA, 1999 and the amendment of existing regulations
- Substances Lists, including the Toxic Substances List, the Domestic Substances List, the Export Control List, and the Priority Substances List
Enforcement of environmental and wildlife legislation for all parties is conducted within the context of the overall Canadian legal framework, which includes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Criminal Code, the Privacy Act, Access to Information Act, Mutual Legal Assistance Act, and the Canada Evidence Act. Most federal, provincial and territorial environmental and wildlife legislation provides for the authority to search, seize and detain under the rules established by legislation. In Quebec, their provincial Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Civil Code and Penal Code are in effect as well.
2000 Enforcement Information/Statistics
Environment Canada Enforcement Information.
Enforcement information, reports and statistics can be found on EC’s web site at http://www.ec.gc.ca/enforce/homepage/english/index.htm .
ARTICLE 6 - PRIVATE ACCESS TO REMEDIES
Persons with a recognized legal interest have access to remedies before administrative tribunals and the courts. Interested persons, in addition to being able to institute private prosecutions, may also put forth to a competent authority, a request to investigate alleged violations of environmental laws and regulations.
For example, CEPA, 1999 provides statutory authority for a person to apply to the Minister of the Environment for an investigation concerning any alleged offence under that Act. As well, persons with a recognized legal interest in a particular matter have access to administrative, quasi-judicial and judicial proceedings for the enforcement of Canada’s environmental laws and regulations. In this regard, CEPA, 1999 has introduced the concept of "environmental protection actions" which allow any person to seek a court order prohibiting a continued violation of the statute and/or to mitigate harm caused by a violation of the statute. As well, CEPA, 1999 provides the statutory authority to request the review of administrative decisions or proposed regulations.
In Quebec, the complaint desk of the Department of the Environment received 85 complaints in 2000, among which 10 were related with service quality and 75 dealt with the environment.
ARTICLE 7 - PROCEDURAL GUARANTEES
Canada has administrative, quasi-judicial and judicial proceedings available for the enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. Both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the courts have ensured that persons are given an opportunity, consistent with the rules of procedural fairness and natural justice, to make representations to support or defend their respective positions and to present information or evidence. Decisions are provided in writing, are made available without undue delay, and are based on information or evidence on which the parties were offered the opportunity to be heard. In accordance with its laws, Canada provides parties to such proceedings, as appropriate, the right to seek review and where warranted, correction of final decisions by impartial and independent tribunals. An example of fair, open and equitable proceedings at the administrative level is the Board of Review process available under CEPA,1999.
This section addresses the actions undertaken by Chile to comply with its commitments under the Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Co-operation, including environmental enforcement activities.
GENERAL COMMITMENTS UNDER THE AGREEMENT
Article 2 of the Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation defines the general commitments as follows: a) periodically prepare and make publicly available reports on the state of the environment; b) develop and review environmental emergency preparedness measures; c) promote education in environmental matters, including environmental law; d) further scientific research and technology development in respect of environmental matters; e) assess, as appropriate, environmental impacts; and f) promote the use of economic instruments for the efficient achievement of environmental goals.
The objective of the Sistema Nacional de Información Ambiental (SINIA) [National Environmental Information System], which has been operating via the Internet since April 1999, is to allow for fast and timely contact between the public and the institutions that generate environmental information. The system was established in compliance with article 70(d) of Law 19.300 which requires CONAMA to ensure that the National Environmental Information System is kept public and broken down by region.
SINIA currently conducts its activities via a Web site (www.sinia.cl). The site serves as a search engine that puts people seeking environmental information in contact with the public and private institutions that provide such information. The system provides support for environmental management as well as decision-making at the sectoral and regional levels.
Over 30 public environmental institutions are actively involved in this project, including departments in the ministries of agriculture, public lands, defence, finance, education, internal affairs, mining, public works, planning and cooperation, health, and transport and telecommunications.
SINIA has also increased the number of participating companies. It has registered over five hundred national companies and institutions in the environmental industry; it has more than 3,200 links to Web sites and an average of approximately 4,500 hits per month.
At the regional level, SINIA has modules that are operating fully in the thirteen regions and the country as a whole. The modules enable people to search for regional documents generated using local information.
The following are the two main achievements in the area of natural resources in 2000. At the beginning of this year, a draft copy of the Política para el Uso Sustentable del Patrimonio Natural Renovable (PNR) [Policy on the Sustainable Use of the Renewable Natural Resources] was published. CONAMA’s Council of Ministers created an interdepartmental committee to include guidelines that would make it possible to address critical issues regarding the management of the PNR in the draft Policy. CONAMA’s Council of Ministers approved a working plan to address financial and other aspects of the proposal.
The second achievement was the launch of the "Sendero de Chile" [Chilean Path] project aimed at creating a precordilleran route linking the northern and southern parts of the country. The path will be built with soil and will be 1.20 metres wide. In 2000, this project was managed by a national directorate and by regional directorates made up of members from both the private and public sectors.
The State is responsible for the challenging task of ensuring public participation in environmental management. Law 19.300, which deals with environmental issues, stipulates various methods in which the State must facilitate public participation and promote educational campaigns to protect the environment. It also provide the public with equal opportunities for participation.
The government’s environmental policy indicates that a legitimate, transparent and socially acceptable method of environmental management can only be possible if the interests and concerns of the local community, academics, NGOs, those affected, opinion groups, workers, the manufacturing industry and organized citizenship are consistent. Participation brings to light the valid differences among the parties and seeks to reach environmental agreements and consensuses.
The Departamento de Participación Ciudadana y Educación Ambiental [Department of Citizens’ Participation and Environmental Education] used these general guidelines to carry out activities in three major areas in 2000:
Environmental education in the school system: The aim of this activity was to introduce environmental issues into the key educational areas by promoting behaviours and practices that will help preserve, protect and improve the environment.
Strengthening social stakeholders: The aim here was to increase capabilities and strengthen the presence of civil society organizations that add momentum to environmental management, and;
Citizen participation in environmental management policies and instruments: The objective was to establish the conditions and spaces needed to involve communities and organizations in the development, implementation and follow-up of environmental policies and management tools.
Created under Executive Order Nº 90, June 5, 1998, issued by the Ministry Secretary-General of the Presidency, the Consejo Nacional para el Desarrollo Sustentable [National Council for Sustainable Development] came into existence in Chile on April 23, 1999. The Council is the assessment agency for the President of the Republic. It is made up of 92 industry leaders from the public and private sectors. The primary role of the Council is to submit proposals for implementing and monitoring sustainable development in Chile. Its aim is to ensure that the country’s various social groups play a role in decision-making on sustainable development and environmental protection. The Chair of the Council is the Minister and Secretary-General of the Office of the President as well as Chairman of the Board of Directors of CONAMA, and the Executive Secretary is Executive Director of CONAMA. In creating the Council, the Government of Chile joined the ranks of the over 140 countries which already have such bodies. This brings Chile into compliance with major environmental commitments undertaken in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
In June 2000, the Council for Sustainable Development held its second annual meeting during which members reviewed thematic proposals submitted by the Comité de Apoyo Técnico [technical support committee] on issues such as values, culture and education for sustainability; indicators for sustainable development, rules for environmental policies on natural resources, as well as institutionality and legislative agenda.
The Sistema de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental (SEIA) [Environmental Impact Assessment Board] continued full-scale operations. Its mandate is to include an environmental aspect into project planning and performance in both public and private sectors in Chile. It seeks to ensure that all projects are environmentally sound. In 2000, 875 projects for investment or economic activity throughout the country were submitted to the Board (a 4% increase over 1999). Of these, 55 were Estudios de Impacto Ambiental (EIA) [environmental impact studies] and 820 were Declaraciones de Impacto Ambiental (DIA) [environmental impact statements], representing a total investment of $5,445 million.
With respect to environmental assessment in the Antarctic, in 2000, CONAMA, in conjunction with other public institutions, evaluated and approved 13 projects submitted for environmental assessment in the Antarctic, thereby complying with the Madrid Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty. In addition, CONAMA conducted on-site inspections of four projects being carried out on the continent.
- In 2000, CONAMA’s Unidad de Economía Ambiental [Environmental Economics Unit] carried out activities in the following areas:
- Economic and social impact of clean-up plans and environmental standards.
- Tradable emission permits: in 2000, a study entitled "Desarrollo de una nueva propuesta de sistema y ley para el sistema de permisos de emisión transables" [development of a new proposal for a system and law in respect of tradable emission permits], was conducted by the Universidad Católica and a group of lawyers, with the view to develop a new draft legislation for this environmental management tool.
- In May 2000, the office of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Economy created a task force to study the possibilities of effectively introducing economic instruments into the country’s environmental management policy. CONAMA, through its Environmental Economics Unit, played an active role in the six-month project.
- Environmental and clean systems in the manufacturing industry. A study entitled "Promoción e incentivo de la implementación de sistemas de gestión ambiental en empresas chilenas" [promoting the implementation of environmental management systems among Chilean companies] was conducted in 2000. The aim of the study was to provide information on the implementation of environmental management systems in the country’s manufacturing industry and to identify as well as propose new incentives that the State could introduce to encourage national manufacturing companies, especially the small and medium-sized ones, to adopt environmental management systems.
- National environmental budget: With respect to the calculation of public expenditure on environmental issues, estimates were prepared for the third year in 2000. These figures were used to calculate expenditure in 1999 and establish estimates for 2000 and 2001.
- Sustainable development indicators: In 2000, a series of sustainable development indicators were developed for the Bío-Bío, Aysén and Magallanes regions. In addition, a study was initiated to seek proposals for indicators for three new regions: Valparaíso, O’Higgins and Los Lagos.
- Environmental accounting for soil use: Soil use accounts are categorized under environmental accounting, which is aimed at finding the most detailed description possible of the links between economic activity and the natural environment, and, by extension, determining the impact that economic activities have on the environment. Awareness of the impact that economic activity has on the environment will help set guidelines for the development of policies and the planning of medium- and long-term strategies. In 2000, a pilot program on soil use accounting was developed for the Bío-Bío River region. This exercise demonstrated that soil use accounts, which include different types of information from various sources on spatial distribution of the uses and coverage of the territory, can provide fundamental support for territorial management and planning.
LEVELS OF PROTECTION AND PUBLICATION
In accordance with Article 3 of the Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, each Party shall ensure that its laws and regulations provide for high levels of environmental protection and shall strive to continue to improve those laws and regulations. Article 4 stipulates that each Party shall ensure that its laws, regulations, procedures and administrative rulings of general application respecting any matter covered by this Agreement are promptly published or otherwise made available to interested persons and the other Party.
- CONAMA’s key mission is to preserve and enhance the quality of the environment. In keeping with this environmental policy, CONAMA must therefore propose, facilitate and coordinate the pronouncement of environmental quality and emission standards. The first set of standards regulates concentration levels and timelines of maximum and minimum levels of permissible elements, compounds, substances, chemical and biological sub-products, energy, radiation, vibrations, noise or any other element whose presence or absence may endanger the life or health of persons (primary environmental quality standard) or constitute a risk for the protection and conservation of the environment or the preservation of nature (secondary environmental quality standard). The second set of standards is intended to reduce the quantity of pollutants released, or generated, by a facility or emissions source so as to prevent environmental degradation and to rehabilitate polluted areas.
- In 2000, the following environmental standards were published in the Diario Oficial [Official Gazette]:
- Norma de Emisión para la Regulación de Contaminantes Asociados a las Descargas de Residuos Industriales Líquidos a Sistemas de Alcantarillado [emission standard for regulating pollutants associated with the discharge of liquid industrial waste from sewer systems] amendment of Order no. 609, May 7, 1998 from the Ministry of Public Works and Executive Order Nº 3592, August 18, 2000 issued by the Ministry of Public Work, published in the September 26, 2000 issue of the Official Gazette. This amendment modified the deadline for compliance to enable manufacturing and sanitation companies to reach a consensus on treatment procedures for organic pollutants. Additions included a definition of the "Sistema de Tratamiento de Aguas Servidas y Planta de Tratamiento de Aguas Servidas" [treatment system for sewage and sewage treatment plants], which also incorporates underwater outlets.
- Norma de Emisión para Olores Molestos Asociados a la Fabricación de Pulpa Sulfatada [emission standard for offensive odours associated with the manufacturing of sulphate pulp], Executive Order Nº 167 issued by the Ministry of the Secretary General of the Presidency on November 9, 1999 and published in the April 1, 2000 issue of the Official Gazette. The aim of this standard is to protect adjacent communities from the offensive odours emanating from this type of industry. It applies to the seven plants that use the Kraft process to manufacture cellulose and that are located between Regions VII and IX. It establishes a gradual compliance process for controlling emissions that produce offensive odours and stipulates limits for new plants being set up in the country.
- Norma de Emisión para Hidrocarburos no Metánicos (HCNM) para Vehículos Livianos y Medianos [emission standard for non-methane hydrocarbons used in light and medium-sized vehicles]. Executive Order No 103, May 2, 2000 issued by the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications and published in the September 15, 2000 issue of the Official Gazette. The objective of this standard is to control the emission of non-methane hydrocarbons by light and medium-sized motorized vehicles that operate on compressed gas.
- Norma de Emisión para Motocicletas [emission standard for motorcycles]. Executive Order Nº 104, May 2, 2000 issued by the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications and published in the September 15, 2000 issue of the Official Gazette. Its objective is to control and reduce the local and national emission levels of carbon monoxide (CO) and total hydrocarbons (THC) from this type of vehicle.
- A program was put in place to assess and monitor pollutants in order to monitor compliance with established standards. When a standard is violated, the Regional Environmental Commission (COREMA) asks for an Executive Order declaring the area to have higher-than-acceptable concentrations of pollutants. CONAMA then prepares a clean-up plan for the area in question. The most noteworthy achievements of 2000 were:
- Plan de Descontaminación de Chuquicamata [Chuquicamata clean-up plan]: the project was redrafted and approved by CONAMA’s Board of Directors under agreement N°160 of 2000.
- Plan de Descontaminación de María Elena [María Elena clean-up plan]: The María Elena and Pedro de Valdivia clean-up plan is currently being redrafted.
- Planes de Descontaminación de las Fundiciones de la División El Teniente de CODELCO Chile (Caletones), de Potrerillos y Hernán Videla Lira [clean-up plans for the foundries in the El Teniente region of CODELCO Chile (Caletones), Potrerillos and Hernán Videla Lira]. All three plans are currently being implemented. In 2000, the three plans complied with the objectives of the emission reduction schedule.
GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT ACTION
Article 5 of the Agreement on Environmental Cooperation establishes government enforcement measures and stipulates that in order to comply with its environmental laws and regulations, each Party shall effectively enforce its environmental laws and regulations through appropriate governmental action.
In Chile, environmental enforcement is undertaken by various public agencies, an approach which favours sector-based enforcement. In recent years, it has become apparent that there is a need for a systematic, overall co-ordination of the enforcement process. New procedures for developing standards and plans, as well as the existence of the Environmental Impact Assessment Board (SEIA) have increased CONAMA’s enforcement responsibilities. As a result of the above-mentioned developments, CONAMA, along with various ministries and agencies, has drawn up an action plan for the enforcement policy. The plan, which focuses on co-ordination, includes a series of medium- and long-term objectives intended to help promote the conservation of Chile’s environmental heritage and fulfill the country’s international commitments. CONAMA is also considering putting in place a system that promotes self-compliance with environmental requirements in the country’s manufacturing industry. In order to make these monitoring and enforcement objectives operational, on June 1, 1999, the Board of Directors of CONAMA approved the establishment of operating environmental enforcement committees, both nationally and regionally.
The operating enforcement committees on both levels met periodically during the course of the year to coordinate activities related to the enforcement of environmental assessment resolutions issued by the Environmental Impact Assessment Board, as well as emission and quality standards, and prevention and clean-up plans. These committees also played a role in coordinating the enforcement of legal and regulatory provisions on the environment as well as water and biodiversity (Ley de Caza, Pesca, Regulaciones Forestales, etc. [act respecting hunting, fishing, forestry regulations, etc.]).
PRIVATE ACCESS TO REMEDIES AND PROCEDURAL GUARANTEES
Article 6 of the Canada – Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation stipulates that each Party shall ensure that interested persons may request the Party's competent authorities to investigate alleged violations of its environmental laws and regulations and shall give such requests due consideration in accordance with law. The article also states that each Party shall ensure that persons with a legally recognized interest under its law in a particular matter have appropriate access to administrative, quasi-judicial or judicial proceedings for the enforcement of the Party's environmental laws and regulations.
Article 7 of the Canada – Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation stipulates that each Party shall ensure that its administrative, quasi-judicial and judicial proceedings are fair, open and equitable.
Law 19.300 in the General Environmental Law (LBMA) establishes the right to take action against a resolution on environmental matters. This can be done, for example, where resolution rejects the development of an environmental impact declaration or where a resolution rejects or establishes conditions to an environmental impact study. In the case of a declaration, the person responsible for the project may bring this type of action before CONAMA’s Executive Director, and in the case of studies, before the organization’s Board of Directors. It is important to indicate that this right can also be exercised by members of the public and by those who contributed directly to an environmental impact study and whose contributions have not been properly addressed.
In 2000, 44 complaints were submitted and processed by CONAMA’s Executive Management and Board of Directors.
The General Environmental Law provides for actions, which can be undertaken to reverse environmental damage. Those eligible to avail themselves of this are natural, judicial, public or private persons who have suffered damage or prejudice, municipalities, for occurrences that take place within their respective jurisdictions, and the State, through its Council for Defence.
The actions may be brought before magistrate either in the location where the damage was caused or the domicile of the person affected by the damage; this decision is made by the injured party.
The Constitución Política de la República de Chile (CP) [political constitution of the Republic of Chile] recognizes the application of the Acción de Protección de Garantías Constitucionales [constitutional guarantees protection action]. Constitutional guarantees include the right to live in a pollution-free environment (Art. 19 Nº 8). A protection action is applicable in cases where the right to live in a pollution-free environment is infringed by a given authority or person. The action is brought before the corresponding Court of Appeals, which is required to immediately make any rulings required to re-establish the rule of law.
There are currently 14 protection actions in progress.
The Political Constitution also recognizes the right to exercise an Acción de Nulidad de Derecho Público [action for nullity pursuant to public law]. The aim of this action is to prevent any magistrate, person or group of people from acquiring authority or rights other than those explicitly provided for by the Constitution and applicable laws. This action may be brought before the ordinary courts of justice according to the regular proceedings in the code of civil procedure.
To date, there are four actions for nullity underway in relation to environmental protection issues.
Act 19.300 also recognizes the right to bring an ordinary indemnity action. This action must be brought by the Party directly affected by the environmental damage. Its objective is to repair the damages caused. The process is brought before the ordinary courts of justice in accordance with the terms provided for in the code of civil procedure.
Articles 20, 50 and 64 of General Environmental Law (19.300) establish administrative procedures for lodging claims against resolutions issued by environmental institutions. Article 20 entitles the person in charge of a project that has been submitted for an environmental impact assessment to the right to file a claim against any resolution that rejects an environmental impact declaration or that rejects or imposes conditions on an environmental impact study. Article 50 of Law 19.300 provides for claims against orders that establish primary or secondary standards for environmental quality, emission standards, prevention or clean-up plans as well as special regulations for cases of emergency. This claim may be made by any person who considers that such regulations are not in keeping with Law 19.300 and have caused such person damages. Lastly, article 64 stipulates that, as opposed to resolutions that impose sanctions for failure to comply with standards and conditions under which the environmental impact study or declaration were approved, the person in charge of the project sanctioned is entitled to lodge a claim.
All the above-mentioned claims must be resolved before the appropriate court of justice. There are currently 15 claims for administrative issues related to Law 19.300 underway.
- Date Modified: