Environment Canada Makes Available Public Consultation Draft of the Proposed Municipal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations
Municipal wastewater effluent is one of the largest sources of pollution to Canadian waters. A Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent was endorsed by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) in February 2009 to better protect Canadians and their environment.
To implement the CCME Canada-wide Strategy, Environment Canada is proposing new regulations under the Fisheries Act. The new regulations are expected to reduce risks for human and environmental health and fishery resources associated with the release of wastewater effluents. The objective of the regulations is to establish national effluent quality standards.
Agreements are intended to be negotiated between the Government of Canada, provincial governments, and the Yukon government. The agreements will cover the roles and responsibilities for reporting, compliance, inspection and enforcement activities. In time, the Government of Canada will also negotiate agreements with the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, taking into account the respective roles of all governments as well as the regulatory agencies.
The total cost of implementing the CCME Canada-wide Strategy over 30 years is estimated to be between $10 billion to $13 billion. The Government of Canada has identified wastewater infrastructure as a priority for its infrastructure programs. The Government of Canada has supported wastewater projects under the Green Infrastructure Fund and Building Canada Fund. Canada’s Economic Action Plan accelerated and expanded the existing $33-billion federal investment in infrastructure with almost $12 billion in new infrastructure stimulus funding across Canada over two years.
The Building Canada Plan supports infrastructure activities through resources from the Gas Tax Fund, which the government agreed to extend beyond 2014, and is estimated to generate $2 billion per year. The Gas Tax Fund supports environmentally sustainable municipal infrastructure projects that contribute to cleaner air, cleaner water and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Canadian citizens can now access the public consultation draft(PDF, 233kb) of the municipal wastewater systems effluent regulations through Environment Canada’s website. The proposed regulations are targeted to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I later in March 2010 for an opportunity for input from stakeholders and interested parties.
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