Chemicals management plan progress report

Issue 7, Winter 2016

(PDF Format - 1 MB)

Table of Contents

About this report

This seventh issue of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) Progress Report covers activities between June 2016 and December 2016. It also provides information about future events, dates of interest and engagement opportunities. The report is produced jointly by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada.

For information about the CMP, or to find previous issues of the CMP Progress Report, visit the Chemical Substances website.

Feedback and suggestions.

CMP highlights

Substance assessment progress

Since the launch of the CMP in 2006, the government has:

Risk assessment and risk management highlights

The government assesses and manages, where appropriate, the potential health and ecological risks associated with chemical substances. It does so through various initiatives, each targeting a different group of chemicals.

The following are the highlights of the risk assessment and associated risk management activities between July and December 2016 for various initiatives:

Substance groupings initiative

In July 2016, the draft screening assessment and the risk management scope were released and the related notice was published for boric acid, its salts and its precursors.

In October 2016, six draft screening assessments, two State of the Science reports and three risk management scope documents were released, and the related notices were published, for 10 organic flame retardant substances.

In December 2016, the draft screening assessment for Substituted Diphenylamines (SDPAs) was released and the related notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

Chemicals Management Plan 3 initiative

In December 2016, the draft screening assessment and the related notice was published for alkyl sulfates and α-olefin sulfonate.

In December 2016, the draft screening assessment and the related notice was published for chloral hydrate.

Science approach documents

In July 2016, the Science Approach Document for the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substanceswas released and the related notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. This ecological risk classification ranked 640 substances into levels of concern based on their relative potential to pose a risk to the environment. It used empirical and modelled data to classify substances as either warranting further evaluation of their potential to cause harm to the environment or as having a low likelihood of causing ecological harm.

In September 2016, the Science Approach Document for the Biomonitoring-based Approach 1 was released and the related notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. and, in December 2016, the Science Approach Document for the Biomonitoring-based Approach 2 was released and the related notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. Under these approaches, when biomonitoring data indicates that general population exposure is limited or unlikely, substances are considered to be of low concern with respect to human health. To determine if exposure is limited or unlikely, a number of factors are taken into consideration, including how widespread the exposure is across the population, the measured levels of the biomarker, the toxicological properties, and the use pattern of the substance.

In October 2016, the Science Approach Document on the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC)-based Approach for Certain Substances was released and the related notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. Under this approach, a group of 237 substances, which had not been evaluated previously were examined to determine their exposure to the general population. For each substance, exposure estimates were developed and compared to an assigned Threshold of Toxicological Concern. Based on this analysis, 89 substances were identified to be of low concern for human health based on current levels of exposure. An assessment of these 89 substances, conducted under sections 68 and/or 74 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), will be published at a later date. The remaining 148 substances were either excluded from further analysis under this approach or had exposure estimates that exceeded the Threshold of Toxicological Concern values; these substances will undergo further assessment under separate initiatives.

Information from these approaches will be used to inform type 2 and 3 assessments under the Risk Assessment Toolbox.

Other chemical substances of interest

In August 2016, the Final Screening Assessment of Substances identified from Phase Two of the Domestic Substances List Inventory update was released, and the related notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

In October 2016, the Final Screening Assessment of nineteen substances on the Domestic Substances List Associated with Pesticidal Uses was released, and the related notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

Revised In Commerce List update

The government has completed the prioritization of substances on the Revised In Commerce List. At the Industry Coordinating Group Update Conference on September 20-21, 2016, results on the prioritization of the Revised In Commerce List were presented to stakeholders and next steps were explained. The results of the prioritization outcomes were shared with stakeholders on September 30, 2016.

The Revised In Commerce List is a list of substances in commerce in Canada between January 1987 and September 2001 and used in products regulated by the Food and Drugs Act. This was a period of transition before the implementation of the New Substances Notification Regulations and CEPA 1999.

Substances on the Revised In Commerce List include pharmaceuticals, veterinary drugs, cosmetics, biologics, food additives, natural health products and medical devices. The objective of the prioritization process was to identify those substances that require further consideration to determine potential risk to human health or the environment as part of the CMP.

Prioritization decisions were based on available information found for the substance, including criteria suggesting low risk or no evidence raising concern.

Because of this prioritization process, substances that were listed on both the Revised In Commerce List and the Domestic Substances List, including any hydrated forms, have been identified and will be removed from the Revised In Commerce List. The updated Revised In Commerce listwill be published on the Health Canada website in place of the existing list.

The removal of the duplication between the Domestic Substances List and the Revised In Commerce List also sets the stage for modernization of the nomination criteria for the Revised In Commerce List. This will both avoid duplication and ensure that appropriate documentation is available to support nominations.

Now that the substances have been prioritized, 75% of the 3,500 substances on the list require no detailed consideration in the context of the Revised In Commerce List, however, this does not preclude future action to manage these substances under CEPA 1999.

The remaining 25% of the substances were prioritized for further consideration. Substances identified for further consideration will undergo a more detailed evaluation and for the vast majority, additional information will be collected as part of the next phase of the Inventory Update. This information will inform next steps on the prioritized substances.

Results from the prioritization of the Revised In Commerce List will be published on the CMP website in early 2017.

Current phase of the Chemicals Management Plan

Inventory update

The next inventory update, planned for early 2017, will cover approximately 1,500 substances, and includes both inanimate substances (chemicals and polymers) and living ones (micro-organisms).

The update is critical to support priority-setting and decision-making for CMP work. This inventory update is broader in scope and marks an important progression of the program.

The scope goes beyond categorization results, to consider emerging science, evolving domestic and international programs, and the need to keep pace with changes in the chemical landscape to ensure future priorities reflect Canada's dynamic market.

The scope of the inventory update allows the government to capture critical information on commercial status, downstream use and yearly market fluctuations between 2012 and 2015.

The Government is also introducing for the first time the concept of an ongoing, cyclical approach, with reporting done every four years.

Related links

CMP information-gathering initiatives

Voluntary submissions welcomed

The government welcomes voluntary submissions of information on any of the 1,550 substances that are part of the current phase of the CMP.

Information can be submitted online using the CMP reporting module of Environment and Climate Change Canada's Single Window under the CMP3 initiative.

Information on the commercial status of substances was collected through the Domestic Substances List inventory updates in 2009 and 2012. This information as well as other sources of information is being used in the risk assessments under the current phase of the CMP. In some cases, the government may need additional facility and product-level information to refine the risk assessments.

A key source of information is obtained via targeted follow-ups with certain stakeholders, based on information previously submitted during inventory updates. The timing of these follow-ups is based on the risk assessment schedule. Stakeholder response to these follow-ups is crucial. Without the requested information, conservative assumptions may be made in the risk assessments. That is why the government also encourages voluntary submissions.

Other important sources of information that are used to support risk assessment are international data, information from other Departments, as well as research and monitoring.

Section 70

Submissions made under section 70 of CEPA 1999, can now be made online using the CMP reporting module.

Section 70 is a mandatory, information-gathering provision of the Act. It requires organizations to submit "information that reasonably supports the conclusion that [a] substance is toxic or capable of becoming toxic".

The information is used to bring important details to the immediate attention of the government departments so that they can respond accordingly. It also informs the identification of future risk assessment priorities.

The online portal uses the CMP reporting module of Environment and Climate Change Canada's Single Window under the CMP3 initiative.

CMP section 71 information summaries

To promote transparency, the government is compiling summaries of non-confidential information received under the mandatory section 71 notices conducted during the second phase of the CMP. A descriptive summary and Excel data sheets will be made available this winter for each survey conducted under the Substance Groupings Initiative.

Section 71 notice for risk management purposes

A mandatory section 71 notice to support risk management activities for toxic substances is expected to be released this winter. The notice will collect information on the manufacture, import and use of approximately 80 substances. The data will be used to measure the performance of risk management instruments already in place, as well as to determine whether (or how) to control a substance, including a substance specified on the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1. This includes:

Consultations and engagement

New environmental assessment regulations coming for drugs

The government of Canada is developing environmental assessment regulations under the Food and Drugs Act to assess the potential environmental and indirect human health impacts from exposing the environment to new active pharmaceutical ingredients in human and veterinary drugs.

A framework for the proposed regulations has been developed and will be consulted on with stakeholders in early 2017. If you would like additional information on these regulations or this consultation please contact Health Canada’s Environmental Impact Initiative Division.

The Stakeholder Advisory Council update

The first two meetings of the Stakeholder Advisory Council under the renewed five-year mandate took place on April 28, 2016 and November 23, 2016.

The CMP Stakeholder Advisory Council has created a communications sub-group to look at communication issues related to the CMP. The sub-group met regularly and analyzed the current state of awareness of the CMP. It also looked at the communication mechanisms used with different stakeholder groups, as well as potential information gaps.

The sub-group has identified potential opportunities and strategies to address and improve CMP communication with different stakeholder groups. Recommendations and examples of communication products were discussed at the Council's November 2016 meeting.

For additional information, visit the Stakeholder Advisory Council webpage or contact the Program Liaison.

Update on the CMP Science Committee

The next CMP Science Committee report is expected to be published in the first half of 2017. The report will contain details of the Committee's November, 2016 meeting, which focused on new approaches to identify priorities for risk assessment. The Committee's mandate is to contribute expertise to Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada pertaining to scientific considerations in delivery of the CMP.

Nanotechnology update

A consultation document on the proposed prioritization approach to address nanoscale forms of substances on the Domestic Substances List was published online for a 60-day public comment period that ended on September 25, 2016.

The document outlines the government's approach to prioritizing nanomaterials considered to be in commerce in Canada.

A stakeholder workshop was held on June 8, 2016, to discuss next steps and the proposed approach to prioritization. The feedback received at the workshop as well as public comments will be used to finalize the approach.

Results of a mandatory information-gathering survey published under section 71 of CEPA 1999, on July 25, 2015, are now available. The purpose of the survey was to collect information to determine the commercial status of certain nanomaterials in Canada. Information requested in the survey included substance identification, volumes, and uses for 206 substances considered to be potentially in commerce in Canada at the nanoscale.

Through the survey, information on 49 nanomaterials was received from 79 companies. In addition, 61 companies expressed interest on 81nanomaterial substances, but did not necessarily submit a survey response. This information will feed into the government's proposed approach to address nanomaterials on the Domestic Substances List.

Health Canada outreach activities

Health Canada continues to undertake public outreach activities with the goal of motivating Canadians to take action to protect their health.

Plain language information on recent high-profile CMP assessments was created for the public on boric acid, coal tars and flame retardants. Helpful tips and advice on how Canadians may be exposed to these substances, as well as ways to mitigate risks, were also promoted via Healthy Canadians social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter.

Health Canada regional staff engaged Canadians at trade shows and events across Canada throughout the fall. Is Your Home Healthy (PDF; 7.83 Mb) guides, targeting Canadian seniors, were distributed at the Fifty-Five Plus Lifestyle Shows in Ottawa and Vancouver, as well as the Ottawa Seniors' Expo and the Fifty-Five Plus Games in Coquitlam, B.C.

Regional staff are also piloting new Chemicals Awareness Learning Modules, featuring information on exposures and risks relevant to First Nations populations and advice on how to mitigate these risks.

Changes coming to non-regulatory initiatives

The Government of Canada expects to develop a proposed action plan in the spring of 2017 for improving non-regulatory initiatives that reduce the release into the environment of substances and products regulated under the Food and Drugs Act.

Action will be based on an analysis of an online consultation with stakeholders that took place in early 2016, and will include a proposed foundation for a path forward.

The goal of the online consultation was to support a dialogue about where improvements could be made to existing non-regulatory initiatives, or where new non-regulatory initiatives could be developed.

To facilitate the consultation, the government identified four themes as potential areas for improvement: take-back programs, education/guidance, logos/labelling and uniform definitions/information monitoring/tracking.

Non-regulatory initiatives are a deliverable under Canada's Chemicals Management Plan to support Health Canada's regulatory efforts.

Substances of interest

Action on asbestos

A notice of intent to develop regulations respecting asbestos was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 17, 2016. The proposed regulations will be developed in support of the government-wide approach for the management of asbestos in Canada. A mandatory notice under s.71 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 was also published at the same time to gather information on the manufacture, import, export and use and of asbestos and asbestos-containing products.

Government phasing out the use of microbeads in toiletries

The Government of Canada is developing regulations to phase out the use of microbeads in toiletries to protect the long-term health of the environment and to help keep Canada's lakes and rivers clean.

Because plastic microbeads ‒ found in such things as scrubs, bath products, facial cleansers and toothpastes ‒ pose a risk to the environment, plastic microbeads that are five millimetres or smaller in size were added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 on June 29, 2016.

Proposed regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on November 5, 2016, for a 75-day public comment period. Interested parties have until January 19, 2017, to comment.

The proposed regulations would phase out the manufacture, import, sale or offer for sale of microbeads in toiletries used to exfoliate or cleanse. This includes non-prescription drugs and natural health products that contain plastic microbeads.

This will allow the government to develop regulations to manage the environmental risk microbeads pose to oceans, lakes and rivers.

Final regulations on microbeads are expected by mid-2017, with phase-out to begin in 2018.

As of January 1, 2018, the manufacture and import of toiletries that contain plastic microbeads would be prohibited. If the toiletries are also natural health products or non-prescription drugs, prohibition would begin on July 1, 2018.

As of July 1, 2018, the sale or offer for sale of toiletries that contain plastic microbeads would be prohibited. If the toiletries are also natural health products or non-prescription drugs, the prohibition would begin on July 1, 2019.

Government taking action on triclosan

The Government of Canada has recently published a risk assessment for triclosan which concludes that the substance is not harmful to human health at current levels of exposure but may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment.

This means that triclosan meets the criteria for "toxic" under CEPA 1999.

Triclosan has therefore been recommended for addition to the List of Toxic Substances.

A proposed order to do so was published on December 10, 2016, following the publication of the risk assessment. This addition provides the government of Canada with the authority to take action under CEPA 1999.

Triclosan has been used as a preservative and as an antimicrobial agent in Canada for over 35 years. It is found in a variety of products used by consumers, including cosmetics, natural health products, non-prescription drugs and cleaning products.

This  broad use results in its continual release into the environment when products that contain the substance are rinsed down household drains. The government aims to reduce triclosan releases from this source through the development of a risk management instrument.

Along with the publication of the assessment report, the government of Canada published a risk management approach document seeking comments from the public about a proposed risk management action being considered for triclosan. The public has 60 days to comment. All comments are being taken into consideration by the government during the development of the proposed risk management instrument.

Since December 31, 2014, triclosan is no longer registered in Canada as a pest control product. It had previously been registered for use as a material preservative in textiles, leather, paper, plastic and rubber materials.

Program updates

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) review

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 is an important tool in Canada for the protection of the environment. Section 343 of CEPA 1999 provides for a parliamentary review of the administration of CEPA 1999 every five years. The Review site is a source of public information about activities related to Parliamentary reviews of CEPA 1999.

On March 8, 2016 the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development ENVI initiated a study of certain aspects of CEPA 1999.

On March 22, 2016, the House of Commons passed a motion designating ENVI (the Committee) to undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of CEPA 1999. The Committee has one year to complete and submit a report to Parliament. Should the Committee require more time, it can seek an extension from Parliament. This review is now underway.

On May 16, 2016, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change provided the Committee with a discussion paper for consideration, outlining the issues with CEPA 1999 that she believes it is important to address in order to strengthen existing programs and help respond to emerging issues.

The Committee published a news release on its website inviting interested stakeholders to submit written briefs on CEPA 1999 before December 1st, 2016. The Committee will consider the testimonies received to help develop recommendations to the government in relation to this important piece of environmental legislation.

For more details about the Committee or the 2016 Parliamentary review of CEPA 1999, please visit the Committee website or contact the Committee.

Non-domestic Substances List clean-up update

Environment and Climate Change Canada has begun a review of substances on the Non-domestic Substances List to see whether risk management controls have been developed for these substances in the United States.

The Non-domestic Substances List is an inventory of substances that are not on the Domestic Substances List but are accepted as being in use internationally. The Non-domestic Substances List is based on the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Substances Control Act chemical substances inventory.

Under the current review, 741 substances were identified as being subject of risk management controls in the United States. Therefore, a Notice of Intent and explanatory note were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on June 18, 2016 for a 60-day comment period.

The Notice of Intent proposes to delete these 741 substances from the Non-domestic Substances List. Comments were received and are being taken into consideration in the development of the final Order. Identified stakeholders with current business interests in these chemicals (i.e. current importers or manufacturers) will be engaged to ease a transition to the new reporting requirements.

In future, a bi-annual review will enable the government to identify substances that may potentially be of concern. Their removal from the Non-domestic Substances List will be proposed via a Notice of Intent published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day public comment period.

Regulatory changes being proposed for higher organisms

The government is planning to publish proposed amendments to the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms) - the regulations that deal with higher organisms (mammals, insects, fish, birds, mollusks, reptiles and amphibians and the like) - that are not at the micro level.

The proposed amendments, which are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part 1, by the end of 2017, follow consultations with stakeholders last June, organized by the biotechnology sections of Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The proposed amendments will increase the number of notification schedules from one to four, and will require ‘reporting' for people engaged in research and development.

The only existing notification schedule, Schedule 5, covers all higher organism notifications, and will be kept.

The three new proposed schedules separate out notifications in three categories: containment or export only, site-limited release, and experimental field study. The hope is to make reporting more practical.

For research and development reporting, the government is proposing to reword the three current research and development exemption criteria for containment and ask that a ‘qualified designated authority' submit a report to confirm that all the exemption criteria are met.

Anyone interested in additional information can contact the New Substances Information Management Line.

Pollution data for 2015 released in December 2016

Final 2015 data on pollutant releases to air, water and land, plus disposals and transfers for recycling, was released in December 2016.

The data for close to 350 substances, along with the annual summary report, was posted on the Pollution Data and Reports webpage.

Each year, data reported by over 7,000 facilities across Canada is made available to the public on the National Pollutant Release Inventory website.

The National Pollutant Release Inventory is continuously evaluating its reporting requirements to ensure that the data it contains is relevant and supports CMP data needs. More information on recent and future changes to the National Pollutant Release Inventory is available on the Proposals and Consultations webpage.

Feature articles

Amendments to the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations

The government of Canada recently amended the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012, also known as the Prohibition Regulations, adding five new substances. At the same time,  the Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers Regulations and the Perfluorooctane Sulfonate and its Salts and Certain Other Compounds Regulations were repealed.

The five substances added to the Prohibition Regulations are:

The Prohibition Regulations are a multi-substance risk management instrument used to prohibit the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale and import of certain toxic substances, and products containing these substances. There are a limited number of exemptions.

The Prohibition Regulations are amended from time to time to impose restrictions on additional substances for which prohibition has been deemed appropriate, or to amend existing controls when necessary. The latest changes bring the number of substances under the regulations to 27.

The substances prohibited by these regulations have been declared toxic to the environment and/or human health. They are generally persistent, bioaccumulative, and/or inherently toxic as per CEPA 1999, and they tend to be used in industrial applications.

The Prohibition Regulations are used to meet most of the requirements for national implementation under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

The general policy objective for most substances listed in the Prohibition Regulations is to achieve a complete prohibition on the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, and import.
Various exemptions may be provided in certain cases, including providing additional time to achieve phase-out.

In some cases, the Prohibition Regulations allow for permits to be used, to have some flexibility for unforeseen circumstances.

The Prohibition Regulations also require that reports be submitted to the Minister for the import or manufacture of certain substances in quantities and/or concentrations above annual reporting thresholds, and for the use of the substances or products that contain them in a laboratory for analysis, in scientific research or as a laboratory analytical standard which is otherwise exempt.

The Prohibition Regulations website contains the latest amendments as well as related factsheets and summaries.

Update on research and monitoring activities

Health Canada has 23 CMP health research projects underway, and expects to complete work on them by March 2017. Environment and Climate Change Canada has 20 CMP ecological research projects underway that will span over the next few years.

The projects address regulatory knowledge gaps on the effects of exposure of priority substances to humans and the environment. They include research on environmental fate and effects, toxicology, sources or pathways of exposure, and the development of tools, testing and analytical methodologies.

The two departments’ monitoring and surveillance activities are closely integrated with research projects, and support risk assessment and risk management decision making. Environment and Climate Change Canada measures priority substances in ambient air, surface water, sediments, fish, bird eggs, and municipal wastewater. As for Health Canada, 13 monitoring and surveillance studies were completed in March 2016. The projects included targeted population studies, biomonitoring supportive research, and targeted environmental monitoring.

Four monitoring and surveillance projects, in addition to the Population and National Biomonitoring Programs and the Maternal and Infant Research on Environmental ChemicalsProgram, are ongoing.

Snapshot: the Compliance Promotion Program

Environment and Climate Change Canada's Compliance Promotion Program proactively explains risk management instruments, and works to increase awareness in support of the ability of business and industry to comply with these requirements.

It does so by supporting business and industry with information and training that help raise awareness and understanding about their obligations under CEPA 1999 and the Fisheries Act.

Through its regional offices across Canada, the program focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises, which are often geographically dispersed and have limited capacity to address enforceable regulations or voluntary legislative requirements such as guidelines and codes of practice.

Locally based program staff also work closely with Indigenous communities and federal departments, agencies, and Crown corporations requiring information regarding their regulatory requirements.

Recently, the program's efforts have focused on priority regulations and addressing, for example, the import and export of hazardous waste, reducing the release of polychlorinated biphenyls (also known as PCBs) into the environment, and, tetrachloroethylene, a substance used in dry cleaning.

Products containing the toxic substance mercury are also a Compliance Promotion Program priority.

The Products Containing Mercury Regulations came into force in November 2015, following a public awareness campaign which was conducted and tailored specifically to the import sector. The campaign provided information about the regulations, and encouraged ongoing engagement with Environment and Climate Change Canada upon completion and submission of an optional business reply form. As an example, see the information on importing products containing mercury.

International activities

Canada and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Chemicals Programme

The 55th meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and the Working Party on Chemicals Pesticides and Biotechnology took place in early November 2016.

This year's meeting focused on recent developments in chemicals programs globally as well as post-2020 discussions.

Work within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Chemicals Programme helps government regulators involved in managing chemicals operate more efficiently and effectively.

Canada's engagement in this forum aims at cooperation in three major areas: scientific coordination and assessment of chemicals; information and data sharing; and the development of methodologies, technical approaches and guidance.

Participation within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development helps Canada establish strong linkages between international results or activities and its own domestic programs under the CMP.

Canada-U.S. collaboration update

The Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council is exploring new areas for cooperation between the two countries within the area of chemicals management, with a view to incorporating them into a new work plan expected to be released in summer, 2017.

A meeting of technical working groups supporting the current Chemicals Management Work Plan was held in Ottawa in October, 2016. Final outcomes from the current work plan are due to be completed in 2017.

There are regular web conferences giving updates on the Regulatory Cooperation Council’s work.

For information on the web conferences, and to stay current on Regulatory Cooperation Council activities.

Minamata Convention: Ongoing stakeholder consultations planned

The government will continue engaging with stakeholders in 2017 to prepare for Canada's participation at the first Conference of Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, expected to be held in Geneva in September, 2017.

In particular, stakeholders will have the opportunity to express their views on specific issues related to the meeting.

At a teleconference meeting with stakeholders in September, 2016, government officials informed them of the issues to be addressed in Geneva. These include finalizing a list of deliverables required by the treaty to be completed by end of the first Conference of Parties, and initiating activities that carry the Convention's work into the future.

Stakeholders were also briefed on the results of the seventh session of the Convention's Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, which took place in March 2016 in Jordan.

At that seventh session, advancements were made related to trade, the financial mechanism of the treaty, and effectiveness evaluation.

Also, guidance on best available techniques and best environmental practices to control and reduce atmospheric emissions of mercury was provisionally adopted. This is an area of particular importance to Canada, since 95% of the mercury emissions that are deposited in Canada come from foreign sources.

Canada is one of the signatories to the United Nations Environment Programme's Minamata Convention on Mercury. As of December 16th, 2016, 35 countries have ratified the treaty. It will enter into force after 50 countries have ratified it, expected in early 2017.

The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

The Basel Convention

Government documenting experiences with technical guidelines

Technical guidelines on the environmentally sound management of waste containing persistent organic pollutants, mercury waste, and electrical and electronic waste were adopted by the Basel Convention in May 2015.

Environment and Climate Change Canada's Waste Reduction and Management Division will begin to compile information on practical experiences in the use of these technical guidelines in January 2017. Stakeholders who wish to be contacted for this initiative should email the Waste Reduction and Management Division. The technical guidelines are accessible on the Basel Convention website.

New and revised guidelines for three persistent organic pollutants

The Small Intersessional Working Group on persistent organic pollutants is working on revised and new technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of wastes containing three persistent organic pollutants listed in the Stockholm Convention in May 2015:

These technical guidelines will be considered for adoption at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention in the spring of 2017. The technical guidelines under development are accessible on the Basel Convention website.

Review of annexes

Canada is the lead country for the review of Annexes I, III, IV and related aspects of Annex IX (entry B1110) to the Basel Convention. In August 2016, Canada developed a concept paper that provides information and solicits input from Basel parties and others on key considerations for guiding the work ahead. Parties and others had until October 28, 2016, to respond to the concept paper. For more information, contact the Waste Reduction and Management Division. The concept paper is available on the Basel Convention website.

The Rotterdam Convention

Listing of new pesticides

In September 2016, the 12th meeting of the Chemical Review Committee, the technical body under the Convention, took place in Rome. The Committee met to finalize documentation for two pesticides (carbosulfan and carbofuran) and submit them to the Conference of Parties with a recommendation to list these pesticides under the treaty.

A recommendation to list several new pesticides in the Rotterdam Convention will be considered when the Conferences of the Parties to the Stockholm, Basel, and Rotterdam Conventions meet in Geneva April 24 to May 5, 2017.

In addition to these two pesticides, the Conference of the Parties will also consider listing the pesticide trichlorfon, two pesticide formulations (paraquat, fenthion), and three industrial chemicals (tributyltin compounds, short-chain chlorinated paraffins and chrysotile asbestos).

The Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants

Committee recommends adding two new substances

The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee, the technical body under the Convention, has recommended that two new substances be listed to the Convention. The decision to consider adding short-chain chlorinated paraffins (referred to as short-chain chlorinated alkanes in Canada) and decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) to the list was taken by the committee. The substances will be considered at the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, which takes place in Geneva in the spring of 2017.

Conferences of the Parties: Webinar planned in advance of Geneva meeting

A webinar will be held in February 2017 to help inform the Canadian participation to the meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Stockholm, Basel, and Rotterdam Conventions taking place in Geneva between April 24 and May 5, 2017. Stakeholders, individuals and organizations are invited to share information and views on specific issues.

People interested in taking part should contact Isabelle Mayr.

Information on the Conferences of the Parties, including previous meetings' agendas and reports.

Recent publications

Significant new activity publications

Coming publications

Draft screening assessments and risk management scopes (when needed)

Final screening assessments and risk management approaches (when needed)

Significant new activity publications

Risk management

The government publishes a two-year rolling schedule of risk management activities and consultations. The schedule covers items such as risk management documents, information-gathering initiatives, risk management instruments, performance measurement initiatives and international risk management activities.

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