Chemicals Management Plan Progress Report

Issue 3

(PDF Format - 948 KB)

Content

About this Report

This is the third issue of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) Progress Report. The report is published twice a year to inform stakeholders and interested parties on the activities related to Canada’s CMP. The report includes updates on advances in major initiatives, and highlights key activities related to the Government of Canada’s most recent work under the CMP. This issue covers activities that occurred between June and November 2014. It also provides information about coming events, dates of interest and future engagement opportunities.

The report is produced jointly by Environment Canada and Health Canada.

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

We encourage people to share this report with other interested parties. Feedback and suggestions are also welcome and can be sent to Substances@ec.gc.ca.

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Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) Status Report

From the beginning of the CMP in December 2006 until November 2014, the Government of Canada assessed approximately 1,775 substances in commerce. These include the 500 substances identified as high priorities in 2006 because they were believed to be persistent, bioaccumulative and inherently toxic or believed to present a high hazard and the greatest potential for exposure to humans. An additional 3,000 substances were assessed prior to their introduction into the Canadian market. Under the second phase of the CMP, which began in 2011, approximately 800 substances have been assessed under the Substance Groupings Initiative and the Rapid Screening Assessment Approach. From 2011-12 to 2013-14, 43 proposed and final risk management instruments were published for 63 substances found harmful to human health and/or the environment. In July 2014, the government published a Summary of CMP Risk Management Actions for substances found harmful to human health and/or the environment. The government is on track to complete the objectives identified in the second phase of the program by 2016.

Environment Canada and Health Canada continue to work closely with health and environmental groups, consumer groups, academics, aboriginal groups, industry and international partners under the CMP.

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New Substances Program Update

From June to November 2014, the New Substances Program assessed 251 substances prior to their introduction into the Canadian marketplace. All 251 substances were assessed within regulatory timelines in order to protect Canadians and their environment.

Of these notifications, 176 were for chemicals and polymer substances, 52 were for living organisms and 24 were for substances used solely for uses regulated under the Food and Drugs Act. Seven notifications resulted in risk management actions in order to minimize any potential risk to the environment and/or human health.

In December 2014, six new summaries for new chemicals and polymer substances are being published for substances for which the risk assessment is completed, a restriction has been imposed and the restriction was published in the Canada Gazette.

For information on the New Substances Program, visit the Chemical Substances website or read the previous issues of the Chemicals Management Plan Progress Report.

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The Domestic Substances List Inventory Update

A summary of information collected by the Government of Canada under the Notice with respect to certain substances on the Domestic Substances List is expected to be published on the Chemical Substances website by early 2015. The non-confidential data submitted under this initiative will also be available on the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update.

In addition, a list of approximately 1,325 substances for which no information was submitted under the notice was published on the Chemical Substances website in October 2014. These substances will be examined under the Rapid Screening Approach and/or Polymer Approach to streamline the decision-making process.

The government also hosted a multi-stakeholder workshop in June 2014 to discuss early thinking and next steps for the inventory update. The development of the third phase of the inventory update is underway and will be based on lessons learned and successes, as well as stakeholder feedback from the second phase. Building on the experience from the first two phases of the inventory update, the government will continue to facilitate and expand supply chain awareness and information-sharing. For more information on the Domestic Substances List Inventory Update, visit the Chemical Substances website or see the previous issues of the Chemicals Management Plan Progress Report.

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Refining How New Information is used to Set Risk Assessment Priorities

The Government of Canada has refined the way new information on chemical substances is acquired, evaluated and incorporated into work planning under the CMP. These refinements include a more systematic compilation of information on substances and the use of a series of principles and considerations in the identification of emerging priorities for risk assessment.

Since the inception of the CMP, most of the assessment priorities under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999 have been based on categorization results and new substances notifications. It is important to also consider other sources of information to identify possible candidates for future risk assessment. For this reason, the Approach for Identification of chemicals and polymers as risk assessment priorities under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) describes how information that comes from other jurisdictions, research, monitoring and external parties will be considered in the overall process.

The principles and considerations from the approach will be used to evaluate the new information and identify emerging priorities for risk assessment.

These recent changes help position Environment Canada and Health Canada to better recognize concerns, track emerging issues, and identify and prioritize substances requiring further work.

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The National Pollutant Release Inventory: Changed Reporting Requirements for Certain Substances

The substances 2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethanol (also known as DEGME) and thallium and its compounds have been added to the National Pollutant Release Inventory.

Reporting thresholds have also been lowered for acrylonitrile, bisphenol A, hydrazine, isoprene, nonylphenol and its ethoxylates, quinoline, and toluene diisocyanates.

The changes apply to the 2014 and 2015 reporting years, for information to be reported in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The changes were made to ensure that the list of reportable substances remains current, relevant and supports CMP activities.

The National Pollutant Release Inventory is Canada’s legally mandated, publicly accessible inventory of pollutant releases to air, water and land, disposals and recycling. It lists over 300 substances and substances groups.

Preliminary data was made available in July 2014, for the 2013 calendar year reviewed data, is expected to be made available to the public in late 2014 or early 2015. For more informationplease visit the National Pollutant Release Inventory website.

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Significant New Activity Notices and Orders under Review

Environment Canada and Health Canada are conducting a review of all 434 Significant New Activity notices and orders in force. Since publication of the first order in 2001, policies and practices have evolved, particularly with respect to the nature and scope of significant new activities, as well as the wording used to identify “significant new activities.” The review is being undertaken to ensure that everything is in step with current policies, including the Policy on the Use of Significant New Activity Provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (published in December 2013). Significant New Activity Notices and Orders will be reviewed between 2014 and 2017 in groups of similar chemistry (for example nanomaterials) or common elements (for example notices and orders with consumer product references). As a result of the review, Significant New Activity notices or orders may be rescinded, amended or left unchanged. Further detailed information on this review will be published in the Significant New Activity Approach section of the Chemicals Substances website in the coming months.

The review follows a focused dialogue in 2014 between Health Canada, Environment Canada and interested stakeholders on the use of Significant New Activity notices and orders under the CMP.

Follow-up activities have included publication of advisory notes and supplementary information in notices to improve communications and reflect new approaches to design.

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Coming CMP Polymer Reports

The finalized polymer approach document, which addresses polymers on the Domestic Substances List that were identified as priorities during categorization, will be published in the next few months. The draft polymer approach document was published in March 2012 and comments received were taken into consideration in finalizing the approach.

Another major ongoing activity in CMP polymers is the polymer rapid screening assessment of polymers in commerce in quantities less than one ton, which is entering its final stages. The target publication date for the draft polymer rapid screening assessment report is early 2015. Several additional activities related to CMP polymers are being planned. These include gathering and addressing comments from interested stakeholders on the draft polymer rapid screening report, as well as publishing the final report. Consulting with stakeholders on information collection for in-commerce polymers, as well as assessment of the in-commerce polymers, is also on the horizon.

It is expected that these activities will take place over several years and will involve the collection of polymer-specific information, as necessary, with information-gathering and analysis occurring over the next two years. This may include a survey of select polymers in commerce in quantities above one ton in 2015. Further consultations on additional elements of the initiative will occur throughout the process.

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Code of Practice for Butanone Oxime (MEKO)

MEKO (or butanone oxime), an anti-skinning agent in alkyd paints, primers, varnishes and stains, was determined to be harmful to human health under the CMP. To manage the risks, government and industry partners developed a voluntary code of practice for the substance. The code of practice is a first by Health Canada under the CMP and outlines three recommended practices for the substance: using the lowest concentrations of MEKO feasible; including a specific ventilation statement on labels; and providing consumer education on how to ventilate. The Code of Practice for 2-Butanone, oxime (Butanone oxime) Associated with the Interior Application of Consumer Alkyd Paint and Coating Products is available online.

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Products Containing Mercury Regulations

On November 19, the Products Containing Mercury Regulations were published. The Regulations will control the import and the manufacture of products that contain mercury and will exempt certain products which do not have any viable alternatives, such as medical devices. Some products, such as compact fluorescent lamps, will have limits in terms of mercury content.

For information on the Products Containing Mercury Regulations (SOR/2014-254), visit our website.

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Update on Regulatory Activities Related to Nanomaterials

Canada continues to use its existing chemical regulatory framework to manage nanomaterials, making adaptations where necessary to take into account the specific properties of nanomaterials. This approach is in line with the way many other jurisdictions around the world are managing nanomaterials, and is consistent with a recent Recommendation of the Council on the Safety Testing and Assessment of Manufactured Nanomaterials made by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. As such, new substances that fall within the nano-scale size range (1-100 nanometres) must be reported under the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers).

The New Substances Program recently published updated guidance in the form of an New Substances Program Advisory Note 2014-02 to provide greater clarity on when new nanomaterials require notification, and the type of information required by the program to inform risk assessments.

As part of a broader review of current Significant New Activity Notices under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, Environment Canada and Health Canada are reviewing Significant New Activity Notices that have been applied to nanoscale substances since 2007. The purpose is to ensure the notices are consistent with current policies and approaches, taking into consideration recent program experience with nanomaterial risk assessment and the increased knowledge base on nanomaterials. The outcomes of this review will be published in the coming months.

Information on Canada’s domestic and international initiatives related to new nanomaterials can be found online.

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Change in Timelines for Phthalates Grouping Publication

In light of complex scientific considerations – the cumulative effects issue in particular – as well as strong stakeholder interest for engagement and recent international developments, Environment Canada and Health Canada have modified timelines for evaluation of the phthalates substance grouping.

The change was made to accommodate publication of State of the Science Reports for the substances in the phthalate grouping, as well as a document outlining an approach for the human health and ecological cumulative risk assessment.

A 60-day public comment period will follow the release of the State of the Science Reports and the cumulative risk assessment approach in spring 2015. This additional activity will solicit input on the science prior to publication of draft screening assessments, including an assessment of cumulative risk as appropriate, in spring 2016.

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The Substance Groupings Initiative: Screening Assessment Work

Aromatic Azo and Benzidine-based Substance Grouping

The Substance Groupings Initiative reached an important milestone with the publication of the last 10 draft screening assessments for aromatic azo- and benzidine-based substances. In total, 358 aromatic azo- and benzidine-based substances, and any necessary risk management scope documents associated with them, were released between June 2013 and October 2014.

The publication of the final screening assessments has begun and is expected to continue through 2015.

Given the health concerns for some of the substances assessed in the Aromatic Azo- and Benzidine-based Substances Grouping, the government will investigate options for how best to monitor changes in the use profile of these substances. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide feedback on a consultation document describing potential options for information-gathering or preventative actions, to be published once assessment for all of the Aromatic Azo and Benzidine-based Substance Grouping are completed.

Other Groupings

Draft screening assessments for cobalt and cobalt-containing substances, internationally classified substances and methylenediphenyl diisocyanate and diamine substances have been published. The remaining groupings identified for action will be published in early 2015.

Groupings with a Draft Screening Assessment Published: Status at a Glance

Aromatic azo- and benzidine-based substances
Publication of draft assessment and risk management scope documents (as required)Publication of final assessment and risk management approach documents (as required)
Diarylide Yellow Pigments: June 15, 2013
Benzidine-based Dyes and Related Substances: June 15, 2013
Azo Disperse Dyes and Azo Solvent Dyes: November 2, 2013
Certain Monoazo Pigments: November 2, 2013
Azo Direct Dyes and Azo Reactive Dyes: March 29, 2014
Azo Metal Complexes and Other Azo Substances: May 17, 2014
Aromatic Amines and Azo Basic Dyes: July 26, 2014
Azo Acid Dyes: October 25, 2014
Diarylide Yellow Pigments: October 11, 2014
Benzidine-based Dyes and Related Substances: November 29, 2014
Certain Monoazo Pigments and Azo Solvent Dyes: early 2015
Azo Disperse Dyes: Spring 2015
Azo metal complexes and Other Azo Substances: Early 2015
Azo Direct Dyes and Azo Reactive Dyes: Early 2015
Aromatic Amines and Azo Basic Dyes: Spring 2015
Azo Acid Dyes: Summer 2015
Other Substance Groupings
Publication of draft assessment and risk management scope documents (as required)Publication of final assessment and risk management approach documents (as required)
Internationally classified substances : July 19, 2014 Internationally classified substances : Spring 2015
Methylenediphenyl diisocyanate and diamine substances August 16, 2014Methylenediphenyl diisocyanate and diamine substances: Summer 2015
Cobalt-containing substances: December 6, 2014Cobalt-containing substances: 2015-2016
Remaining Groupings: Status at a Glance
Substance groupingPublication of draft assessment and risk management scope documents (as required)
Substituted diphenylaminesSpring 2015
Selenium-containing substancesSpring 2015
Certain organic flame retardantsSpring 2015
Boron-containing substancesEarly 2015
PhthalatesState of the Science Report to be published in spring 2015

For more information on the Substance Groupings Initiative, visit our website or see the previous issues of the Chemicals Management Plan Progress Report.

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Sixth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on the Minamata Convention on Mercury

In October 2013, Canada signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury at the Diplomatic Conference in Japan. Since then, 128 governments have signed and nine countries have ratified the Convention. The treaty will enter into force after 50 countries have ratified. The sixth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee took place November 3-7, 2014, in Bangkok, Thailand, where advancements were made related to trade, exemptions, and the financial mechanism of the treaty. Further important progress was made on endorsing the work of the technical expert group to develop guidance on best available techniques and best environmental practices to control and reduce atmospheric emissions of mercury from relevant sources, an area of particular importance to Canada. The seventh session of the Committee will be held in Jordan in 2015 to work on remaining issues such as rules of procedure, financial rules and national reporting. For further information, visit the Minamata Convention on Mercury website.

 

 

 

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United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20): Sustainable Development Goals

The Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals has submitted a proposal for 17 goals and 169 targets to the President of the United Nations General Assembly for consideration.

The proposal includes one target on chemicals management under Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production, as well as chemicals-related targets under Goal 3 on health and well-being, and Goal 6 on sustainable water management.

The proposed goals will be one input in the Secretary General’s synthesis report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, expected in November 2014. Formal negotiations are expected to begin in early 2015, towards a summit in September 2015 to adopt an agenda for action.

The outcome document of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals is available online.

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Chemicals Management to be Part of Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council Work

The second phase of work under the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council, launched in August 2014, expands bilateral work on chemicals management. The goal of this initiative is to better align the regulatory systems in the two countries and enhance North American trade and competitiveness. The second phase was launched with the publication of the joint Forward Plan, which outlines new areas of regulatory alignment.

Specific objectives will include two aspects related to chemicals. One initiative will pursue common approaches on regulatory reporting requirements for new uses of chemicals (Significant New Activity provisions in Canada and Significant New Use Rules in the United States). The expected outcomes of this work include an increased level of predictability and understanding of the development and design of Significant New Activities and Significant New Use rules; consistent and effective approaches to compliance promotion; and increased collaboration on the sharing of information throughout the supply chain. A second initiative involves the identification of areas for closer collaboration in assessment. The expected outcomes of this work include the identification and analysis of opportunities and impediments to increase collaboration on risk assessment for joint priorities; an increased level of predictability and understanding of risk assessment approaches across the two jurisdictions; and increased collaboration and longer-term increased alignment on risk assessments. .

The final work plans are expected to be published in February 2015. For information, visit the Regulatory Cooperation Council.

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Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

The next back-to-back meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel Conventions will take place in 2015. The meetings were held back-to-back for the first time in 2013.

In 2013, the parties agreed on the addition of several new substances to the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent and to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The parties also made progress on work towards updating technical guidelines for hazardous waste, including persistent organic pollutants waste, under the Basel Convention.

The Conferences of the Parties to the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions will meet in May 2015, along with the Basel Conferences of the Parties. The government will continue engagement of stakeholders to solicit views once agendas have been provided (expected spring 2015).

To learn more about the work done under the three conventions, visit the Synergies website.

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Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 52nd Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and the Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology was held November 4-6, 2014. The agenda included updates on the Co-operative Chemicals Assessment Programme, children’s health and information technology tools for chemicals management. More information can be found on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development website.

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Fourth Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management

The second session of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management’s Open-Ended Working Group will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from December 15 to 17, 2014. The main objective of the meeting is to prepare for the fourth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management in September 2015, at which recommended steps and priority actions for the next five years will be discussed. The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management is a non-binding, multi-stakeholder voluntary policy framework adopted in 2006 to implement the World Summit for Sustainable Development goal for the safe management of chemicals by 2020. Further information on the Strategic Approach, including meeting agendas, can be found on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management website.

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Stakeholder Engagement News

Meetings and workshops

CMP Stakeholder Advisory Council

The CMP Stakeholder Advisory Council is an important forum for stakeholder input to the CMP, a place where stakeholders can provide feedback and enter into a dialogue with government officials. Its list of Members includes a wide range of stakeholders who meet twice a year. Members are also responsible for sharing the deliberations of the Council with their constituencies or members. At its most recent meeting, held on October 30, 2014, discussions took place on the future of CMP, enhancing transparency in the New Substances Program, the Regulatory Cooperation Council and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management.

Visit the Stakeholder Advisory Council for more information, including records of past meetings.

Multi-stakeholder Workshop on the Future of the CMP held in Ottawa on October 29

The goal of this workshop was to provide updates to a multi-stakeholder group regarding the progress made under the CMP and to seek stakeholder input on the future of the CMP. It was organized as a result of a meeting on June 2. Stakeholder support has been a very important element within the CMP, and the government values continued dialogue with stakeholders.

CMP Science Committee: Most Recent Meeting November 4-5

The CMP Science Committee provides external, unbiased input to Health Canada and Environment Canada on scientific issues that are essential to the CMP. The CMP Science Committee held its most recent meeting in November 2014. The meeting allowed members to engage in knowledge exchange, and discussions centred on the justification for a robust use of information from similar assessments to support other risk assessments (for example, scientific read-across). The government provided members with a charge question and objectives paper in advance, and the Committee report may help inform CMP work in this area. Visit the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) Science Committee website for reports published to date.

Web-based information sessions

Webinar for Health and Environment Stakeholders

On October 22, Health Canada and Environment Canada hosted a webinar with stakeholders from non-governmental, academic and health professional communities on the future of the CMP. The purpose of the webinar was to provide this engaged network with an update on the CMP and solicit their early thoughts on the next phase of the program.

New Substances Program Webinars

These webinars, held on September 24 and November 28, provided participants with the basics of the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers) covering seven areas:

 

Canadian Network for Human Health and the Environment Webinars

The Canadian Network for Human Health and the Environment continues to involve health and environment stakeholders in the CMP through its network of over 350 members. The Network is making use of social media to engage a broad range of stakeholders in its CMP outreach efforts, and has more than 500 followers on Twitter and over 200 on Facebook, from the non-governmental, research, health professional and policy communities. The Network, in conjunction with Health Canada and Environment Canada, held its most recent webinar in early December.  Please visit the Canadian Network for Human Health and the Environment website for details.

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Exposure of Pregnant Women to Chemicals: Study Results

The CMP-funded Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals Study is a national multi-year research platform involving approximately 2,000 pregnant women in 10 cities. The study began in 2007, and its main goals are to measure the extent to which pregnant women and their babies are exposed to priority environmental chemicals; to measure the levels of those chemicals and some of the beneficial components of breast milk; and to assess what potential health risks, if any, are associated with a pregnant woman’s exposure to these substances.

Statistical analysis of the study data began in the spring of 2012, and a descriptive summary of the study population was published in 2013 (Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2013 Jul;27:415-25).

The first biomonitoring study results were published online in April 2014 and described bisphenol A and phthalate exposure for the largest population of pregnant women sampled in the first trimester of pregnancy (Environment International 2014 Jul; 68:55-65).

Results indicate that roughly 90% of the women had detectable levels of bisphenol A, also known as BPA. Further analysis showed that concentrations decreased with increasing maternal age and were higher in smokers or women who quit smoking during pregnancy when compared to never-smokers. Concentrations also tended to be higher in women who provided a fasting urine sample, were born in Canada, and had lower incomes and education.

Some phthalates were commonly found in maternal urine, while others were rarely found.

These findings indicate that exposure to these chemicals among this population of pregnant women is comparable to, and in some cases lower than, that observed for women of reproductive age in Canada in the Canadian Health Measures Survey.

Study results will be used to inform risk assessment and risk management activities, with the ultimate aim of reducing the health risks posed to Canadians by environmental chemicals.

The datasets on environmental chemicals and maternal-infant health generated by the project will continue to be analyzed and the results reported in scientific literature. Future study articles focus on exposure to different forms of bisphenol A and to triclosan among pregnant women in the study cohort; prenatal phthalate and bisphenol A exposures and fetal markers of metabolic dysfunction; maternal blood metal levels and fetal markers of metabolic function; and persistent organic pollutant levels in human milk from Canada – a comparison of current with previous results. See the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (The MIREC Study) and Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC): A National Profile of In Utero and Lactational Exposure to Environmental Contaminants websites for more information.

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Publications on the Horizon

*Please note that the number of publications from January to April, 2015, will be large and stakeholders should plan accordingly.

Draft screening assessments and risk management scopes (when needed) for:

Final screening assessments and risk management approaches (when needed) for:

Risk management instruments for:

Environmental Emergency Regulations:

Significant New Activity Approach:


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