Environmental Effects Monitoring

The pollution prevention provision (section 36) of the Fisheries Act prohibits the deposit of deleterious substances such as effluents in water frequented by fish unless authorized by Regulations. Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) is a condition governing authority to deposit effluent under two effluent regulations, namely the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (PPER) and the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER), both of which are pursuant to the Fisheries Act.

The EEM regulatory requirements are meant to identify effects, if any, on fish, fish habitat and use by man of fish which may be caused by these effluents.

EEM is a science-based performance measurement tool used to evaluate the adequacy of these regulations in protecting fish, fish habitats and the use of fisheries resources. The pulp and paper and metal mining industries are required to meet their regulatory requirements which include conducting:

  • water quality studies
  • effluent characterization studies
  • sublethal toxicity testing
  • biological monitoring studies in the receiving environment

These biological monitoring studies and chemical/toxicological analyses are conducted by the regulated industries to assess and investigate the effects caused by their effluent discharges.