Terms of Reference for
NPRI Sub-group on Alternate Threshold Framework
At the consultation meeting in June 2006, Environment Canada (EC) proposed to the NPRI Multi-stakeholder Work Group on Substances (WG) the option of utilizing the air dispersion modelling technique to determine the appropriate reporting thresholds for Category 3 substances as defined in the Alternate Threshold (ATH) Framework, which had been previously developed in September, 2004. While the stakeholders generally agreed that the proposal has its merits and would support it in principle, they felt that further discussion would be warranted not only to deal with the modelling idea, but also to address the issues surrounding the Framework in a bigger picture. As a result, the WG recommended to re-convene the ATH Sub-group (SG), whose mandate will examine the concept of an ATH framework in a broader context, including the modelling component.
Membership of the ATH SG is subsequently determined by soliciting volunteers during the summer, and the group's first task is to develop the terms of reference for the work to be carried out accordingly.
2. Objectives of the ATH SG
The ATH SG is required to:
- Review the ATH framework developed in 2004 and review how the past decisions were made on adding substances at an ATH
- Explore the merits and limitations of models and other mechanisms (e.g. toxicity data, policy decisions) to establish an ATH
- Define substances of special concern (category 3 substances) that should be considered for an ATH
- Develop a proposal to complete the review and refinement of the ATH framework
3. ATH Sub-group Process
For the purposes of better information exchange during the conference calls, the following procedures shall be followed.
- The ATH SG members will be mainly engaged in conference calls. Research on the issues prior to the conference calls is encouraged among the members.
- Unless the SG membership decides otherwise, conference calls must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance and relevant meeting materials should be made available to the members at least 2 weeks ahead.
- A quorum is required before a meeting or conference call can proceed unless otherwise approved by the missing participant in advance. The full SG membership will decide while finalizing the mandate what will constitute a quorum.
- In the event all members cannot attend a meeting or conference call, those missing shall be given the opportunity to review minutes and decisions before the SG documents are posted.
- Agreement should be sought on the work of the SG. In circumstances where an agreement cannot be achieved, the issue and the various positions will be documented in the final report. Recommendations relating to resolution should be detailed if possible. In cases where the SG is unable to reach an agreement, all related information about this issue will be forwarded to the WG.
- The conference calls would not be held without at least one member from each of the representative groups present unless prior consent is given.
Since some considerable efforts are expected to be required to complete the work objectives as outlined, the longevity of the ATH SG should last at least a year. During the period, recommendations must be made to the NPRI WG on a timely basis at each of the scheduled WG meetings. There is the potential for the ATH SG to continue its work beyond 2007 to ensure all the elements in the Framework be properly applied in the future.
The following representatives were nominated to the membership list:
- 1 aboriginal representative
- 2 ENGO representatives
- 4 industry representatives
- 3 or 4 government representatives
The membership representation would not change over the period even though the individuals might be different as the actual representatives.
The ATH SG will be chaired by EC-NPRI. The EC representative will ensure the timely distribution of documents for review, make the necessary arrangement for the conference calls, prepare minutes of meetings with identified action items, and draft a report on behalf of the group.
Members of the group are expected to provide positive and forward-moving contributions for the resolution of the relevant issues. They should ensure that views which they express reflect those of their respective constituency and not their personal views. They will be expected to provide concrete input to the minutes of the meetings and to the report.
6. Role of the Facilitator
A facilitator will not be required for the group.
EC will cover the expenses incurred for the ATH SG conference calls in accordance to the Treasury Board guidelines.
Draft Date: 2006-10-16
- Date Modified: