Canada – United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC)

Regulatory Partnership Statement between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada

Environment Canada (EC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are committed to continue working together to deliver benefits for the public, industry and regulators while maintaining consumer protection, health, safety, security and the environment. 

The Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Joint Forward Plan set out commitments for Canadian and U.S. regulatory departments and agencies to establish Regulatory Partnership Statements that include: high-level governance between them and a commitment to work together moving forward; opportunities for stakeholders to provide input, inform strategies, identify priorities and discuss progress on initiatives; and  a mechanism for annual reviews of work plans to consider adjustments and provide status updates on the progress. 

Purpose:

The following is a general description of how EC and EPA will work together going forward, which builds on EC’s and EPA’s long history of cooperative work.  This Regulatory Partnership Statement outlines a consistent and predictable mechanism for engaging with stakeholders bi-nationally, with an aim to facilitate opportunities and reduce barriers to alignment, including minimizing the duplication of effort on key assessment and scientific tools.

Scope of Work:

The focus of this current work is in chemical regulation:   EC’s Science and Technology Branch, in partnership with Health Canada’s Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, and the (EPA) Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics will advance aspects of cooperation on chemicals regulation, with a focus on chemical risk assessment, under the RCC.   

The scope of the work to be undertaken under this Regulatory Partnership will vary over time, depending on the agencies’ respective needs and priorities and the views of stakeholders, but will center on work that will support chemical risk assessment including, but not limited to, areas such as:

  • information gathering;
  • information sharing;
  • technical work-sharing;
  • scientific collaboration;
  • international collaboration; and,
  • risk assessment methodology.

The agencies are open to other areas of potential cooperation, including areas of cooperation based on input from stakeholders.  If the agencies agree, additional work areas may be pursued, and the Governance structure may be modified if necessary.

Governance:

The lead authorities responsible for this Regulatory Partnership Statement are at the Assistant Deputy Minister level, Environment Canada, and the Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.  For EPA, the Assistant Administrator will delegate much of the responsibilities of this RPS to the Deputy Director of EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.  For EC, the Assistant Deputy Minister will delegate much of responsibilities for this RPS to the Director General of Environment Canada’s Science and Risk Assessment Directorate, senior Health Canada representative as appropriate.   Both lead authorities, however, will continue to provide overall direction in this area. A lead authorities meeting will be held annually to discuss the overall scope of cooperation between the three agencies, including the progress of ongoing work plans, and short, medium and long term bilateral and multilateral priorities.  Key stakeholders from each jurisdiction will be invited to attend a portion of periodic governance meetings dedicated to discussion with the departmental leads on medium- and long-term alignment opportunities. 

The meetings will also be used to discuss how Environment Canada, in partnership with Health Canada, and EPA can continue to align these efforts with on-going work under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and will leverage this forum to further dialogue with stakeholders.

Work Planning:

Directors in Environment Canada’s Science and Risk Assessment Directorate, Health Canada’s Safe Environments Directorate and EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, who are implicated in current and potential areas of work, will meet regularly to review progress of ongoing work plans and to develop new ones.  Based on priorities identified by lead authorities, work plans will be a product of mutual agreement between the regulatory partners, and will focus on tangible benefits for regulators and stakeholders. Work plans will be informed by emerging issues and stakeholder input and priorities and can be adjusted throughout the year, as new challenges or priorities arise. Work plans may contain both internal government-to-government activities and activities involving stakeholders.

Environment Canada, Health Canada, and EPA are committed to the continuation and strengthening of on-going collaboration with stakeholders under this new phase of RCC.  Stakeholders will have regular opportunities to engage on RCC initiatives during targeted stakeholder meetings, teleconferences and webinars for both priority setting and workplan development.  Stakeholders will be asked to organize themselves bi-nationally and identify regulatory challenges and opportunities to the degree possible.

RCC workplans will be posted on the Environment Canada website and US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration website. Deliverables and timelines will be provided along with key contact points for further information.

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