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Part I - Canada's Draft National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention

Appendix F - 2005 Consultations on Canada's National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention

Report on Key Observations and Conclusions from a Multi-Stakeholder Consultation Session Held in Ottawa, February 14, 2005

I. Introduction

Purpose of this Report

This report provides a summary of key observations and conclusions from a one-day multi-stakeholder consultation session convened by Environment Canada to solicit comments and suggestions on Canada's draft National Implementation Plan (NIP) Under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

Part I of the NIP addresses Canada's approach to implementing all of the relevant terms of the Stockholm Convention, including a summary chapter on unintentionally produced POPs. Further details of Canada's approach to unintentionally produced POPs are set out in Part II of the NIP, which constitutes Canada's National Action Plan (NAP) on Unintentionally Produced Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Session Process and Agenda

The purpose of the focused stakeholder consultation session (see Annex 1: Session Agenda) was to obtain comments and suggestions from a cross-section of stakeholders (see Annex 2: Session Participants) on Canada's draft National Implementation Plan (NIP) Under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

The session began with a short introductory overview of the nature of Canada's commitments for such a national implementation plan, and the process by which the draft was prepared. Discussion sessions then focused on the two principal areas of intentionally produced and unintentionally produced POPs.

Following a brief discussion and clarification of the commitments in each section of the plans, session participants stated their concerns about the clarity and/or adequacy of the plans, and offered suggestions to strengthen and/or clarify the statements of commitment and the specific plans, processes and/or timeframes by which the commitments will be fulfilled. While the session was not designed as a consensus forum, it was evident that stakeholders generally agreed with most if not all of the points raised by their co-participants; certainly there were no major areas of disagreement.

Nature and Use of Consultation Findings

As noted at the opening of the session the draft NIP will be shared with other countries as an information piece at the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-1), May 2-6, 2005 in Uruguay. Subsequently, the plan will be adjusted in consideration of: i) suggestions by meeting participants; ii) subsequent written comments from participants (by March 18, 2005); iii) written input received by March 18, 2005 from the public posting of the draft on Environment Canada's CEPA Registry website, and from insights gleaned at COP-1 and feedback received from other countries. Following COP-1, Environment Canada will consider all advice received, and will then complete the NIP and submit it on behalf of the Government of Canada to the COP before May 17, 2006. Before submitting the final NIP to the Conference of the Parties in 2006, final consultations will be held.

II. General Observations and Suggestions

In this chapter, as in all remaining chapters of this report, the observations and suggestions provided reflect the views of the workshop participants, and are written from their perspective. As noted in the introduction, while the consultation workshop was not a consensus-oriented forum, there appeared to be a consistently high degree of comfort amongst the participants on the points set out below and in subsequent chapters.

In general (in the stakeholders' view), the plan seems to cover all of the major areas of commitment under the Convention, and provides a reasonably complete and clear summary of existing policies, programs and strategies that are or will be brought to bear on the commitments within Canada.

The primary concerns focus on the apparent "passive" language in the plan. Other concerns deal with a few areas where greater clarity of the government's commitments and plans is needed, or where additional complementary initiatives and plan elements would result in a more robust and comprehensive national approach.

Highlighted below are some of the general observations and suggestions for the plan. In each subsequent section of this report, more specific observations and suggestions are set out for detailed elements of the plan.

  • Wherever possible (recognizing that in some areas specific government policies and programs have yet to be articulated), make explicit references to government commitments for specific action, especially new measures and directions, rather than a simple statement of existing policy. In particular, provide as much detail as possible of specific initiatives that will be pursued to give force/effect to existing policies, including timeframes for their implementation.
  • In general, shift the language and tone from the "passive" to the "active" voice, with a clear indication of how and when identified actions will be undertaken.
  • Provide full names and definitions of any abbreviated terms or acronyms, such as "HCH".
  • Include a concluding section that:
    • Affirms/reaffirms key substantive elements in the plan
    • Solidifies connections/linkages to other relevant strategies
    • Maps out a general process and timeframe for implementation of the plan
    • Sets out how the plan will be monitored, evaluated and updated
    • Affirms/reaffirms key commitments regarding processes for ongoing development, implementation, refinement and updating of the plan, including commitments for stakeholder engagement
  • Include, where appropriate, examples of successful approaches to the management of POPs in Canada, including an analysis of what factors contributed to the success. Include commitments to communicate and promote these examples internationally.
  • Include specific measures to evaluate the results of actions, including the effectiveness of various domestic and international initiatives.
  • Indicate how potential new POPs will be considered and addressed, rather than just those currently covered under the Convention.
  • While allowing appropriate references to successes to date in the handling of POPs of concern to Canada, avoid leaving a general overall impression that all POPsissues have been fully resolved in Canada.

III. Comments on Individual Sections of the Draft Plan

Chapter 1: Introduction and Chapter 2: Canada and POPs

  • Throughout, where appropriate, ensure a sensitivity and specific reference to the significance of the impacts of POPs in the natural environment and the human food chain, for Aboriginal peoples and northerners, particularly dependent upon subsistence economies and traditional ("country") foods.
  • 2.24: Highlight how the plan links with other relevant/complementary commitments and their respective implementations plans, e.g., Basel Convention, Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure, UNECE and other regional agreements, and their relationship with the Stockholm Convention on POPs.
  • Explain how the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) relates to CEPA.
  • Explain which substances are subject to severe use restrictions, and what that entails.
  • Indicate that CEPA 1999 will be subject this year to a mandatory review by Parliament (i.e., as part of the general context for the plan), and that the review should examine international concerns as well as the authorities and obligations under CEPA related to international agreements covering POPs.
  • 2.32: The statements regarding pesticide regulations need to be clarified, something which PMRA agreed to address.
  • Highlight the positive example that Canada has made by inclusion of NGO representatives in its POPsdelegations, something that should be actively promoted and encouraged internationally.
  • 2.4: Highlight that consultations have been undertaken, and how, including appropriate reference to the Northern Lights Against POPs, and providing a brief overview of the history of engagement in the Convention.

Chapter 3: Measures to Reduce or Eliminate Releases from Intentional Production and Use

  • Include some information about the current approach, commitments and timeframes for the categorization and assessment of existing or new substances and products in Canada and, in particular, how they are assessed for potential POPs concerns and public access to information. Highlight the relevant substance and product assessment legislation and how it is being, and will be, applied.
  • 3.2: Refer to the revisions to PCB regulations (or at least make a cross-reference to where information and further details can be found.)
  • Include specific measures to evaluate the results of actions, including the effectiveness of various domestic and international initiatives.
  • Indicate how potential new POPs will be considered and addressed, rather than just those currently covered under the Convention.
  • Provide a clear explanation of the application of Minister's prior notices related to exports.

Chapter 4: Register of Specific Exemptions and Chemicals Subject to Restricted Use

  • 4.2: Check to ensure that the wording of the references to DDT is accurate.

Chapter 5: Measures to Reduce Total Releases from Unintentional Production

See comments and suggestions below, in section IV. Comments on National Action Plan (NAP) on Unintentionally Produced POPs

Chapter 6: Measures to Identify and Manage Stockpiles and Wastes

  • Clarify if the stockpile initiatives deal with "reservoirs" and in any case indicate how orphan "stockpiles" or accumulations are to be addressed, including pools and sediments of POPs and POPs-contaminated materials and sites. In particular, make it clear that while Canada may not be producing or using certain POPs now, we did at one time use them and need to indicate in the plan how we are tracking their fate, and dealing with identified stockpiles or accumulated wastes. Of particular concern are northern military and transportation sites where PCBs and other POPs may be accumulated.
  • Include a clear definition of "wastes", and how it will be applied to this plan.
  • 6.2.1.2: Clarify wording related to handling of PCBs, including clarification of what guidelines apply and the nature of new federal regulations. Indicate where and how CCME guidelines apply.
  • Indicate what measures are being put in place to "oversee the overseers", i.e., to monitor and audit results against commitments.
  • Indicate specific commitments to examine gaps or weaknesses in CEPA 1999, as part of the mandatory Parliamentary review of the Act.

Chapter 7: Supporting Activities

  • In general, strengthen and highlight measures dealing with public awareness and education. In particular, show how the plan will equip and motivate Canadians to take actions themselves to address POPs and related issues.
  • In general, expand and enhance the quantitative data available on emissions, sources, and related reductions.
  • Provide more information about the nature and uses of the international POPs fund, including plans, commitments, actions and results.
  • Indicate clear commitments for evaluation of actions and results on POPs.
  • Indicate a commitment to establish a reliable, comprehensive and up to date baseline survey of POPs levels in Canada, including sources.

Chapter 8: Other Commitments

  • Make a specific commitment to use results of the on-going categorization and health and environmental assessment work under CEPA to provide information on potential new POPs of concern.
  • Provide clear indication of what criteria and processes will be used to assess and identify new candidate POPs to be addressed, including clear indication of processes and criteria for addition of new chemicals.
  • Indicate clearly how Canadians will be engaged in the future, i.e., beyond COP-1. In particular, indicate commitments and plans for engagement with Aboriginal governments, representative organizations and interest groups, and their roles in consultation and decision-making on Canada's approach to POPs.
  • Set out commitments and plans to strengthen our understanding of human exposures to POPs, and their linkage to know or suspected health outcomes.

Chapter 9: Summary and Report on NIP Constulations

  • Include a summary chart showing all major commitments in the plan, and related time lines for their completion. Emphasize new or accelerated actions and the inclusion of specific commitments for active implementation, follow-up and evaluation.
  • Indicate, to maximum extent possible, "outstanding issues" that will be considered and addressed, even where specific commitments on their precise handling cannot be included because the policy decisions have yet to be taken.
  • Include a commitment to expand the scope and details of the National Pollutant Release Inventory as one tool to support monitoring and evaluation of results.
  • Indicate commitments for more collaborative work internationally on the POPs file, and how the international agenda will be pursued.

IV. Comments on National Action Plan (NAP) on Unintentionally Produced POPs

Releases of Unintentionally Produced POPs in Canada

  • Provide an updated chart on releases by source and in any case, set out a commitment to regularly update and monitor national releases by source.
  • Provide clear indication of areas of data uncertainty (including nature and limitations of available emissions factors), along with a commitment and implementation plan on how these will be addressed through improved data collection and analysis efforts, and enhancement of emissions factors.
  • Incorporate regional/provincial/territorial release profiles, where possible.
  • Provide explanations of the known or suspected sources, including clear distinctions between human and natural sources.
  • To the extent possible, align the data definitions and quantification parameters with those of the Toxics Release Inventory of the United States.

Laws and Policies

  • Shift the tone from a simple, passive description of the existing legislative and policy regime to an active declaration of commitments and plans to apply the policies and laws.
  • Indicate specific areas and priorities for improvement and strengthening of policies and legislation.
  • Set out a commitment and plans for the overall monitoring and evaluation of the application of laws and policies, and their effectiveness and results indicate specific areas and priorities for improvement and strengthening of policies and legislation.
  • Indicate commitments and plans to address the issue of "reservoirs" of POPs, including approaches to track and deal with long-term custody and disposal of POPsmaterials.
  • Include a commitment and indication of plans to develop and identify levels of quantification (LoQ) for HCB and PCBs, and considerations for how LoQsgenerally could be improved where this would advance the management of unintentional POPs. Also provide an explanation of how LoQs are derived (as other countries/Parties may be interested in this aspect).
  • Include specific commitments related to compliance with and enforcement of existing laws and regulations, and in general how compliance will be enhanced.

Strategies to Reduce Total Releases

  • In general, strengthen affirmative statements about what will be done, and when, to implement reduction measures, including measures to be pursued federally to promote, encourage and support national action.
  • Include commitments and plans to address alternative approaches for the many hundreds of smaller and remote communities where there is currently no perceived viable alternate to open incineration of materials that may release POPs to the environment.

Use of Best Available Techniques and Best Environmental Practices and Use of Substitute or Modified Materials, Products and Processes

  • Emphasize the funding and convening of forums that share information on best technologies and practices and that encourage their adoption.
  • Strengthen measures to track and disseminate information of emerging technologies that may be of benefit.

Education, Training, and Awareness Building

  • Note other initiatives that include education, training and awareness building aspects, such as Northern Contaminants Programs and Eco-Action funded waste programs.
  • Actions should be identified to address education, training and awareness building needs in geographic areas between the northern and southern parts of Canada.
  • Make clear declarations of commitments and plans for stakeholder engagement in future evaluation and refinement/updating of the plan.

Implementation Schedule and Strategy Review

  • Provide annual or biennial status reports that would assist in conducting the five-year reviews of strategies to reduce releases, while allowing for timely monitoring, evaluation and adjustment of approaches in response to identified needs and opportunities.
  • Provide specific timelines for specific tasks and actions, against which progress can be measured.
  • Establish a multi-stakeholder forum and open, transparent process for the five-year review of strategies.

Conclusions

  • Reiterate key commitments, processes and timeframes set out in the plan.
  • Provide a clear indication of the commitment of resources and priorities for the implementation and periodic review and updating of the plan.

V. Next Steps

  • Communicate findings and results from COP-1, including any significant reactions to, or suggestions for, Canada's draft National Implementation Plan.
  • Prepare a revised version of the NIP and the associated NAP, taking into account findings in this consultation report, and other sources of stakeholder input.
  • Ensure strong linkages and coordination with other relevant federal and national initiatives, dealing with chemicals management and pollutant releases, so as to maximize complementarity as well as sharing of insights on effective approaches.
  • Provide a regular process for review, updating and refinement of the implementation plan.
  • Ensure a robust, open and transparent process for stakeholder engagement in on-going monitoring, evaluation and periodic refinement of the plan.

 

Annex 1: Session Agenda

Environment Canada
Consultation on Canada's National Implementation Plan (NIP)
Under the Stockholm Convention on POPs

Monday, February 14, 2005

Aristocrat Suite Hotel
141 Cooper Street, Ottawa, Ontario
Victoria A/B Meeting Room

Session Agenda

9:00 - 10:00
Check-in and Informal Networking

10:00 - 10:15
Introductions, Opening Remarks and Review of Agenda Cheryl Heathwood, Environment Canada Phil Nicholson, Facilitator

10:15 - 10:30
Overview of Canada's NIP: Purpose, Structure and Process Greg Filyk, Environment Canada

10:30 - 11:15

Ch. 3: Measures to Reduce or Eliminate Releases from Intentional Production and Use
Ch. 4: Register of Specific Exemptions and Chemicals Subject to Restricted Use

  • General Observations
  • Specific Suggestions, Section by Section
11:15 - 11:30
BREAK

11:30 - 12:30

Ch. 5 (& NIP Part II) : Measures to Reduce Total Releases From Unintentional Production: Canada's National Action Plan (NAP):
Patrick Finlay, Environment Canada

  • General Observations
  • Specific Suggestions, Section by Section
12:30 - 13:30
LUNCH (On Site)

13:30 - 14:30
Canada's NAP (continued)

14:30 - 15:30

Ch. 6: Measures to Identify and Manage Stockpiles and Wastes

  • General Observations
  • Specific Suggestions, Section by Section
15:30 - 15:45
BREAK

15:45 - 16:30

Ch. 7: Supporting Activities
Ch. 8: Other Commitments

  • General Observations
  • Specific Suggestions, Section by Section
16:30 - 16:50

Outstanding Questions and Issues

  • General Discussion
16:50 - 17:00
Wrap-Up and Immediate Next Steps Cheryl Heathwood, Environment Canada

 

Annex 2: Session Participants

Federal Government

  • Greg Filyk, Environment Canada
  • Patrick Finlay, Environment Canada
  • Shalini Gupta, Health Canada
  • Cheryl Heathwood, Environment Canada
  • Shelly Roy, Environment Canada
  • Sarah Ternan, Environment Canada
  • Drew MacDonald, Environment Canada
  • Kelly Butler, Health Canada

Industry

  • Bruce Boyd, Canadian Steel Producers Association
  • Dennis Kemp, Noranda Inc/Falconbridge Limited
  • David Shortt, CCPA-Dow Chemical Canada Inc.
  • Judy Shaw, Syngenta Crop Protection Canada Inc.

NGOs

  • Fe de Leon, Canadian Environmental Law Association
  • John Jackson, Great Lakes United
  • Anna Tilman, STORM Coalition
  • James White, Ecology Action Centre

Aboriginal Organizations

  • Stephanie Meakin, Inuit Circumpolar Conference
  • Alan Penn, Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
  • Chris Paci, Dene Nation

Consultants

  • Ann Hewitt, Anacapa Consulting (plan preparation)
  • Phil Nicholson, Nicholson Consultants (meeting facilitation)

Observers

  • Andrea Moher, Canadian Environmental Law Association
  • Jody Sustrum, Environment Canada
  • Peggy Farnsworth, Environment Canada
  • Agusti Bordas-i-Cusco, Environment Canada

 

Annex 3 - 2005 Written Submissions Regarding Canada's National Implementation Plan

Canadian Chemical Producers' Association

Canadian Chemical Producers'
Suite 805, 350 Sparks Street
Ottawa ON K1R 7S8
T: 613-237-6215 F: 613-237-4061
www.ccpa.ca

March 7, 2005

Mr. Greg Filyk
Manager, POPs
Environment Canada
Transboundary Air Issues
351 St. Joseph Blvd.
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3

Dear Mr. Filyk,

RE: CCPA Comments on National Implementation Plan and Action Plan for POPs

Attached please find CCPA comments on the National Implementation Plan and National Action Plan for POPs. The comments are based on the version sent out before the consultation. The documents posted on the web are slightly different - e.g. Section 1.3.1 has a paragraph describing each individual POP. Overall, we found the plans were appropriate although rather long. We would hope that they could be edited to be shorter, sharper and more focused. We hope that comments from stakeholders do not lead to an even lengthier version. For this reason, CCPA has tried to keep its comments very concise and focused.

It is important to remember that Canada was able to ratify the Stockholm Convention because we concluded our existing policies and legislation allowed us to implement it. The National Implementation Plan and National Action Plans need to confirm this. We do not need the plan to make new policy and positions across numerous regulatory activities, and it should not be misused for this purpose. We are pleased to see that this is the case with the plan to date, and we hope this will continue to be the case. CCPA is somewhat concerned about the proposal to table the plan at the COP Meeting in Uruguay prior to its finalization. We believe that Canada should share the draft plan informally with other countries and this would be useful. However, to formally table it would add a sense of finality that is inappropriate at this stage. While Environment Canada did a good job in early 2004 of involving stakeholders early in the process of developing this plan, there was no further stakeholder involvement until February 14th, 2005. Had Environment Canada involved stakeholders at an earlier stage in reviewing the draft plan, we might be in a better position to table it at the COPMeeting, however this was not the case.

The National Action Plan should be a shorter, sharper and more focused document. The content should be a presentation of the Canadian successes that allowed us to accomplish the goals of the Stockholm Convention. We do not need to define more plans or policies, but must proactively have pride in listing our accomplishments and "tooting our own horn".

Sincerely,

Gordon Lloyd,
Vice-President, Technical Affairs

Enclosure

c.c.: Cheryl Heathwood, Environment Canada
Jean-Louis Wallace, Foreign Affairs Canada
Gary McGee, Industry Canada
Dave Shortt, Dow Chemical Canada Inc.

March 7, 2005

Specific CCPA Comments on
Canada's National Implementation Plan and National Action Plan
Re Stockholm Convention POPs

In Section 1.1, Paragraph 2, the reference should be to "voluntary programs and standards" as a reference to "voluntary standards" is too narrow.

In Section 1.3.1, the section on "What are POPs?" should conclude that under the Stockholm Convention POPs are substances that are added to the Convention. The preceding discussion in Section 1.3.1 provides a useful generic understanding of what POPs are all about, but is misleading in the context of the Convention, where a POP is what is added to the Stockholm Convention.

Section 1.3.2 should be refocused by deleting the second paragraph. This would remove speculative and potentially inflammatory language. The typo involving "for good" should be eliminated from the first paragraph - it should be "for food".

In Section 1.4 describing the Stockholm Convention, there should be a brief mention of the process for determining a substance as a POP including: review of a proposed POPs to see if it meets the scientific screening criteria (Annex D); the development of a risk profile (Annex E); and review of socio-economic considerations (Annex F). It should be noted that for POPs products there is an Annex A to add POPs when they are intended to be eliminated and an Annex B to add them when they are intended to be restricted and managed (e.g. DDT). For unintended byproduct POPs there is Annex C, where it should be noted that the approach is measures to reduce or eliminate releases with the goal of their continuing minimization and, where feasible, ultimate elimination. It should be explained that "feasible" is in the context of technically and economically feasible.

In Section 2.1.2 re economic and political profile, too rosy a picture of Canada's economic prospects is painted. While Canada ranked 6th in the world in GDP per capita in 2002, our prosperity is at risk due to ongoing problems with the gap in our productivity. Industry Canada should be asked to add a paragraph on this issue. Environment Canada should also include a paragraph on the emerging recognition within the Canadian Government that economic and environmental issues need to be looked at together as reflected in the development of a Competitiveness and Environmental Sustainability Framework.

In Section 2.3.1.3, the statement is made that "POPs targeted for action under the Stockholm Convention are designated as Track 1 substances under TSMP and targeted for virtual elimination". This might not necessarily be true of all substances that are subsequently added to the Convention. This should be qualified in the statement. While the TSMP discussion is useful, what is probably more relevant are the specific provisions in CEPA and the Pest Control Product Act.

In the CEPA Section 2.3.1.1, there should be some reference to virtual elimination requirements and a cross-reference to these in the TSMP Section. This should note that virtual elimination release limits are set for substances under CEPA taking into account health and environmental risks and socio-economic and technical factors, and this will apply to POPs.

At the end of Chapter 2, it is appreciated and appropriate that Responsible Care® Program is mentioned.

In Section 5.1 (second last paragraph) where the reference is made to "the goal of their continuing minimization and, where feasible, ultimate elimination", there should be a reference to the fact that feasible is understood in the Convention to include "economic and technically feasible". This was very clear in the development of the Convention and the negotiation of this specific text. That understanding and reality needs to be reflected in the Canadian National Implementation Plan.

Section 5.2 presents a good depiction of successes that Canada has had in reducing dioxin and furan emissions. The plan depicts this in factually accurate terminology, but should go on to clearly say that this program has been a success. This is a general flaw in the plan. Canada has been successful in managing POPs. The plan presents the evidence that could be used to make that conclusion, but then the Plan falls short of making that conclusion. In a typically Canadian fashion, we refuse to "toot our own horn". In the POPs area, both in terms of developing the Convention and in terms of implementing what is needed, Canada has been a leader and achieved great success. We should be proud of this and declare these successes as such.

Section 6.2 re managing waste stockpiles, should make it clear from the outset that Canada supports appropriate incineration as an acceptable management tool under the Stockholm Convention. The attached letter reassuring CCPA of this from ADM Barry Stemshorn should, in fact, be referenced and be an attachment in the National Implementation Plan. This should be right at the beginning of Section 6.2 before 6.2.1 and the other subsections. At a minimum, the following statement from that letter should be included in this section: Canada does not interpret this obligation (destruction) as prohibiting the use of high temperature incineration, nor is there any intent to revisit applicable domestic policies, guidelines or legislation as a consequence of this provision in the Convention.

In Section 6.2.1.2, why are PCTs and PBBs included? These substances are not POPs and it should not be implied that they are. It is suggested their reference be deleted from this section.

In Section 7.2, research that is taking place in industry or in academia is not recognized. The work of Dr. Bill Anderson of the University of Waterloo that was presented at the CCME Workshop on February 15th is an example of effort that could be cited.

In Part II, Section 5.3 covering UPOPs, characterizing these sources as emerging sources is questioned. The first 2 sources are the third and fourth largest sources of dioxins and furans, and when combined represent 25% of the national total. Given these activities have existed for many years; it is not clear why they are now "emerging sources".

Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H3
October 4, 2001

Mr. Gordon Lloyd
Vice President Technical Affairs
Canadian Chemical Producers' Association
Suite 805, 350 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1R 7S8

Re: Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Convention and Incineration of Wastes

Dear Mr. Lloyd:

Thank you for your letter of Sept. 7, 2001 indicating your support for the Stockholm Convention on POPs. I appreciate your industry's support over the course of negotiations and commend your personal commitment to the process and your efforts over the years that contributed greatly to this success. In your letter you indicate concerns regarding the Convention's provisions dealing with wastes, particularly the wording dealing with destruction. Having participated in the Johannesburg negotiations, you will recall that the waste provisions of the Convention were the last ones to achieve consensus. Canada supported the Basel Convention as the primary vehicle to address POPs wastes, and in the end consensus was achieved by agreeing to waste provisions consistent with Basel.

I take note of your concern that the Convention text on "destruction" may be argued by some as precluding incineration as a waste management option. I would re-emphasize the assurances given to you earlier in CPPA's meeting with Environmental Protection Service staff that Canada does not interpret this obligation as prohibiting the use of high temperature incineration, nor is there any intent to revisit applicable domestic policies, guidelines or legislation as a consequence of this provision in the Convention. Consistent with your discussions in Johannesburg with representatives from other governments, we are not aware of any country promoting or even suggesting this restrictive concept. In Johannesburg, we made a particular effort to canvass major players on this issue and all made it clear they viewed incineration as an important and practical option in the POPs wastes tool box. Indeed, most indicated that exclusion would be unrealistic.

I appreciate your point that some non-government organizations may have a non-incineration interpretation of the Stockholm Convention provisions (although none have as yet made this argument to Environment Canada). However, Canada was always clear in our view on incineration both at the negotiation table and in domestic stakeholder consultation sessions. We have open and transparent policies on hazardous wastes in Canada which are consistent with our Convention obligations. I therefore do not see that a pre-emptive statement is required or needed. We are certainly prepared to outline our implementation strategy for these requirements to any interested Party.

As you are undoubtedly aware, the Basel Convention Technical Working Group has been charged with providing assistance to the Stockholm Convention with respect to guidelines on environmentally sound management of POPs wastes and has initiated this work. This should provide clarification with respect to utilization of incineration.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Barry Stemshorn
Assistant Deputy Minister
Environmental Protection Service

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