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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2001 to March 2002
- 1. Administration
- 2. Public Participation
- 3. Information Gathering, Objectives, Guidelines, and Codes of Practice
- 4. Pollution Prevention
- 5. Controlling Toxic Substances
- 6. Animate Products of Biotechnology
- 7. Controlling Pollution and Managing Wastes
- 8. Environmental Emergencies
- 9. Government Operations, Federal and Aboriginal Land
- 10. Enforcement
- 11. Miscellaneous Matters
- National Library of Canada cataloguing in publication data
7. Controlling Pollution and Managing Wastes
- 7.1 Nutrients
- 7.2 Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Sources of Pollution
- 7.3 Disposal at Sea
- 7.4 Fuels
- 7.5 Vehicle, Engine, and Equipment Emissions
- 7.6 International Air Pollution
- 7.7 Hazardous Waste, Hazardous Recyclable Material, and Non-hazardous Waste
Nutrients are defined as substances that promote the growth of aquatic vegetation. CEPA 1999 provides the authority to regulate nutrients in cleaning products and water conditioners that degrade or have a negative impact on an aquatic ecosystem.
Nutrients Science Assessment
In response to the recommendations of the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development in its 1988 CEPA review, the Government of Canada committed in 1995 to undertake "a comprehensive study of nutrients that enter the Canadian environment through human activities... to determine whether or not nutrients in general are causing negative environmental effects; whether only certain nutrients, rather than nutrients as a class, are problematic; and, whether those effects are limited...to water or to entire ecosystems, including wildlife." The Nutrients Science Assessment demonstrated that excess nutrients are a key water quality issue and was publicly released on July 6, 2001 under the title, Nutrients and their Impact on the Canadian Environment. To date, more than 2300 copies of the report have been distributed nationally and internationally.
Nutrients and Their Impact on the Canadian Environment
Five Natural Resources Departments Nutrients Science/Policy Working Group
The five natural resources departments (5NR) include Environment Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, and Natural Resources Canada. In March 2001, the 5NR Nutrients Science/Policy Working Group hosted a multistakeholder National Nutrients Workshop in Ottawa. Workshop proceedings were released in June 2001, and a smaller bilingual workshop executive summary was released in November 2001. First steps have been taken in identifying nutrient science and policy gaps in Canada. An inventory of federal nutrient-related programs and policy was compiled. An analysis of this inventory identified key areas where further action is needed to address the major nutrient impacts identified in the science assessment.
A National Advisory Group on Nutrients consisting of twelve interested stakeholders who attended the National Nutrients Workshop from across Canada was established in June 2001. This group, which assists the 5NR Nutrients Science/Policy Working Group in developing key recommendations, met face-to-face in April 2002.
The draft Recommendations for a Federal Nutrient Agenda - Towards a National Nutrient Agenda is the first step in meeting the final deliverable of the 5NR Nutrients Science/Policy Working Group and the recommendations from the National Nutrients Workshop. The draft agenda is built on a strategic framework that addresses the breadth of the nutrient issue in Canada and outlines strategic priorities for action. It outlines key next steps that could be taken by the federal government to move the nutrient agenda forward.
To help build the capacity of Canadians and to promote Canada's National Programme of Action (it is better known internationally than it is in Canada), an Information Clearinghouse was launched in March 2001.This online tool provides comprehensive resources on marine and coastal activities, expertise relevant to the program, and links to community groups, scientists, and government.The Clearinghouse also serves as a focal point for the Secretariat, providing news and distributing documents to the public.
7.2 Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Sources of Pollution
The Act provides authorities to issue non-regulatory objectives, guidelines, and codes of practice to help implement Canada's National Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities. These provisions are intended to supplement the authorities that exist in other federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal government laws.
Canada's National Programme of Action
In November 2001, Canada released its first report on Implementing Canada's National Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities. Canada's National Programme of Action, released in 2000 by the federal government, provinces, and territories, aims to prevent marine pollution from land-based activities and protect habitat in the nearshore and coastal zones of Canada. The November 2001 progress report describes the current framework for managing the marine environment in Canada and presents more than 90 initiatives that are contributing to the goals of the program. Although it is a new program, Canada was able to share valuable lessons learned with the international community.
Intergovernmental Review Meeting
Canada hosted the First Intergovernmental Review Meeting on the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) in Montréal on November 26-30, 2001. The meeting was a major international event to assess worldwide progress of the GPA's implementation since 1995 and reported to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa in September 2002. Government officials from over 100 countries along with non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations attended the meeting. Thirty-one Ministers from around the world participated in the Ministerial meetings.
Documents endorsed included the GPA work program for 2002-06, a guidance document for managing municipal wastewater, and recommendations for improved ocean governance and financing to achieve GPA objectives. The Ministerial meetings resulted in the "Montreal Declaration," which represents the political commitment to action to improve the state of the world's oceans.
The meeting highlighted the successes and challenges faced in implementing the GPA and observed that considerable progress has been made. However, the meeting also noted the causal relationships among poverty, human health, unsustainable consumption and production patterns, poorly managed social and economic development, and environmental degradation. It highlighted the urgent need to integrate coastal zone management with river basin management and land-use planning. It also highlighted the need to adopt innovative approaches to attract new financial resources, and that such approaches must be tailored to national and local needs. Overall, the meeting put forward the GPA as a suitable means of improving international coastal and oceans governance under ocean-related conventions.
7.3 Disposal at Sea
These provisions prohibit the disposal of wastes at sea within Canadian jurisdiction, and by Canadian ships in international waters, unless the disposal is done under a permit issued by the Minister. A permit for disposal at sea will be approved only if it is the environmentally preferable and practical option. Incineration at sea is banned except under emergency situations. CEPA 1999 provides additional controls on disposal at sea, including:
- a ban on the export of a substance for disposal at sea;
- a list of only six substances that may be considered for disposal at sea (see side-bar);
- an assessment framework for reviewing permit applications, based on the precautionary principle, that must be followed (Schedule 6); and
- a legal obligation for Environment Canada to monitor disposal sites.
Disposal at Sea
Schedule 5 of CEPA 1999 stipulates that disposal at sea may be considered only for the following substances:
- Dredged material;
- Fish waste and other organic matter resulting from industrial fish processing operations;
- Ships, aircraft, platforms, or other structures from which all material that can create floating debris or other marine pollution has been removed to the maximum extent possible;
- Inert, inorganic geological matter;
- Uncontaminated organic matter of natural origin; and
- Bulky substances that are primarily composed of iron, steel, concrete, or other similar matter that does not have a significant adverse effect, other than a physical effect, on the sea or the seabed.
On August 15, 2001, Environment Canada published the final Disposal at Sea Regulations, which set out emergency reporting requirements, rules for assessing wastes under a National Action List, and the $2500 permit application fee. The Regulations Respecting Applications for Permits for Disposal at Sea, also finalized on August 15, 2001, set out the permit application form. As well, 1999 regulations under the Financial Administration Act set out a monitoring fee of $470 per 1000 cubic metres of dredged material or inert, inorganic geological matter.
Disposal at Sea Permits
In 2001-02, 95 permits were issued in Canada for the disposal of 3.67 million tonnes of waste and other matter (see Tables 4 and 5). Most of this was dredged material that had been removed from harbours and waterways to keep them safe for navigation. The number of permits issued has remained relatively stable since 1995. The quantities permitted were moderately higher than in 2000-01 but still remain well below totals seen in the previous decade. Historically, the quantity permitted has been greater than the actual quantity disposed of at sea (often by 30-50%); however, with the monitoring fee for dredged material and geological matter in place since 1999, the quantities permitted now more closely reflect the actual quantities disposed. One emergency permit was issued to dispose of a barge at sea.
|Material||Quantity Permitted*||Permits Issued||Percentage of Quantity||Percentage of Permits|
2 952 300
3 665 943
Pacific and Yukon
Pacific and Yukon
Prairie and Northern
Prairie and Northern
1 888 900
2 552 541
* Note: Dredged material and geological matter were converted to tonnes using an assumed density of 1.3 tonnes/cubic metre.
In addition to inspections conducted by CEPA 1999 enforcement officers and analysts during disposal operations, disposal site monitoring is carried out each year at selected sites, as required by the Act. Disposal site monitoring is used to verify that permit conditions were met and that scientific assumptions made during the permit review and site selection process were correct and sufficient to protect the environment. Monitoring activities are conducted in accordance with national guidelines. In 2001, field monitoring was conducted at a total of 14 sites:
- Further monitoring including physical, chemical and biological was carried out at the Black Point disposal site in the Bay of Fundy, which received dredged material from the Port of Saint John. Two additional monitoring programs were carried out: one off North Head, New Brunswick, which received dredged material from a ferry terminal, and another off Prince Edward Island in the Northumberland Strait, which received dredged material from the construction of the Confederation Bridge.
- Sonar surveys were conducted at five sites in the Magdalen Islands that received dredged material from small-craft harbours.
- Five sites designated ocean disposal were surveyed in the Strait of Georgia. Sediment sampling and chemical analysis were carried out at the Sand Heads and Watts Point disposal sites. Video surveys of the seafloor using new data-recording technology were carried out at Point Grey, Porlier Pass, and Watts Point.
- Sediment transport was studied for the single site in Hudson's Bay that received dredged material from the port of Churchill Manitoba.
Further details can be found in the Compendium of Monitoring Activities at Ocean Disposal Sites, which is sent to permittees and submitted to the International Maritime Organization annually.
In May 2000, Canada became the 10th country to join the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. The Protocol contains stronger environmental protection requirements, to which Canada is already compliant under CEPA 1999, including a reduced list of permissible wastes, an assessment framework for those wastes and other matter, a ban on incineration at sea, and a ban on the export of waste for disposal at sea. It is expected to come into force within the next few years.
In 2001-02, Environment Canada and the United States co-authored an international guidance document on sampling dredged material for a disposal at sea permit assessment. As well, Canada has played a leadership role in the development and approval of a series of guidance documents to support the 1996 Protocol when it comes into force.
CEPA 1999 provides for a performance-based approach to fuel standards and allows for a range of fuel characteristics to be set to address emissions. Regulations may distinguish between different sources of fuels or the place or time of use of the fuel. There are also provisions for regulations to establish a "national fuels mark" that may be used to demonstrate that a fuel conforms to specific requirements provided for by regulations.
Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations
As part of the Federal Agenda on Cleaner Vehicles, Engines and Fuels, Environment Canada published the proposed Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations on December 22, 2001. The proposed regulations will lower the maximum limit for sulphur in on-road diesel fuel to 15 parts per million, commencing June 1, 2006, and will ensure that the level of sulphur in diesel fuel used in on-road vehicles in Canada will not impede the effective operation of advanced emission control technologies planned to be introduced on 2007 and later model year vehicles to comply with stringent new exhaust emission standards. This will meet Canada's commitments in the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement to align the allowable level of sulphur in on-road diesel fuel with the United States.
Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE) and Other Aliphatic Ethers
On May 26, 2001, the Minister of the Environment published a notice requesting information on the production of MTBE, its use in gasoline, its storage and records of leaks, and the costs and financial benefits associated with ceasing use of MTBE in gasoline. This information will be used to determine whether MTBE and other aliphatic ethers are capable of becoming toxic and whether to control them under CEPA 1999.
Vehicle Inspection Clinics
Environment Canada, together with partners all across the country, holds free clinics across Canada each summer where motorists can have check-ups on their vehicle's tailpipe emissions, tire pressures and gas cap seal.The vehicle emissions inspection involves a visual inspection to make sure critical emission control components are present, and operational and an exhaust emissions test, which measures pollution levels (hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide) in the exhaust. Over the summer of 2002, 3676 vehicles were tested at 14 clinics.
7.5 Vehicle, Engine, and Equipment Emissions
Vehicle and engine emissions are a major contributor to Canada's air pollution problem. Provisions in CEPA 1999 include the authority to set emission standards for on-road vehicles and engines. It also includes authorities to set emission standards for vehicles and engines used in a variety of off-road applications such as lawnmowers, construction and agricultural equipment, hand-held equipment and recreational vehicles.
On June 11, 2001, an MOU between Environment Canada, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada, and the member companies of these associations was announced. The MOU formalizes a commitment from vehicle manufacturers to market in Canada, for model years 2001-03, the same low-emission vehicles being offered for sale in the United States under the Voluntary National Low-emission Vehicle Program.
On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations
In support of the Federal Agenda on Cleaner Vehicles, Engines and Fuels and commitments under the Ozone Annex to the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement, Environment Canada published the proposed On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations on March 30, 2002. The regulations introduce more stringent national emission standards for on-road vehicles and engines. For most vehicle classes and on a per-vehicle basis, the targeted standards represent an average reduction in the allowable levels of smog-forming emissions of about 90% relative to current regulated limits. The regulations are aligned with the U.S. standards, which are generally recognized as the most stringent national emission standards in the world. The regulations will come into effect for the 2004 vehicle model year.
Amendments to CEPA 1999
Amendments to CEPA 1999, clarifying the authority to regulate emissions from small marine engines, have been passed by Parliament. Those amendments were contained in Bill C-14, the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, which were finalized on November 1, 2001. The amendments address definitions within Part 7, Division 5 (Vehicle, Engine and Equipment Emissions) of CEPA 1999, thereby permitting the regulation of emissions from certain categories of marine engines. This will enable the department to proceed with the development of exhaust emissions regulations for recreational marine engines, such as outboards and personal watercraft.
7.6 International Air Pollution
Although there were no activities under these provisions (Division 6 of Part 7) of CEPA 1999 during 2001-02, this section reports on results that flow from commitments in several international agreements respecting air pollution.
Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement
Canada is moving forward on the commitments to align Canadian and U.S. requirements for vehicles and fuels as part of our commitment in the Ozone Annex to the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement, signed in December 2000, to reduce transboundary smog in the eastern half of the two countries. The proposed Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations, which will reduce average levels of sulphur to 15 ppm, were published on December 22, 2001, and the proposed On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations were published on March 30, 2002. Reporting commitments in the Annex are being implemented on schedule, meaning that Canadians had information, for the first time in 2002, on ozone levels within 500 kilometres of the border as reported in the Canada-U.S. 2002 Progress Report on the Air Quality Agreement. In addition, the NPRI was in the process of expanding to include the smog pollutants and a requirement for more companies to report pollutants.
Hazardous Air Pollutants
In recent years, there has been growing national and international concern about the health and environmental risks posed by hazardous air pollutants, POPs, and heavy metals. POPs and heavy metals are a significant concern for all Canadians, but especially for Canada's northern Aboriginal people as the long-range atmospheric transport of these pollutants has led to contamination of traditional foods.
POPs and heavy metals (particularly mercury) of concern to Canada come largely from foreign sources through long-range air transport, most notably from the United States, Mexico and Central America, eastern Europe and western Russia, and southern and southeastern Asia. It is therefore in Canada's interest to secure international agreements that restrict or eliminate the use of POPs in other countries.
In 2001-02, there were a number of international achievements:
- Canada continued its leadership role in international control of POPs. Environment Minister Anderson led the Canadian delegation at a Diplomatic Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, and enabled Canada to become the first country to both sign and ratify the Stockholm Convention on POPs on May 23, 2001;
- The $20 million, five-year Canada POPs Fund was established to assist developing countries to build their own capacities to deal with POPs. The fund is administered by the World Bank.
- Canada participated actively in the work of the UNEP Global Assessment of Mercury, submitting information to UNEP on the mercury issue in Canada. This assessment may lead to global actions to control releases of mercury into the environment.
- Canada developed scientific information dossiers on two substances - polychlorinated terphenyls and short-chain chlorinated paraffins - to assist expert group discussions on reassessment of existing substances and possible addition of future substances under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe POPs Protocol.
7.7 Hazardous Waste, Hazardous Recyclable Material, and Non-hazardous Waste
These provisions provide the authority to enact regulations governing the export and import of hazardous waste (including hazardous recyclable materials). It also includes authorities to:
- introduce regulations on the import and export of prescribed non-hazardous waste for final disposal;
- require exporters of hazardous wastes destined for final disposal to submit waste reduction plans; and
- develop and implement criteria to assess the environmentally sound management of transboundary movements prior to issuing permits for import or export.
CEPA 1999 contains provisions that require the Minister to publish notification information (type of waste, company name, and country of origin or destination) for exports, imports, and transits of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material.
Imports and Exports of Hazardous Wastes
The Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations, which have been in place since 1992, provide a way of permitting and tracking the movement of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable material into and out of Canada, including transit shipments passing through Canadian territory. These Regulations also assist in ensuring that transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and recyclables are managed in an environmentally sound manner. During the 2001 calendar year, more than 7000 notices were processed for proposed imports, exports, and transits of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials. During the same period, more than 41 000 manifests were processed for tracking individual shipments approved under these notices.
The 2001 Canadian statistics on transboundary movement of hazardous waste show an overall decrease from previous years (see Figure 1). In 2001, total imports of hazardous wastes were 500 000 tonnes, down 11% from 560 000 tonnes in 2000. Nearly 50% of these imports were destined for recycling. There was a 6% reduction in imports destined for final disposal from the 2000 calendar year. Exports from Canada decreased from 323 000 to 313 000 tonnes between 2000 and 2001. In 2001, more than 75% of these exports were destined for recycling. Of all 2001 exports, all but 10 tonnes were sent to the United States. The balance was exported to Belgium for recycling. Table 6compares the amounts recycled with total imports and exports.
Long description of Figure 1
In figure 1, the weight of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials imported from 1999 to 2001 is shown to be declining (total imports from 1999 to 2001 are 675 000, 560 000, and 500 000 tonnes, respectively). During the same time period, 1999 to 2001, the export of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials has increased slightly (total exports from 1999 to 2001 are 275 000, 323 000 and 313 000 tonnes, respectively).
|Imports: 1999||Imports: 2000||Imports: 2001||Exports: 1999||Exports: 2000||Exports: 2001|
|Total (Tonnes)||663 000||560 000||500 000||268 000||323 000||314 000|
In response to the strengthened authorities under CEPA 1999 to control hazardous wastes, Environment Canada is drafting amendments to two current regulations:
- Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations - Public consultations were held in March 2001 and February 2002 on the proposed amendments to these regulations. The regulations will harmonize definitions and controls with recent domestic and international changes as well as improve regulatory efficiency. These regulations will also incorporate environmentally sound management criteria. It is anticipated that the proposed regulations will be published in 2003 following another round of stakeholder consultations.
- PCB Waste Export and Import Regulations - Stakeholder consultations were held in January and February 2001. Amendments will include parallel controls for the import of PCB wastes and some requirements for low-level PCB wastes. Work in 2001-02 continued on incorporating provisions on waste imports and environmentally sound management criteria. The proposed regulations are expected in early 2003.
The enhanced provisions of CEPA 1999 are also being used to develop new regulations concerning interprovincial movements of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials and the import and export of non-hazardous wastes:
- Interprovincial Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Hazardous Recyclable Materials Regulations - These regulations will ensure that wastes are transported to and received only at authorized facilities for final disposal and recycling operations. Consultations were held on a draft version of the regulations in February 2002. It is anticipated that draft regulations will be published in early 2003.
- Prescribed Non-hazardous Wastes Regulations - These regulations will permit Canada to meet its international commitments under the Canada-U.S. Agreement and the Basel Convention and to implement CEPA 1999 authorities for reduction plans and environmentally sound management criteria. The department consulted with stakeholders in March 2001. Draft regulations are expected in 2004.
Environmentally Sound Management
Environment Canada and the provinces and territories are working through the CCME on the development of a national environmentally sound management regime for hazardous wastes. As part of its contribution to this effort, Environment Canada is completing a guideline that will develop Environmentally Sound Management criteria for use in federal/provincial guidelines and regulations. In addition, in 2001-02, Environment Canada, in consultation with the provinces and territories, initiated the development of draft interim guidelines on landfilling of hazardous waste and contaminated soil. Consultations were also completed nationally on amendments to the CCME National Guidelines on Physical-Chemical- Biological Treatment of Hazardous Waste to reflect current treatment technologies. Both guidelines will also include ESM criteria.
A National Action Plan, vetted through the CCME, was developed and provides a five-year workplan to update existing hazardous waste management guidelines to include ESM criteria. The purpose of these guidelines is to develop common standards that would be incorporated into regulations in the respective jurisdictions. Environment Canada will incorporate these standards into its federal regulations controlling the management of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclables.
Key international activities in 2001-02 included:
- Basel Convention - The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is a global convention under UNEP. Canada ratified the Convention in 1992. In 2001-02, Canada participated on the Basel Technical and Legal Working Groups and the Joint Technical/Legal Working Group. Work continued on furthering environmentally sound management, developing a mechanism for monitoring compliance and implementation of the Convention by Parties, and establishing criteria for the destruction and elimination of POPs wastes under the related Stockholm Convention. The Technical Working Group adopted three technical guidelines on an interim basis on plastic wastes, waste lead-acid batteries, and biomedical wastes. Significant progress was made on the development of technical guidelines for ship dismantling.
- OECD Working Group on Waste Prevention and Recycling - In 2001-02, guidelines for recycling personal computers were developed and case studies on the application of ESM to small and medium-sized enterprises were presented. The working group conducted its third workshop on ESM in Washington in March 2002 to facilitate the development of OECD ESM guidelines that incorporate core performance elements for the operation of recycling facilities. As well as further developing the ESM Core Performance Elements, the Washington workshop recommended that a Council Decision/Recommendation on ESM be considered by member countries for possible adoption. This initiative will be vetted through member country stakeholders during the summer of 2003 in preparation for the fall 2003 OECD meeting.
- Commission for Environmental Cooperation - During the June 2001 meeting of CEC Ministers, Minister Anderson proposed that member countries develop a North American ESM regime that would provide input to, and complement the OECD and Basel ESM activities. The proposal was accepted and a program was launched to develop ESM within the North American context. A study was initiated that will identify the gaps in the regulatory regimes of the three countries and where harmonization is required. Projects for the enhancement of border controls are also being developed.
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