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Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 Annual Report for April 2014 to March 2015

1 Introduction

The names of several federal government departments have changed since the October 2015 federal election. However, for this annual report, the names used during the 2014-2015 reporting period have been retained.

This annual report provides an overview of the activities conducted and results achieved under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015. This report responds to the statutory requirement in section 342 of the Act to provide annual reports to Parliament on the administration and enforcement of the Act.

CEPA 1999 provides authority for the Government of Canada to take action on a wide range of environmental and health risks--from chemicals to air pollution to wastes. For the most part, it functions as an enabling statute, providing a suite of instruments and measures for identifying, assessing and addressing the risks. The Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health jointly administer the task of assessing and managing the risks associated with toxic substances.

The general steps followed to address each risk can typically be organized into a cycle: information is collected to understand risks and inform decisions; risks are assessed to determine if action is required; risk management instruments are put in place to reduce or eliminate risks to the environment and/or human health; these instruments may require compliance promotion and enforcement; and information is once again collected to monitor progress and determine if additional action is required. At each stage in the cycle, stakeholders are engaged, the public has the opportunity to be involved, the government works closely with provincial, territorial and Aboriginal counterparts, and information is reported to the public.

Figure 1: The CEPA management cycle

Figure 1: The CEPA management cycle

This report provides information on all stages of the CEPA cycle. Section 2 - Addressing Key Risks covers information gathering, research and monitoring, risk assessment, and risk management for toxics, air pollution, greenhouse gases, water quality and waste. Section 3 - Administration, Public Participation and Reporting covers reporting, stakeholder engagement, public rights and inter-jurisdictional relationships. Section 4 - Compliance Promotion and Enforcement describes compliance promotion and enforcement activities.

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