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ARCHIVED - A Guide to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 March 2000

Part 3: Information Gathering, Objectives, Guidelines and Codes of Practice (Sections 43 - 55)

Environmental Data and Research (Section 44 - 45)

The Minister must establish, operate and maintain an environmental monitoring system, conduct research and studies and publish information, including a periodic report on the state of the Canadian environment. The Minister of Health is obliged to research the effects of substances on human health. Both Ministers must conduct research on hormone disrupting substances.

Information Gathering (Sections 46 - 53)

The authority to gather information is necessary for the purposes of environmental monitoring, research, state of the environment reporting, creating inventories and for the development of objectives, guidelines and codes of practice. Publishing this material promotes public participation and gives Canadians access to environmental information that relates to their own communities. Information that can be requested from a company is limited to what is in their possession, or is reasonably accessible.

A company, government body or individual may request that information remain confidential if:

  • it is a trade secret;
  • it could damage the requestor's competitive position; or
  • it might harm contractual negotiations.

The Minister must issue guidelines respecting the use of the information gathering powers in section 46.

The Minister is also required to establish and publish the National Pollutants Release Inventory.

Objectives, Guidelines and Codes of Practice (Sections 54 - 55)

Both Ministers are required to issue objectives, guidelines and codes of practice. These are non-regulatory science-based targets or recommended practices.

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