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

Part 4: Pollution Prevention (Sections 56 - 63)

Pollution Prevention Plans (Sections 56 - 60)

Pollution prevention planning is a systematic, comprehensive method of identifying options to minimize or avoid the creation of pollutants or waste. The goal of pollution prevention planning is to have a company or facility select the measures that are most appropriate to its specific circumstances.

The Minister can require a company or facility to prepare and implement a pollution prevention plan to deal with a substance that has been added to the List of Toxic Substances (Schedule 1) by the Governor in Council (the federal cabinet). The Minister may also, subject to the approval of the Governor in Council, require pollution prevention plans from Canadian sources of international air and water pollution for substances not on the List of Toxic Substances. This authority is available only if the government responsible for the area in which the pollution source is located, cannot or will not take action to address the problem.

Pollution prevention plans prepared or implemented on a voluntary basis or for another government or under another Act of Parliament that meet all of the requirements of CEPA 1999 may be used to fulfill requirements of the Act.

While pollution prevention plans will not normally have to be submitted, companies and facilities will have to file written declarations that a plan has been prepared and implemented. Section 60 provides the Minister with the authority to require the submission of plans for the purpose of determining and assessing various options for control or preventive actions. In other words, the content of pollution prevention plans may be employed to help develop further control measures (such as regulations) if these are necessary to achieve the desired environmental results.

Model Plans and Guidelines (Sections 61 - 62)

Section 61 provides the authority to develop and publish model pollution prevention plans. Section 62 requires the development of guidelines setting out the conditions under which pollution prevention planning is appropriate.

Other Initiatives (Section 63)

CEPA 1999 enables establishment of a national pollution prevention information clearinghouse to facilitate the collection, exchange and distribution of information about pollution prevention. Authority is also provided to create an awards program to recognize significant achievements in the area of pollution prevention.

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