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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for the Period April 1995 to March 1996
- Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA)
- CEPA Part I: Environmental Quality
- CEPA Part II: Toxic Substances
- CEPA Part III: Nutrients
- CEPA Part IV: Controls on Government Organizations
- CEPA Part V: International Air Pollution
- CEPA Part VI: Ocean Dumping
- CEPA Part VII: General Information
CEPA Part II: Toxic Substances
- New Substances Program
- Good Laboratory Practice (GLP)
- Toxic Substances Management Policy (TSMP)
- Priority Substances Assessment Program
- Data Collection
- Disclosing Information
- Other Activities
- Pollution Prevention Strategy
- Interim Orders
- Equivalency Agreements with the Provinces and Territories
Part II of CEPA focuses on reducing risks posed by new and existing substances by providing the authority to determine which of these substances should be evaluated, to evaluate them and to implement the appropriate control measures applicable to all aspects of the life cycle for any assessed as "toxic" under the Act.
In order to distinguish new substances from existing ones and to prescribe reporting requirements for new substances, Environment Canada has developed two major inventories:
- the Domestic Substances List, an inventory of all chemicals known to be in use in Canada during the years 1984-86; and
- the Non-domestic Substances List, an inventory of substances not in use in Canada between 1984 and 1986 but used elsewhere.
The DSL is an inventory of more than 21,000 substances manufactured in, or imported into, Canada on a commercial scale between 1984 and 1986. Environment Canada published the first list in the January 1991 edition of the Canada Gazette Part I. In May 1994, a revised list was published in the Canada Gazette Part II, incorporating deletions, additions and corrections to the first list. On November 29, 1995 an amendment to the list, incorporating 32 additions, was published in Canada Gazette Part II.
Environment Canada uses the DSL as its sole basis for determining whether a substance is "new" to Canada. It relies on the list when deciding whether substances require notification or assessment before they are manufactured in Canada or imported into the country. Substances on this list are exempt from CEPA's New Substances Notification, as they are considered to be "in use" in Canada. However, existing substances that could cause adverse environmental or health effects can be assessed to determine whether or not they are toxic or capable of becoming toxic as defined under the Act.
Following a revision of the eligibility criteria for the incorporation of living organisms on the DSL, Environment Canada is advising Canadian manufacturers and importers of these developments and has requested the re-nomination of micro-organisms for entry on the list.
There are over 42,000 substances on the NDSL known to be commercially available around the world, but not on the Canadian market.
This list recognizes substances that are not on the Domestic Substances List but are not new to world commerce. The Government requires less detailed information about these substances than about substances new to Canada. Environment Canada chose the USA 1985 Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory as a basis for this list.
The initial list appeared, along with the DSL, in the Canada Gazette Part I on January 26, 1991. Environment Canada updated the NDSL from the Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory additions of 1985 to 1990. This revision was published in the Canada Gazette Part I on January 6, 1996. The revision added 1,723 substances to the non-confidential portion as well as an additional 65 substances to the confidential portion, bringing the number of substances on the NDSL to over 42,000.
Notification and assessment is required before substances not on the DSL can be manufactured in or imported into Canada. The New Substances Notification Regulations prescribe the information required from manufacturers and importers for this notification.
New Substances Notification Regulations: Chemicals and Polymers
The New Substances Notification Regulations for chemicals and polymers came into effect July 1, 1994, marking the beginning of CEPA's New Substances Notification Program. The regulations require manufacturers and importers to supply specified information on new commercial substances, including chemical identity; toxicological and environmental effects data; manufacturing, processing and use data; and the volumes proposed for manufacture and import. The Government may require additional information or testing, impose controls, or ban the manufacture or importation of a substance if it suspects the substance is toxic. The Departments of Environment and Health completed reviews on 700 transitional substances and 500 new substances for 1995-96. These reviews resulted in one substance being prohibited and seven others having various control options being imposed on them.
New Substances Notification Regulations: Biotechnology
The draft New Substances Notification Regulations for Biotechnology Products prepared for the December 1994 multi-stakeholder consultation have been revised following consultation with other government departments. The regulations form part of a package of regulatory amendments, developed by Environment Canada, Health Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, that addresses the regulation of biotechnology substances and are collectively known as the Federal Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology. The draft regulations are targeted for publication in Canada Gazette Part I in 1996 and in Canada Gazette Part II in spring 1997.
The GLP program meets the requirements of the New Substances Notification Regulations under CEPA which ensure that laboratory practices to be followed in developing test data are consistent with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Principles of Good Laboratory Practice. These principles are an integral part of the OECD Council Decision on Mutual Acceptance of Data, adopted by the OECD Council in 1981. During 1996, public consultation will continue on the development of a formal Canadian GLP program, the development of international bilateral agreements on the mutual recognition of GLP programs, updating of The OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice, laboratory inspections, and consultation with the newly formed Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA).
The Environmental Technology Centre (ETC) initiated its program of voluntary laboratory inspections during 1995 with the inspection of three Canadian private-sector laboratories which have supplied testing data pursuant to the New Substances Notification Regulations of 1994 and 1995. It also continued its annual activities in determining the compliance status of foreign laboratories which supply similar data and participated in ongoing OECD activities on the development and use of GLP in member countries. Preparatory work for public consultation on this new program continued alongside negotiations with the European Union, Switzerland and the United States on agreements for the mutual recognition of GLP programs. ETC also participated in an OECD Expert Group charged with revising The OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) decided to require the use of OECD GLP in the context of pesticide registration, and consultation was initiated on areas in which cooperative work can be done.
The federal government's TSMP was announced in Parliament on June 2, 1995. The policy provides a science-based framework for the management of toxic substances. The key management objectives in the policy are: virtual elimination from the environment of toxic substances that are persistent and bioaccumulative and are present in the environment due, primarily, to human activity such as manufacturing, use or waste disposal (Track 1 substances); and management of other toxic substances and substances of concern throughout their life cycles to prevent or minimize their release into the environment (Track 2 substances). The policy is being applied to the Priority Substances Assessment Program and the New Substances Notification Program under CEPA. For substances declared to be toxic under CEPA, the policy provides directional guidance in selecting management objectives. Environment Canada led the development of the policy and is continuing its leadership role in its implementation. The TSMP document and its two companion reports, TSMP - Report on Public Consultations and TSMP - Persistence and Bioaccumulation Criteria, are available from Environment Canada's Information Office.
Candidate substances for management under Track 1 of the policy have been identified and scientific justifications have been drafted for the following substances:
Aldrin; Endrin; PCBs; Chlordane; Heptachlor; PCD-dioxins; Chlorinated paraffins; Hexachlorobenzene; PCD-furans; DDT; Mirex; Toxaphene; Dieldrin
These justifications will be initially released in draft form for public comment in 1996. Specific management options will be developed and implemented both domestically and internationally for confirmed Track 1 substances. Discussions have been initiated with the provinces and territories to develop a national strategy for toxic substances based on the TSMP.
CEPA requires the establishment of the Priority Substances List (PSL) which contains those substances which merit immediate investigation and assessment. Substances on this list are assessed to determine whether or not they are toxic or capable of becoming toxic, as defined under CEPA. A substance on the PSL is examined to determine if it is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity, or concentration, or under conditions
- having or that may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment;
- constituting or that may constitute a danger to the environment on which human life depends; or
- constituting or that may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.
Environment Canada manages the program. Health Canada has the responsibility for providing human health risk assessments for PSL substances.
The first Priority Substances list, PSL 1, was published in February 1989 and contained 44 substances. These substances were assessed by the end of 1993-94, within the five year time frame prescribed under CEPA.
Of the 44 substances on PSL 1, 25 were assessed by Environment Canada and Health Canada to be toxic or capable of becoming toxic, as defined under CEPA. Four are already regulated and two, bis(chloroethyl) ether and bis chloromethyl methyl ether, will be regulated before June 1996. Ongoing work related to the remaining substances continued during 1995-96.
The Strategic Options Process (SOP) was launched in December 1994 to develop strategic options for the management of PSL toxic substances. Part of that process is the creation of "Issue Tables" to develop strategic options. Fourteen Issue Tables have been established, as set out in Item 1 of the PSL 1 Toxic Substances: 1995-96 Activities chart. All 14 are expected to submit their recommendations to Ministers on how best to address the problems associated with these CEPA toxic substances during fiscal year 1996-97. Ministerial approval of the SOP recommendations initiates implementation of the preferred option(s). The Minister may also amend the recommendation as he or she deems appropriate.
Benzene, declared toxic under the PSL assessment process, was the subject of a control strategy announced by the Minister of the Environment in July 1995. Part of this strategy included the control of benzene releases from natural gas dehydrators. The Prairie and Northern Region was assigned the task of developing the most effective control strategy for these units because they are located primarily in Alberta (95%) with some in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario. A working group, chaired by Environment Canada, with representation from the three provinces, the oil and gas industry and other federal government departments is currently developing a strategy which is targeted for implementation by January 1, 1997.
PSL 1 Toxic Substances : 1995-1996 Activities
1-Substances for Which Issue Tables have been Established
- Substances SOPs (94/95 and continuing)
Refractory Ceramic Fibres (23)
Chlorinated Paraffins (8)
- Substances SOPs (95/96 and continuing)
Ethylhexyl phthalate (14)
- Sector SOPs (94/95 and continuing)
Dry Cleaning (24)
Solvent Degreasing (24, 25)
Wood Preservation (10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 22)
- Sector SOPs (95/96 and continuing)
Iron and Steel (4, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22)
Metal Finishing (17, 19, 21)
Base Metal Smelting (18, 19, 21)
Electric Power Generation (17, 18, 19, 20, 21)
- Dealt with through CEPA FPAC
Chlorinated Wastewater Effluents (9)
PSL 1 Toxic Substances
- 1,1,1-trichloroethane *
- bis(chloroethyl) ether
- bis(chloromethyl) methyl ether
- Chlorinated paraffins
- Chlorinated wastewater effluents
- Creosote impregnated wastes
- Dioxins *
- Effluents from pulp & paper mills using bleach *
- Ethylhexyl phthalate
- Furans *
- Hexavalent chromium compounds
- Inorganic arsenic compounds
- Inorganic cadmium compounds
- Inorganic fluorides
- Oxidic, sulphidic, soluble inorganic nickel compounds
- Refractory ceramic fibres
As a prelude to a regulation to control benzene, the Environmental Technology Centre (ETC) participated with the Canadian General Standards Board in a study to measure the aromatic content, including benzene, of Canadian gasolines. Environment Canada subsequently drafted a regulation which, among other things, will reduce the concentration of benzene in gasoline and limit the predicted emissions of benzene from the exhaust of gasoline-powered vehicles. It is hoped to have this regulation in place during 1997.
The Prairie and Northern Region continued its work on identifying management options for arsenic air emissions. The process involves stakeholder consultations to assess the possible management options for arsenic in air emissions from gold-roasting facilities in Canada. As well, the ETC developed an improved method to remove arsenic from water.
Under the Canada-Ontario Agreement of 1994, the Ontario Region is working with the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy (MOEE) to achieve virtual elimination of 13 persistent bioaccumulative toxic substances in the Great Lakes that are similar to the proposed Track 1 substances under the TSMP. Preliminary profiles for the 13 substances have been compiled to identify the 10 key source sectors contributing toxic loadings to the Great Lakes. The Ontario Region and MOEE are working with stakeholders to promote preventive action so as to achieve 90% reduction of these priority substances by the year 2000.
The Atlantic Region organized and chaired the multistakeholder Table to develop management options for the electric power generation sector.
Instead of a formal SOP, the issue of Chlorinated Wastewater Effluents was taken to CEPA-FPAC for discussion which focussed on chlorinated municipal effluents. Members have reviewed their respective situations and presented plans of action to reduce the toxic effects of chlorinated municipal effluents. A draft report summarizing this issue, including background, activities undertaken to date and proposed solutions, is being prepared. It is anticipated that the report will be presented to CEPA-FPAC in the fall of 1996, before going to Ministers of the Environment and Health for decision.
As part of a continuing commitment to international harmonization, Environmental Health Criteria Documents prepared by Health Canada for the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) for five substances included on PSL 1 were finalized; draft Environmental Health Criteria Documents for two other substances on PSL 1 were also prepared. A model international assessment document, Concise International Chemical Assessment Document (CICAD), is being developed as part of an IPCS pilot project that would lead to globally acceptable risk assessments. The model is based on the format used for the human health risk assessments for PSL1 substances. Ottawa hosted the second Steering Group meeting for this IPCS Pilot Project and CICADS were prepared for three PSL 1 substances.
Priority Substances List 2
- Aluminum chloride, aluminum nitrate, aluminum sulphate
- Ammonia in the aquatic environment
- Butylbenzylphthalate (BBP)
- Carbon disulfide
- N,N-Dimethylformamide (DMF)
- Ethylene glycol
- Ethylene oxide
- Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD)
- 2-Methoxy ethanol, 2-Ethoxy ethanol, 2-Butoxy ethanol
- N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)
- Nonylphenol and its ethoxylates (NPE)
- Releases from primary and secondary copper smelters and copper refineries
- Releases from primary and secondary zinc smelters and zinc refineries
- Releases of radio nuclides from nuclear facilities (impacts on non-human species)
- Respirable particulate matter less than or equal to 10 microns
- Road salts
- Textile mill effluents
In December 1994, the Ministers of Environment and Health named an Expert Advisory Panel to recommend a new set of substances for PSL 2. In October 1995, after review of approximately 600 candidate substances, the Panel recommended 25 substances to Ministers for inclusion in PSL 2. Its recommendations were accepted by Ministers and PSL 2 was published in December 1995.
Preparations for development of PSL 2 assessment reports have begun under the PSAP. A Guidance Manual has been developed to provide evaluators with a consistent approach for assessing the ecological risks of substances on PSL 2. The manual has been widely reviewed and is expected to be published in 1996-97. A second policy and process document is being prepared to outline the steps in the assessment process which will include extensive technical peer review and consultation with the public at various steps during the assessment. A general scheme has been approved. The document is currently under review and is also expected to be published in 1996-97.
A project leader has been identified for each PSL 2 substance. Environment Canada is managing the assessment of each substance and project leaders from Environment Canada Headquarters and the Regions have been identified. In addition, Health Canada has identified leaders responsible for the human health risk assessment aspect.
Teams of technical experts from academia, government, non-government organizations (NGOs) and industry are being solicited to participate in the first stage of the ecological risk assessment process, problem formulation. An interdepartmental liaison committee representing interested federal departments has been established to nominate experts to provide information and review drafts at various stages of the assessment process. An extensive literature review is underway and voluntary notices have been sent to industry seeking use and release information on PSL 2 substances.
The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) is conducting a pilot study on ammonia from sewage treatment plants (STPs). The generation of ammonia from decomposing particulates in treated sewage was studied at Penetang Harbour. This pilot project will be used to design a more extensive study to show the effect of STP improvements and to assess potential toxic effects.
NWRI and Pacific and Yukon Region have also initiated research on the occurrence of nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol polyethoxylates (NPEs) in the Canadian aquatic environment which will provide useful information in support of the assessment of PSL 2 substances.
Sections 15 through 18 of CEPA allow the federal government to collect information (such as data for the National Pollutant Release Inventory) and conduct investigations to support the assessment of existing substances under CEPA and to support the development of management options for substances considered toxic under CEPA.
Twelve notices and surveys were issued to obtain information on commercial trade and use patterns for the following: methyl chloroform, dichloromethane, dichloroethane, carbon tetrachloride, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, methyl bromide, hexachlorobenzene, and pesticide registrants. Under section 17, companies submitted 31 notifications. Guidelines have been developed to clarify industry's reporting obligations under this section of the Act.
The NPRI is a national, publicly accessible database of pollutants released to the Canadian environment from industrial and transportation sources.
The first annual NPRI was published in March 1995 and reflects 1993 releases and transfers. The report for 1994 will be available in the fall of 1996, while 1995's summary, which will include facilities that release large quantities at low concentrations, will be published in the spring of 1997. Information for 1993 is already available on Internet at http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/npri/npri_home_e.cfm. Subsequent reports will also be available on the Internet.
A notice was published in February 1996 in the Canada Gazette requiring facilities to report for 1996. Information required for 1996 is similar to that required for 1995's report.
All Regional offices collected and validated NPRI data submitted by facilities within their respective areas prior to that information being included in the NPRI Report. Regions also responded to NPRI enquiries from the public and media and delivered NPRI training sessions. The Ontario Region collaborated with the US Environmental Protection Agency, using NPRI and the American Toxics Release Inventory data, to prepare a report on releases and transfers of chemicals from facilities on both the Canadian and American parts of the Great Lakes Basin.
Public consultations are planned during the coming year respecting proposed changes to the NPRI.
In 1995-96, Environment Canada received 42 requests pursuant to the Access to Information Act for information related to CEPA. Requests were made on the following subjects:
- NPRI Submissions;
- Pulp and Paper Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations;
- Nickel Compounds;
- Priority Substances List;
- Vinyl Chloride Release Regulations;
- CEPA Investigations;
- PCB Inventory;
- PCB Waste Export Regulations;
- PCB Waste Export Interim Order; and
- Environmental Compliance.
Environment Canada released information, in whole or in part, in eight requests with documents being totally exempted or excluded in four requests. The information did not exist in 23 requests. Two requests were abandoned and three requests were treated informally. Two requests are still being processed.
Of the 42 CEPA-related requests received in 1995-96, 25 concerned the environmental compliance status of properties. Compliance with respect to CEPA, and all other Acts administered by Environment Canada, were included in the search. Information did not exist in 20 requests, documents were located in three requests and two were treated informally.
For the 1994 reporting year, 59 companies indicated that the information provided to the NPRI was confidential.
As CEPA provides for the disclosure of information if it consists of general data on uses of a substance, these companies were asked to support their claim for confidentiality using criteria under the Access to Information Act.
Four of the 59 claims of confidentiality were accepted; the remainder were rejected. One company filed an application with the Federal Court of Canada for its claim for 1993. The issue remains before the Court. Its claim for 1994 was not pursued.
More than 790 companies who responded to other notices and surveys or who made submissions requested that the information provided remain confidential as provided under Section 19 of CEPA. The information was protected accordingly.
Environment Canada, in its support of CEPA-related activities, carries out a variety of other studies, research and monitoring initiatives.
Under the Fraser River Action Plan, assessments of the presence of some PSL 1 and PSL 2 substances in the atmosphere, water, sediment, and biota in the Fraser River Basin are being conducted in the Pacific and Yukon Region. A concerted effort has also been made to assess the impacts of pulp mill effluents on the aquatic ecosystem in the basin. This assessment is supported by a research program which is evaluating impacts of altered fish liver enzyme levels, wildlife reproductive production and benthic community structure and productivity. The toxicity of selected chlorophenols on early life stages of white sturgeon is also being investigated. These studies have been on-going since 1993 and some have been published.
A comprehensive inventory of trace air contaminants for British Columbia documents, for the first time, atmospheric releases of over a thousand trace air contaminants from industrial, mobile and area sources. The substances, organized under 30 chemical groupings, include persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, and substances in the National Pollutant Release Inventory. As well, the inventory contains information on total particulate and inhalable particulate emissions. This data will help guide the development of control strategies for hazardous air pollutants.
A two-year research project with funding from the Environmental Innovation Program was completed at Simon Fraser University. This research investigated the destruction and modification of CFCs by chemical means. The experiments, using various combinations of catalytic substrates to hydrogenate ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) under different temperatures, showed that chemical conversion works for CFCs but not for halons. Possible commercialization of this research is being explored by the University.
Health Canada continues to develop screening methods for determining the reproductive developmental effects of priority contaminants. In addition, studies have been completed that will evaluate the effects of a number of toxic substances on male reproductive capability.
They have completed studies on the systemic effects of benzothiophene and acridine, candidates for future PSLs, and submitted reports for publication. A battery of in vitro screening methods have been used to evaluate an environmental chemical's ability to cause endocrine disruption.
Health Canada has also continued research on the development of a gene-expression technique to assess tumour promotion. The transgenic mouse gene mutation assay was used to evaluate the mutagenic potential of a number of environmental contaminants, including dinitropyrene. Studies have also been carried out on the mutagenicity of MMT and its combustion products. The use of molecular biology was applied to the quantitation of human and environmental exposure to microbial biotechnology products.
Health Canada also carried out a pilot study to determine the exposure of subjects from the general population living in Toronto to 29 priority substances through air, water and food.
The Atlantic Region undertook a number of studies to determine the impact of toxic substances on regional ecosystems, including: blood mercury monitoring in breeding loons; a study of dioxin, furan and PCB contamination in the Five Island Lake, Nova Scotia watershed; a study of concentrations of dioxins and furans in the ambient air of the Pictou Landing First Nations Reserve; a study of fluoride concentrations in marine sediments near a fertilizer plant in New Brunswick; a report on chlorobenzenes in sediments near regional textile mills and municipal wastewater treatment plants; and investigations of wildlife exposure to toxic chemicals at five sites.
As well, the Atlantic Region took part in a cooperative Environment Canada/University of Maine workshop to exchange technical information and coordinate monitoring activities on the atmospheric movement of mercury in the region.
The Wastewater Technology Centre also undertook benzene related activities, carrying out methods development and evaluation of a solvent free analysis technique for the analysis of substituted benzenes in environmental matrices. As well, the Centre evaluated a technique for the rapid extraction and analysis of PAH in soil using a low volume solvent extraction.
The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) continues to address the research priorities and the knowledge gaps identified in PSL 1 assessment reports. Its scientists, in collaboration with EP/EC-Atlantic Region, have completed several reports on the toxicity and environmental contamination of freshwater, estuarine and marine sediments with chlorobenzenes. Research also continues on the occurrence of chlorinated paraffins in the vicinity of Montreal, Toronto and Hamilton.
During the current reporting period, the National Hydrology Research Institute (NHRI) continued work to develop new broad spectrum analytical tools to clarify the fate and transport of priority substances in aquatic ecosystems. A project to develop a quantitative method for the rapid determination of toxic substances in aquatic biota was also initiated and will be completed in the coming fiscal year.
NHRI's ongoing research to develop biotechnological approaches to the containment of contaminants and the in situ remediation of contaminated sites included a collaborative project with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). Results will contribute to development of a numerical model for predicting the transport and fate of bacteria in the subsurface and will provide a management tool for CEPA implementation. Successful model development should also enhance industrial applications of degradative bacteria for ground water remediation at field scale.
Under the Northern River Basins Study, NHRI completed several studies evaluating the impacts of contaminants in pulp mill effluents on riverine productivity and benthic community structure.
The release of Pollution Prevention: A Federal Strategy for Action in July 1995 provided the policy foundation for incorporating the pollution prevention approach in a renewed CEPA. This strategy gives Canadians a clear definition of pollution prevention, one that will move CEPA towards being legislation that directly promotes sustainable development. The strategy also allows for coherent development of new CEPA provisions related to pollution prevention planning, reporting, information dissemination and enforcement.
A pollution prevention Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy and the printing and graphics industry. A project co-ordinator has been hired to promote pollution prevention to small- and medium-sized firms. A draft Code of Management Practices forming the basis of a pollution prevention/environmental management system, has been released.
The task force under the pollution prevention MOU with the Motor Vehicles Manufacturers' Association released its third progress report. The task force also organized a public consultation workshop to inform the public of the project results. Under the pollution prevention MOU with the Auto Parts Manufacturing Association, Ontario Region organized two auto parts manufacturers workshops regarding environmental management systems and ISO 9000/14000. The Metal Finishing MOU has been extended to 1997. The task force issued its second progress report for the project and completed the Metal Finishing Pollution Prevention Guide. The Wastewater Technology Centre and the Canadian Clean Technology Centre have been involved in developing and delivering training on pollution prevention practices in metal finishing.
Under the Canada-Ontario Agreement, a study has been conducted to explore the feasibility of a single-window spill reporting system for Ontario for federal and provincial spill reports. The implementation of a trial arrangement is expected to begin in early 1996-97. The Canada-Ontario Agreement Pesticide Review Committee completed a draft business plan and is now consulting with major pesticide stakeholders. The draft plan calls for a cooperative approach to reduce risk from pesticides found to have an adverse impact on the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem.
In the Quebec Region, a 96% reduction has taken place with respect to toxics released in the effluent of 50 industrial plants under the St. Lawrence Action Plan (SLAP). As well, 11 persistent bioaccumulative substances have been identified for virtual elimination under the SLAP. This Region has also developed a new funding and response strategy for projects dealing with the restoration of contaminated marine sites and has successfully applied this strategy in Sector 103 of the Port of Montreal.
Various Parts of CEPA provide for the creation of regulations to protect the environment and human life and health. Federal regulatory policy is designed to ensure that government intervenes only when absolutely necessary and that such intervention is fair and results in the greatest net benefit to Canadian society. Environment Canada is following this "smart regulation" principle, ensuring that environmental regulations are based on science, are performance based encouraging innovative solutions, consider the potential economic impact and are strictly enforced but not inflexible. A thorough analysis of each initiative in a renewed CEPA will be undertaken to ensure its conformity with this precept. Currently, 24 regulations are in place under the Act.
CEPA Regulations Currently in Force
Ø Asbestos Mines and Mills Release Regulation
Ø Chlor-Alkali Mercury Release Regulations
Ø Chlorobiphenyls Regulations
Ø Contaminated Fuel Regulations
Ø Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations (as amended)
Ø Federal Mobile PCB Treatment and Destruction Regulations
Ø Fuels Information Regulations No. 1
Ø Gasoline Regulations (as amended)
Ø Masked Name Regulations
Ø Mirex Regulations
Ø New Substances Notification Regulations (as amended)
- Ø Part I - New substances other than biotechnology products or polymers
- Ø Part II - Polymers
Ø Ocean Dumping Regulations (as amended)
Ø Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations (as amended)
Ø Ozone-depleting Substances Products Regulations (as amended)
Ø PCB Waste Export Regulations
Ø Phosphorus Concentration Regulations
Ø Polybrominated Biphenyl Regulations
Ø Polychlorinated Terphenyl Regulations
Ø Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip Regulations
Ø Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans Regulations
Ø Secondary Lead Smelter Release Regulations
Ø Storage of PCB Materials Regulations
Ø Toxic Substances Export Notification Regulations
Ø Vinyl Chloride Release Regulations (as revised)
Note: Minor modifications to CEPA regulations have been dealt with through the Omnibus Amendment Order which allows departments to clean up various regulations requiring minor changes or corrections.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, signed in September 1987, is designed to prevent a global environmental and health problem from reaching the crisis stage. Canada subsequently has put regulations in place enabling us to meet our commitments under this treaty.
Ozone-depleting Substances (ODS) Regulations
These regulations control the import, manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale and export of ozone-depleting substances in bulk (i.e.,which are not in products). They fulfill Canada's commitments (to eliminate the production and consumption of these substances) under the Montreal Protocol. (Note: consumption = production + imports - exports).
Under the ODS regulations, we have already met our commitments for halons and carbon tetrachloride and, as of 1 January 1996, we met our commitments for CFCs, methyl chloroform and HCFCs. Our consumption of methyl bromide has been frozen and will be reduced by 25% in 1998 (except for quarantine and pre-shipment applications and for feedstock use).
An amendment to these ODS regulations to reflect the revisions to the Montreal Protocol (as agreed to in Copenhagen in 1992) was published in the Canada Gazette in December 1995. The amendment froze Canadian consumption of HCFCs beginning 1 January 1996 at an agreed base level. These amendments will gradually reduce total consumption of HCFCs by 35% in 2004; 65% in 2010; 90% in 2015; and will eliminate HCFCs in 2020.
Ozone-depleting Substances Products Regulations
The amendments to the ODS Products Regulations were published in December 1995 and prohibit the manufacture, import, sale and offer for sale of plastic foam packaging material or containers in which CFCs have been used as foaming agent and of pressurized containers that contain 10 kilograms or less of CFCs. Health care products are exempted from these regulations. These regulations also prohibit the import of certain products containing ozone-depleting substances (such as refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment and fire extinguishers) from non-Parties to the Montreal Protocol as required by the Protocol.
Strengthening of Canada's Ozone Layer Protection Program
Between January and March 1995, Environment Canada, in cooperation with provincial Ministries of the Environment, consulted Canadians on the improvements that could be made to the national ozone protection program. Recommendations resulting from these consultations were endorsed by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment at its semi-annual meeting in May 1995.
The Quebec Region developed a guide for the use of municipalities with respect to CFC recovery related to home appliances.
The Atlantic Region produced an Ozone-depleting Substances Information and Identification Reference Guide to assist Customs Inspectors in identifying illegal ozone-depleting substances entering and exiting Canada and gave seminars to 150 Canadian Custom inspectors, fisheries officers, and US Customs officers.
Notice on Essential Uses Exemptions
In July 1995, Environment Canada published a notice in the Canada Gazette, Part I inviting Canadian companies and institutions to submit requests for an exemption to the importation and production phase-out for CFCs, halons, methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride for 1997 and beyond. After a careful evaluation, only two types of exemptions were supported by the federal government and, therefore, presented to the Parties to the Montreal Protocol for approval: CFCs for use in metered-dose inhalers and CFCs, halons, methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride for use as analytical standards in laboratories.
CEPA provides for the making of Interim Orders in specific circumstances where immediate action is required to deal with a significant danger to the environment or to human life or health. One Interim Order has been made in the last year.
This Interim Order was put into place to ensure that Canadian PCB wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner in Canada and to prevent any possible significant danger to the environment or to human life or health. Amendments to the PCB Waste Export Regulations, which include the provisions set out in the Interim Order, are currently under development.
During fiscal year 1995-96, 1,568 notices for proposed exports of hazardous wastes, 3,538 notices for imports and 500 notices for shipments in transit through Canada were processed. During the same period, 25,000 manifests were received for the tracking of shipments approved under the above-noted notices.
In the fiscal year 1995-96, the notice and manifest database system was redesigned as per the 1994 Needs Analysis study.
This new computerized tracking system, which includes the new client-server system, integrated voice response and fax on demand, will be tested in fiscal year 1996-97, and changes incorporated as required.
In support of compliance and enforcement for these regulations, the Ontario Region has set up a 24-hour hazardous waste response line for Canada Customs.
The Pacific and Yukon Region initiated two investigations in B.C. and one in Yukon of alleged violations of EIHWR but these investigations are not complete and no charges have been laid.
To satisfy the requirements of section 45 of CEPA, after receiving a notice for proposed imports, exports and transits of hazardous wastes, Environment Canada must publish the names of the Canadian importer, exporter, or notifier as well as the name and origin/destination of the waste in question. This information is published semi-annually in Environment Canada's newsletter RESILOG, which is now also available on the Internet at http://www.ec.gc.ca/tmb/resilog/eng/resinews.htm.
This Convention aims to manage the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes. It also supports the continued application of bilateral and multilateral agreements that promote environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes.
In September of 1995, the third meeting of the Parties to the Convention resulted in 28 decisions. One of these decisions, which calls for an amendment to the Convention, would see an immediate ban on the export of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries for final disposal and would phase out exports for recycling by December 31, 1997.
Since that meeting, a number of technical meetings were held to better define which materials are covered by the Convention and subsequent "ban" amendment. Canada indicated that it would be unable to consider ratification of the amendment until the completion of this work.
Subsection 34(6) of CEPA allows for the federal government to enter into equivalency agreements with the provinces and territories as part of CEPA's legislative framework. Such agreements are an effective means to eliminate overlap and duplication in the administration of federal and provincial regulations. As such, they are partnerships that suspend all application of a federal CEPA regulation in a province or territory, excluding federal lands and facilities, by recognizing an equivalent provincial or territorial regulation. The federal government, however, retains its responsibility for reporting annually to Parliament on the administration of equivalency agreements.
Agreement on the Equivalency of Federal and Alberta Regulations on the Control of Toxic Substances in Alberta
This agreement, which was signed on June 1, 1994, continues to operate in Alberta. As a result of this agreement, the provisions of four CEPA regulations do not apply in Alberta: Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans, Pulp and Paper Mill Defoamer and Wood Chip (ss. 4(1), 6(2), 6(3)(b), 7 and 9 only), Secondary Lead Smelter Release and Vinyl Chloride Release. Equivalent Alberta regulations are applied by the province of Alberta and information on the compliance status of relevant industries and enforcement actions is provided to Environment Canada. Implementation of this agreement has successfully eliminated duplication of legislative requirements.
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