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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2002 to March 2003

1. Administration

1.1 National Advisory Committee (NAC)

CEPA 1999 requires the Minister of the Environment to establish a National Advisory Committee composed of one representative for each of the federal Ministers of Environment and Health, representatives from each province and territory, and not more than six representatives of Aboriginal governments drawn from across Canada.

The Committee advises the Ministers on actions taken under the Act, enables national, cooperative action, and avoids duplication in regulatory activity among governments. The Committee also serves as the single window into provincial and territorial governments and representatives of Aboriginal governments on offers to consult.

To carry out its duties in 2002-03, the Committee held two face-to-face meetings and five conference calls. Some of the federal initiatives brought to the Committee for discussion included:

  • proposed pollution prevention plans regarding ammonia dissolved in water, inorganic chloramines, and chlorinated wastewater effluents;

  • amendments to the Environmental Emergency Regulations;

  • risk management strategies for road salts, nonylphenol and its ethoxylates, and textile mill effluents; and

  • amendments to the New Substances Notification Regulations.

The character, extent, and results of the Committee's involvement in such matters vary with the nature of the issue and relative priority for each jurisdiction. With respect to municipal wastewater effluent, the Committee was engaged throughout the process of developing a proposed instrument to manage the risks posed by ammonia dissolved in water, inorganic chloramines, and chlorinated wastewater effluents.

Advice from Committee members and from a working group helped to focus proposed pollution prevention planning on higher-risk wastewater systems and establish realistic objectives for the four-year implementation period. Committee members also advised on the need to engage the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment in a broader discussion on wastewater management issues.

In the case of the Environmental Emergency Regulations, the Committee provided valuable input during a series of regular briefings. As a result of comments received, the proposed regulations were amended to better address a number of technical issues, such as the additional requirement to prepare and implement an environmental emergency plan, reporting when thresholds are exceeded, and incorporation of a one-window emergency reporting mechanism to avoid duplication and facilitate more efficient emergency response.

The National Advisory Committee under CEPA 1999 (NAC)

1.2 Administrative Agreements

The Act allows the federal government to enter into administrative agreements with provincial and territorial governments and contains provisions to allow for administrative agreements with Aboriginal
governments as well as an Aboriginal people.

Administrative Agreements

1.2.1 Canada-Saskatchewan Administrative Agreement

The Canada-Saskatchewan Administrative Agreement, in force since September 1994, is a work-sharing arrangement covering certain provincial legislation and seven CEPA 1999 regulations, which include two regulations related to the pulp and paper sector, two regulations on ozone-depleting substances, and three on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Key results under the agreement in 2002-03 included:

  • Inspection -- Environment Canada and Saskatchewan conducted a joint field inspection to confirm that products listed in the pulp and paper regulations were not being used. No violations were detected. Environment Canada conducted 11 field inspections under the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, which included analyzing 10 aerosol products to determine if ozone-depleting substances were present.

    No violations were detected. Environment Canada conducted four inspections under the Chlorobiphenyls Regulations and four inspections under the Storage of PCB Material Regulations. Provincial authorities received reports of 32 releases of electrical fluids that could potentially contain PCBs. It was confirmed that none of the spills contained PCBs at levels over 50 parts per million. The province concluded that corrective actions were taken, including immediate cleanup of spills.

  • Training -- Thirty-five provincial staff were trained by Environment Canada on the roles and responsibilities of each department under the administrative agreement.

  • Promotion -- In support of their Turn in Polluters/Poachers line for environmental offences, Saskatchewan aired a public service announcement. During this period, 79 environment-related calls were received. From these calls, two written warnings were issued.

1.2.2 Canada-Quebec Pulp and Paper Administrative Agreement

Administrative agreements concerning the pulp and paper sector have been in place between the province of Quebec and the Canadian government since 1994. The second agreement expired on March 31, 2000. On July 27, 2002, the proposed Canada-Quebec Pulp and Paper Administrative Agreement was published in Part I of the Canada Gazette. The response to the only comment received on the proposed agreement was published in Part I of the Canada Gazette on March 1, 2003.

Under the agreement, the province acts as a “single window” for the gathering of information from Quebec pulp and paper manufacturers and forwards such information to Environment Canada for the purpose of enabling the latter to implement its Act. Both levels of government retain full responsibility for carrying out inspections and investigations and for taking appropriate enforcement measures in order to ensure compliance with their respective requirements on the part of the industry.

1.2.3 Agreement Respecting the National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS) Program Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

The National Air Pollution Surveillance program has been in existence since 1969 and has operated without a formal agreement (see section 3.1.1 of this report). The Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development for 2000 recommended that an agreement be put in place. This has now been negotiated using the Statement of Principles to Guide Cooperative Arrangements on Monitoring and Reporting developed by the Canadian Council of the Ministers of the Environment (CCME).

The purpose of the MOU is to define formally the roles and responsibilities of the NAPS program participants, and essentially enshrines the successful and collaborative operating arrangements that have evolved over the three decades. The CCME Deputy Ministers accepted in principle the proposed agreement on April 15, 2003. The Deputy Ministers intend to sign the agreement upon completion of their respective internal processes to secure authority to enter into the agreement (Winter 2004).

1.2.4 Canada-wide Standards

Developed under the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Harmonization Accord, Canada-wide Standards are designed to address environmental protection and health issues. Many federal actions to achieve these commitments are taken under CEPA 1999. Under the Canada-wide Accord, priority substances for Canada-wide Standards include mercury, dioxins and furans, benzene, particulate matter and groundlevel ozone, and petroleum hydrocarbons in soil. While the standards are developed by the CCME, the Minister uses section 9 of CEPA 1999, related to administrative agreements, to enter into the commitments accepted by the CCME for the substance targeted by the standard.

Canada-wide Standards |

New Standards in 2002-03
In 2002-03, the Canada-wide Standards for Dioxins and Furans from Steel Manufacturing Electric Arc Furnaces and Iron Sintering Plants were approved. The Canada-wide Standard for Conical Waste Combustion of Municipal Waste was received by the CCME in November 2003. These Canada-wide Standards represent a significant step towards the ultimate goal of virtual elimination of dioxins and furans.

  • Dioxins and Furans from Steel Manufacturing Electric Arc Furnaces and Iron Sintering Plants -- These standards were endorsed in March 2003. Based on 1999 emission estimates, the standards will result in a 90% reduction in dioxins and furans from iron sintering plants by 2010 and a 60% reduction in dioxins and furans from steel manufacturing electric arc furnaces by 2010.

    The standards specify emission limits for new and existing facilities, as well as associated emission testing and reporting requirements. Multistakeholder advisory groups were formed to provide advice on the development of pollution prevention strategies and the 2003 review of the standards. Data indicate that the majority of steel manufacturing electric arc furnace facilities are already meeting the interim 2006 emission goal and that the sole remaining iron sintering plant is meeting the interim 2002 goal.

  • Canada-wide Standard for Base Metals Smelters -- The Canada-wide Standard is to be included as a release guideline in an Environmental Code of Practice for Base Metals Smelters and Refineries.

Implementation Plans for Existing Canada-wide Standards
Ministers have committed to being accountable to the public and each other by developing implementation plans to achieve the standards. The following list provides information on the actions taken towards meeting the commitments outlined in the implementation plans.

Canada-wide Standards

  • Benzene Phase II -- The 2001 national progress report shows a 30% drop in ambient benzene levels in 16 urban areas in Canada. Phase 2 of the standard calls for existing facilities addressed under Phase 1 to further reduce benzene emissions by 6 kilotonnes from the Phase 1 30% reduction total, to be realized by the end of 2010. In fact, the Phase 2 benzene emissions reduction target, originally set for achievement by 2010, has almost been reached at this date. The federal government will therefore continue to monitor progress in benzene emissions reduction in conjunction with provinces and territories and will evaluate the need for future annual reporting.

  • Dioxins and Furans and Mercury from Waste Incineration and Coastal Pulp and Paper Boilers -- Consultations were held with federal departments that own, operate, or manage non-hazardous waste incinerators on how to meet the standard and the possibility of implementing an Environmental Performance Agreement. Detailed information from federal departments was collected on the size of incinerator, type of waste, and process used. Work was undertaken to determine the extent of dioxin and furan emissions from residential burning of municipal solid waste and open burning of municipal solid waste and landfills. The Canadawide Standard for dioxins and furans for conical waste combustors was drafted to phase out their operation and prevent the construction of new facilities.

  • Mercury Emissions from Fluorescent Lamps -- In a letter of commitment, Canadian lamp manufacturers voluntarily agreed to meet this reduction. Environment Canada is monitoring industry compliance with the standard and developing materials to promote the life cycle management of fluorescent lamps in government operations.

  • Mercury Switches -- Environment Canada held discussions with automobile and white goods manufacturers on removing mercury switches prior to melting down steel in electric arc furnaces.

  • Mercury Emissions from Base Metals Smelting -- Environment Canada has:

    - established a Strategic Options Implementation Committee, which will serve as the focal point for monitoring implementation progress;

    - maintained an emissions database in order to track emissions of mercury in the federal government;

    - supported international action to reduce anthropogenic mercury emissions; and

    - supported the National Pollutant Release Inventory as the major public reporting mechanism for mercury emission rates.

  • Mercury from Dental Amalgam Wastes -- Environment Canada is implementing the standard through a Memorandum of Understanding, signed in March 2002, with the Canadian Dental Association. In 2002-03, estimates for the 2000 baseline year for a number of Canadian dentists targeted for voluntary compliance were established.

  • Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Soil -- The federal government is responsible for the implementation of the standard at federal contaminated sites, if and when these sites are remediated. The standard will be implemented under the Treasury Board Federal contaminated Sites Management Policy, which was issued in July 2002. Under the auspices of the interdepartmental Contaminated Sites Management Working Group, an approach to applying the Canada-wide Standard within the federal departments was developed. Environment Canada is working to develop a strategy that includes the development of a guideline to deal with those parts of the federal house not covered by the Treasury Board policy (federal works and undertakings and Crown corporations). A pilot workshop on the federal implementation of the standard was given to selected federal departments.
  • Particulate Matter and Ozone -- Progress in 2002-03 included the following:

    - Environment Canada worked with the provinces and territories, industry, and non-governmental organizations to complete Multipollutant Emission Reduction Analysis Foundation reports for seven sectors: electric power generation, iron and steel, base metals smelting, pulp and paper, lumber and allied wood, concrete batch mix plants, and hotmix asphalt paving batch-plants. A consultation workshop was held on the draft versions of these reports in June 2002.

    - The Update Documents for the Science Assessment Reports for Particulate Matter and Ozone were completed. In these documents, the most recent scientific publications on the health effects were reviewed, and the new evidence for addressing the identified gaps was delineated.

    - Environment Canada led two pilot projects in partnership with the provinces of Quebec and Alberta to test the provisions of the guidance Document on Achievement Determination.

    - The New Source Emission Guidelines for Thermal Electricity Generation were published in January 2003 and came into force on April 1, 2003. The Guidelines provide tighter emission limits based on current best available technology to reduce smog and acid rain pollutants from new coal-, oil-, and gas-fired electric power plants.

    - The Intergovernmental Working Group on Residential Wood Combustion held its first public consultation in October 2002, which included the update of Canadian Standards Association standards, the development of regulations on new and ecologically sound residential wood combustion appliances, the creation of public awareness programs, and an evaluation of opportunities for establishing a national program to improve and replace wood stoves.

    - In March 2003, the department, in cooperation with the CCME, sponsored a national consultation workshop to explore the elements that should be considered in developing a guidance document on ways of incorporating the principles of Continuous Improvement and Keeping Clean Areas Clean into jurisdictions' implementation plans, and the initial draft work plan for development of the guidance document was developed. The guidance document is expected to be completed in the spring of 2004.

    - Environment Canada participated in the national Burn It Smart awareness campaign by acting as a project manager for projects in Quebec, British Colombia and Yukon. The 2002-2003 campaign reached more than 200 Canadian communities and over 7000 Canadians. The campaign was made possible through the involvement of different levels of government, of many nongovernmental associations and industry associations.

    Standards under Development in 2002-2003

    Mercury Emissions from Coal-Fired Electric Power Generators
    -- Environment Canada worked with the provinces and their utilities to develop a coal/ash sampling program that would determine the location and levels of mercury in coal.

1.3 Equivalency Agreements

The Act allows the use of equivalency agreements where, by Order in Council, a regulation under CEPA 1999 is declared to no longer apply in a province, a territory, or an area under the jurisdiction of an Aboriginal government that has equivalent requirements.

1.3.1 Canada-Alberta Equivalency Agreement

In December 1994, an Agreement on the Equivalency of Federal and Alberta Regulations for the Control of Toxic Substances in Alberta came into effect. This agreement recognizes that provincial regulations are “equivalent” to CEPA 1999 regulations governing the pulp and paper sector, secondary lead smelter releases, and vinyl chloride releases. These CEPA 1999 regulations no longer apply in Alberta.

Alberta Environment reported that no violations of the regulations under the agreement were detected in 2002-03. All four kraft mills complied with their dioxin/furan effluent limit requirements. The two regulated chemical plants did not exceed the regulated vinyl chloride emission levels.

Equivalency Agreements

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