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Part I - Canada's Draft National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention

Appendix E - 2004 Consultations on Canada's National Implementation Plan under the Stockholm Convention

Introduction

On May 23, 2001, Canada was the first country to sign and ratify the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention"), a global agreement that will dramatically reduce or eliminate emissions of 12 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that are known to result in serious harm to the environment and human health. Canada pursued the Convention with others in the international community out of a shared recognition of the global nature of the threat POPs pose to human health and the environment, a shared commitment to take strong actions and a shared conviction that financial and technical assistance is needed to help developing countries and countries with economies in transition strengthen their capacity to deal with POPs. As of May 27, 2004, 62 countries have followed the Canadian lead, ratifying the Convention, which entered into force on May 17, 2004.

By May 17, 2006, Canada is required to submit a National Implementation Plan (NIP) describing how it will implement its obligations under the Convention. Specifically, Article 7 of the Convention states:

  1. Each Party shall: (a) Develop and endeavour to implement a plan for the implementation of its obligations under this Convention; (b) Transmit its implementation plan to the Conference of the Parties within two years of the date on which this Convention enters into force for it; and (c) Review and update, as appropriate, its implementation plan on a periodic basis and in a manner to be specified by a decision of the Conference of the Parties.
  2. The Parties shall, where appropriate, cooperate directly or through global, regional and subregional organizations, and consult their national stakeholders, including women's groups and groups involved in the health of children, in order to facilitate the development, implementation and updating of their implementation plans.
  3. The Parties shall endeavour to utilize and, where necessary, establish the means to integrate national implementation plans for persistent organic pollutants in their sustainable development strategies where appropriate.

Anticipating entry into force of the Convention, Environment Canada formed an advisory team in late 2003 to assist with planning for multistakeholder consultations. In January 2004, a discussion document was prepared and made publicly available. In February and March, 2004, Environment Canada hosted day long meetings in Edmonton, Alberta and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. A meeting in Gatineau, Quebec spanned a day and a half, at the request of the advisory team. (The additional half-day was devoted to more detailed explanation of the Convention's obligations.) Meetings were announced on Environment Canada's Green Lane (POPs website) and invitations and the discussion document were sent to aboriginal organizations, organizations focusing on women and children's health, industrial associations and businesses, environmental nongovernmental organizations, and other levels of Canadian government. Stakeholders were invited to provide written comments and suggestions, in addition to their participation in workshops or if they were unable to attend any of the three sessions. A list of the participants is attached as Annex I.

When Canada ratified the Stockholm Convention, it did so with the understanding that programs and activities were already in place to meet its obligations. The purpose of the 2004 consultations was to seek stakeholder input prior to drafting of the Plan, to increase its depth and breadth through the identification of stakeholder activities that relate to the 12 POPslisted in the Convention. The discussion document and the meetings asked for input on how Canadians can and do contribute to the national elimination/reduction of POPs. National efforts include those made by federal, provincial and local governments, individual industries and industry associations, aboriginal groups, nongovernmental organizations, scientific and academic institutions and the general public. A Strategic Implementation Framework for International Commitments on Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) describing how Canada will implement international agreements on hazardous air pollutants was developed by the National Air Issues Coordinating Committee-Air Hazardous Air Pollutants (NAICC-AHAPs) Task Group in 1999 and updated in 2004.

This report provides a summary of the discussions and advice received during the consultation meetings. The report attempts to characterize opinions expressed during the meeting without verification of the accuracy. Section II is organized into six subsections; results of the three meetings (Edmonton, National Capital Region and Dartmouth ) are reported as national advice and are not differentiated.

  1. Overview and Summary of Key Points
  2. Stakeholder Advice with Respect to Implementation of the Stockholm Convention
    • This section reports on general and specific advice provided to government about how Canada should meet its obligations under Stockholm.
  3. Advice with Respect to the National Implementation Plan
    • Stakeholders provided advice on content and style and format. Separate advice was requested concerning the preparation of the National Action Plan (NAP). Under Article 5(a) of the Convention, Canada is obligated to prepare an action plan on measures to reduce or eliminate releases of POPs from unintentional production.
  4. Case Studies and the NIP
    • Stakeholders were asked to recommend case studies, or examples of programs or activities that could be used to demonstrate Canada's approach to the reduction and elimination of POPs.
  5. General Recommendations and Comments
    • The management of POPs is related to broader government initiatives. While some of the comments made and advice given during consultations relate to other federal and provincial mandates, they are valuable to the management of pollutants in general.

Attached as Annex II are copies of letters and e-mails forwarded to Environment Canada that provided additional comments and advice on the development of the National Implementation Plan.

Summary of Discussions and Advice

A. Overview and Summary of Key Points

General comments about Canada's role in the Convention and about its implementation fell under the following themes: Canada in the world, analysis and inventories, and participation and communication.

Canada in the World
  • There was general agreement at all sessions that the Stockholm Convention was a success for Canada.
  • Stakeholders acknowledged the role that Northern Aboriginal representatives and traditional knowledge played in Canada's success regarding Stockholm.
  • Stakeholders agreed that substantial progress has been made in reducing POPs originating in Canada.
Analysis and Inventories
  • While an inventory of current activities related to POPs is important, the NIP also should include an assessment of those activities and an analysis of any gaps in Canada's ability to meet Convention obligations. The activities include domestic programs, international capacity building, and Canada's ongoing involvement as part of the Conference of the Parties. The results of this assessment can be published in a separate report but should identify the key components to include in the NIP.
Participation and Communication
  • Local programs to educate the public about POPs will help to engage everyone in understanding and reducing POPs. This includes the involvement of local public health departments.
  • Ongoing stakeholder involvement in the development and implementation of the NIP will carry on the tradition of cooperation that characterizes Canada's involvement in negotiations on the Stockholm Convention. It was recommended that Environment Canada should include multi-stakeholder consultation meetings to discuss Canada's draft NIP to complement the online consultation currently proposed as well as establish a multi-stakeholder advisory committee.
  • Environment Canada was encouraged to tell the story of POPs as something Canadians should be proud of.
  • There was a recommendation that public participation from all sectors affected by POPs should be an essential component in all phases of the NIP process to promote transparency and access to information. This includes enhancing the role of the public in consultations to develop and implement programs that have a focus on POPs (including the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) and Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, Canada Wide Standards (CCME, CWS)).

B. Stakeholder Advice with Respect to Implementation of the Stockholm Convention

Stakeholder advice with respect to how Canada should implement its obligations under the Convention fell under three broad themes: leadership, government programs and education and communication.

International Leadership and Trade
  • Stakeholders advised that Canada should continue to demonstrate leadership by working within the Convention to ensure that there is a process and a mechanism for identifying and addressing non-compliance. Canada can demonstrate leadership by sharing technical knowledge and capacity building to "do the right thing" in developing countries delivering the most effective return for the investment
  • Stakeholders indicated that Canada needs to ensure capacity and resources are available to Environment Canada and other government departments to implement all aspects of the NIP. A study should be undertaken to assess the need for additional resources. The importance of resources for developing countries was also noted.
  • Some stakeholders expressed concern that World Trade Organization (WTO) rules could hinder Canada's ability to implement actions related to Stockholm and might influence the selection of new substances, but that they could also be a vehicle for placing liability on other countries to comply. For example, trade restrictions might be used to enforce the Convention. Other stakeholders pointed out the Convention was developed taking into account WTOrules and Canadian legal expertise had been very helpful in this process.
  • Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) may inadvertently allow POPs to come in from other countries, because MRLs have been established to cover residues in imported fruits and vegetables for some of the listed POPs. As well, a default MRL exists at present if no specific MRL has been established.
  • Canada should report on efforts undertaken by developing countries and countries with economies in transition receiving support through the Canada's POPs Fund. It was also recommended by some stakeholders that Canada work with other countries to phase out DDT for vector control. Others emphasized supporting the approach taken in negotiating the Convention of being sensitive to the need for DDT vector control to save lives in many countries until and unless suitable alternatives are developed.

Government Programs

  • The overall approach to implementing the Stockholm Convention in Canada should include a balance of tactics, including cooperation, encouragement, voluntary measures and regulations. An effective regulatory framework will support the programs and initiative to ensure that the obligations and the spirit of the Convention are reflected. There should be acknowledgement of positive actors and actions.
  • Stakeholders indicated that the federal government needs to take a leadership role and to work cooperatively with provinces in implementing the Convention as well as recognize the existing provincial actions to mitigate POPs as part of the NIP.
  • With respect to national programs, there was considerable discussion about the implications of current changes to the Canada Wide Standards process under CCMEand the "sunsetting" of the Development Committees. Some stakeholders expressed concern that without the Committees there would be no pressure to continue to move the standards towards virtual elimination or to change the standards if they are not having the anticipated impacts. Over-reliance, for an extended period of time, on numerical standards based on incomplete and sometimes inaccurate information can become an implementation problem in its own right. Others noted that once tasks are completed the CWS process needs to move on to new issues.
  • Similarly, other stakeholders advised the government to continue making progress with existing programs like the Canada-wide Standards, the National Pollutant Release Inventory, the Northern Contaminants Program and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment.
  • The government was advised to continue investment in monitoring through the type of partnership that created the Northern Contaminants Program.
  • It was suggested that the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) needs to be fine tuned for PCBs emissions and for certain sectors for dioxins/furans and hexachlorobenzene. It was also noted that all of the POPs on the Stockholm Convention should be listed on the NPRI. The complex and diffuse problem of combustion-related production is not adequately reflected in the NPRI - it was suggested that this problem in Canada should receive corresponding attention to US work.
  • While there are a number of actions undertaken by governments that focus on other pollutants or contaminants that have co-benefits for POPs (e.g., reduce POPs while reducing other emissions), some stakeholders indicated that it is important to maintain measures that are directed at POPs themselves.
  • It was suggested by some that Canada should develop a regulation and/or initiatives specific to the obligations of the Stockholm Convention on POPs. Such a regulation should aim to articulate how additional POPs will be identified and assessed in Canada, establish a process for addressing gaps in the Canadian regime on POPs, articulate Canada's international obligations on these matters and the urgency of time for action on POPs. These regulations should include timelines for achieving the goals of the Convention. Others suggested that this was not necessary given Canada's achievements in the POPs process to date without such an approach.
  • Stakeholders indicated that the requirements to comply with Stockholm obligations could be an opportunity for Canada to launch new initiatives related to POPs if there is evidence they are needed; however, there is a need to show care before developing new programs. Stakeholders cautioned against introducing programs that had insufficient resources to ensure success or, by nature of their design, could not be enforced (too broad, no measurable results or standards, etc.).
  • The recommendation was made by some stakeholders that Canada consider advancing the timelines on Stockholm timelines; to be as aggressive as Canada has been with the CWS on dioxins and furans, with specific dates for implementation of specific, incremental measures that will achieve the longer term goal. Another recommendation was to ensure that Canada could meet all of the obligations (regardless of the timeline specified within the Convention) within five to ten years of entry into force.
  • Other advice given included: promoting safe alternatives; focusing on new and emerging POPs; and considering non-incineration technologies to destroy POPs with consideration of economic and technical factors.
  • The recommendation was given that Canada consider taking a more active role, domestically and internationally with respect to open burning.
  • Stakeholders indicated that there is a gap with respect to small businesses and small agricultural operations in implementing reduction and elimination measures. Experience with hazardous waste programs and other environmental initiatives have been successful with large industrial sectors and consumers, but have been cost prohibitive for small enterprises.
  • It was noted that CEPA (1999) is one of the key pieces of legislation in Canada relevant to the NIP with shared responsibility of Environment Canada and Health Canada.
  • The recommendation was given by some that all of the Stockholm Convention POPs should be added to CEPA Schedule 1 and the Virtual Elimination List.

Education and Communication

  • Stakeholders suggested that a good communications program on Canada's ongoing implementation would be beneficial.
  • The role of the public in implementing the Convention needs to be acknowledged, including the concept of consumer responsibility. "We demonstrate commitment by our actions". Efforts must be made to educate people that their own actions are leading to POPsemissions.
  • Local publications should be encouraged to include information on POPs; this is a cost-effective way of educating the public. Outreach to schools can also be effective.
    • Consider the role that public health units can play in educating the public about POPs and human health and their ability to facilitate community involvement.
  • Stakeholders suggested educating other countries about POPs and methods for reducing and eliminating them is in Canada's best interest. In addition to education, there is a need for developing countries to have the capacity to implement the obligations.
  • Canada should increase efforts that raise awareness on POPs, the obligations of the Stockholm Convention and the efforts that lead to the reduction and/or elimination of POPs. Specifically, increased efforts should be made to vulnerable communities affected by POPssuch as children, workers, women, and Aboriginal communities.
  • Through the Canada's POPs Fund, Canada should identify and promote opportunities where the Canadian NGOs expertise can be used to assist developing countries and countries in economic transition in meeting specific obligations of the Stockholm Convention.

Additional Advice

  • Some noted the process of developing the NAP and the waste portions of the NIP should include a full and complete public discussion of the issue of incineration and non-incineration technologies as an acceptable technique for the destruction of POPs. Others noted acceptable incineration was allowed in the Convention and Canadian governments had already clarified it was an acceptable option.
  • In working with the Secretariat on evaluation and reporting, some stakeholders noted that Canada should advocate that the Secretariat create a report like the CEC's Taking Stock, an international inventory of emissions and actions. Others noted that the CEC Report style would need to be improved and the process be more clearly directed by governments.
  • It was recommended that an ethical grounding is developed to guide Canada's Stockholm Initiatives.
  • It was noted that combustion-related production research, and the companion issue of the historical accumulation of dioxins and furans in soil organic matter and wetlands or peats, is the subject of a rapidly evolving research literature in the different countries affected by this issue. A suggestion was offered that Environment Canada/Health Canada do more research in this area and that continued research be extended to brominated and fluorinated compounds which are now the subject of increasing attention.

C. Advice with Respect to the National Implementation Plan

Scope

  • Stakeholders suggested that the NIP should report on Canada's past activities and education in managing POPs, and should also be forward looking (including a timeline), outlining what Canada intends to do in the future.
  • The NIPshould articulate how programs and initiatives in place in the provinces and territories meet the obligations of the Stockholm Convention.
  • The NIPshould be comprehensive and clearly identify a statement of intention, including goals and objectives, so that the boundaries of the plan are clear.
  • In addition, the plan should maintain its international perspective by choosing benchmarks that demonstrate improvements to transboundary problems, while showing Canada's leadership and expertise on POPs to the international community.
  • The NIPshould be developed in a transparent manner, ensuring effective public participation in all aspects of its development. Following UNEP's Guidance Document on preparing the NIP could be useful and will add transparency to the process.
  • Stakeholders agreed that case studies and lessons learned be developed for inclusion in the NIP, identifying the problem, the solution to that problem (including government and other actions) and the effect of the measures taken to address the problem.
  • The stakeholders discussed the relationship between reductions, continuing minimization and virtual elimination. The suggestion was made that the NIP should lay out Canada's position on these approaches.
  • Stakeholders indicated there should be a section on emerging POPs, how Canada will identify emerging POPs and how it will work within the Conference of the Parties on the analysis of POPsproposed by other Parties. This should include an indication of what process and standards of evidence from its domestic process that Canada will use. It was also recommended that EC develop a specific team for this. Endosulfan was noted as an example of a substance that should be considered for controls.
  • Some concern was expressed regarding the work involved in preparing the NIP and the possibility of duplicating work.
  • It was recommended that the precautionary approach as set out in the Convention be an underlying theme throughout the development of the NIP. The NIPshould give priority to and highlight those programs and initiatives that implement the precautionary approach to POPs.
  • It was noted by some that reporting on progress should begin 2 years after Canada's NIP is finalized and implemented, while annual reports will be required thereafter. Reporting is an essential component to Canada's NIP. Specific components that were suggested include: establish the baseline for reporting as 2001; produce printed reports to promote transparency; highlight the most effective tools, programs and techniques; report on biomonitoring efforts; review the inventories; provide levels of production, use and release; highlight areas/programs/sectors that resulted in largest reductions; highlight information on effects of current legislation or programs that may be responsible for reduction or increase; and review progress in all program areas regarding new POPs. Reporting mechanisms for the current programs that meet the obligations could be used for data collection.
  • A baseline year of 2001 should be considered for Canada's NIP.

Assessment and analysis:

  • Stakeholders emphasized that the NIP should be more than an inventory of current programs and activities. The NIP should include an effectiveness analysis of federal, provincial and territorial, private and nonprofit measures that have been implemented so that other countries can gain from lessons learned in Canada. Reporting on measures that were less successful is not intended for "blaming" but for learning. The recommendation was made by some that the federal government should request an independent, third party assessment and gaps analysis.
  • In calculating the costs and benefits of management measures, all costs including that to the health care system should be taken into account.
  • The NIPshould include information on quantities of POPs, and specific dates related to management measures and reporting.
  • The NIPshould assess the effectiveness of voluntary and regulatory approaches.

Inventories and Monitoring

  • Some stakeholders indicated a need for more information on the intentional production of POPs and a complete inventory on unintentional POPs.
  • Canada's monitoring strategy with respect to POPs should be outlined within the NIP, with links to websites that report on monitoring (including but not limited to Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC), Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Northern Contaminants Program (NCP)). Monitoring efforts should be complemented with effective communication strategies and implementation efforts that promote the reduction and/or elimination of POPs. It was suggested that the goal of that monitoring should be a report that resembles what was once State of the Environment reporting.
  • It was noted that a tangible responsibility for Health Canada would be to ensure that there is an adequate mechanism for the identification of vulnerable populations and for tracking human exposure levels in an epidemiologically credible manner, i.e. so that trends within populations can be identified and distinguished with respect to age group and sex in relation to the population at large.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Stakeholders asked that the NIP propose and define the role of all federal government departments and agencies in the decision making process with respect to POPs.
  • A number of stakeholders agreed with the proposal to include a "roadmap" within the NIP, outlining where Canada stands with respect to POPs, where it is going and how stakeholders can get involved in implementing obligations. It should also provide information on who the decision-makers are with respect to POPs.
  • There should be a clear explanation of how various government initiatives fit together.
  • The recommendation was made that departments responsible for trade should be included in the drafting of the NIP, since their roles are not always obvious, e.g., POPs may be found in residues on food that is imported.

International Focus

  • Participants indicated that the NIP should maintain an international focus; with information on how Canada contributes to and influences international decision-making about POPs and about activities in other countries, including but not limited to Parties to the Convention.
  • The stakeholders recommended that the NIP include a section on funding and the capacity of other countries to meet the obligations of the Convention.
  • The NIPshould draw linkages to other international agreements, as appropriate to demonstrate how the implementation measures of one Convention are not contradictory to those of another.
  • The NIPshould include a description of the process for domestic nominations to the Convention and how substances will be added to the Convention, including how stakeholders will be involved.

Stakeholder Involvement and Public Information

  • Participants indicated that public information based on the NIP can be very helpful to local governments and agencies in program design and delivery.
  • Educating the public means that the public will then educate policy makers. That education should include information on the precautionary principle / approach as set out in the Convention and how it relates to the Convention.
  • Participants requested that the NIP include a section on how there will be ongoing stakeholder involvement in the implementation of the Stockholm Convention, both within Canada and internationally.
  • Canada can demonstrate leadership through communicating its integrated approach to tackling environmental problems.
  • With respect to contaminated sites, the NIP should include a reference to the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy's Brownfields project.

The National Action Plan on Measures to Reduce or Eliminate Releases of POPs from Unintentional Production

  • Some participants recommended that the NAP should include evaluation criteria and demonstrable compliance measures for both federal and provincial/territorial governments.
  • In drafting the NAP, some suggested Canada should aim to go beyond meeting minimum requirements and meeting those requirements sooner rather than later.
  • The point was made that while POPs should be reduced with the aim of being and ultimately eliminated where feasible given economic and technical considerations in existing sources, we should be looking at eliminating new sources where feasible, not just introducing technology that will reduce emissions of POPs.
  • Substitution and elimination should be an important part of the NAP, as should BAT, BEP and the full range of options as called for in Annex F. Under Article 5, there is an obligation to promote BAT/BEP and where appropriate require the use of substitute or modified materials, products and processes to prevent the formation and release of POPs. Canada should consider demonstrating leadership in BAT/BEP and alternative technologies, including, where appropriate, disposal methods that do not create POPs, vector control that is not based on POPs, reduction technologies, and lifecycle analysis that avoids the generation of POPs at any point in the lifecycle of a product. The NIP and the NAP should clearly identify those programs that address the full range of management options including substitution and elimination and those that address reductions in POPs. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on the former where appropriate. It was recommended that Canada invest in alternative technologies that do not lead to releases of chemicals to the environment to destroy stockpiles of POPs.
  • Stakeholders recommended that the NAP include an inventory of unintentional POPs, as required by the Convention.
  • Some stakeholders noted the need to address pesticides that have dioxins and furans as byproducts of application.
  • Participants suggested that the NAP should be based on target sources, providing data on releases from those sources. It should address more than dioxins and furans, and include detailed information on HCBsand PCBs.
  • The NAP should include existing information on where POPs are, where they are coming from, which are most dangerous and the benchmark against which change is measured. It should promote safer BAT/BEP alternatives and technologies that reduce, minimize or stop the creation of POPs.
  • The NAP should address how unintentional POPs are annually monitored and consider an assessment of whether current sampling techniques (e.g., "grab" samples) are adequate to determine whether unintentional POPs are being emitted in Canada.
  • The suggestion was made by some that the NAP should include a focus on the chlorine industry, while others noted the government had already adopted an appropriate Chlorine Action Plan.
  • Canada should develop a list that consists of the following information: all sources of Annex C emissions by sector in Canada; risk management options including substitute material and processes for each use/process which leads to POPs emissions; and priority categories for appropriate risk management including substitution at source.
  • An action plan should include key components, such as: the precautionary approach; a multi-stakeholder component; an outline of roles and responsibility for government and stakeholders; details of specific programs; an evaluation of effectiveness of programs including voluntary and non regulatory; timelines for achieving progress; promotion of safe alternatives and innovation towards clean technology with consideration of technology and economics; maintaining an inventory of export and import of hazardous waste containing POPs; a regulatory back stop; a baseline for reporting on achievement; financial and technical assistance available.
  • There is a need to consider if, how and to what extent Canada should co-ordinate actions with those proposed or initiated in the framework of the North American Agreement on Environmental Co-operation.
  • A particular problem for aboriginal communities, and probably more generally for relatively isolated rural communities in Canada, is the role of uncontrolled and at least partially open combustion - and the corresponding problem of evaluating the toxicological significance for these populations.
  • Solid waste management in many remote communities on the Canadian Shield often involves burning to reduce volume before burial in trenches. The practice is widespread. The avoidance of burning in itself can be the source of significant local environmental problems, and they also need to be taken into account. There is an evident need for data collection and the creation of a central repository for information on this subject. The role of INAC should be explored further here. The provinces and territories, and in particular the departments responsible for municipal affairs also, have important roles to play in this area.
  • As unconfined combustion starts to dominate the inventoried and reported sources of dioxins, furans and coplanar PCB's, so it will become increasingly important to tackle the issue of documenting production from solid waste management practices.
  • Forest fires, stubble burning in agriculture, and wood stoves together constitute a group of uncertain but geographically widespread sources of dioxin and furan production and mobilization. There is very little data available to support estimates of their role in D/F production (and therefore their incorporation into national inventories). This is an example of an area requiring further, collaborative research. Environment Canada could play an important role in the promotion and support of such research.

D. Case Studies and the National Action Plan

The following recommendations were made concerning potential case study candidates:

  • Pollution Watch, a project initiated by the Canadian Environmental Law Association helps the public to understand the community impact of pollutants, including POPs.
  • The Inuit Circumpolar Conference cooperates with Mexico and migrant indigenous farm workers to develop community-based monitoring of POPs. The goal is to develop a network of indigenous peoples that is able to influence policies on POPs management
  • CropLIfe, an industry-based program, operating under a principle of Responsible Stewardship, sponsored a collection program for obsolete pesticides (including but not limited to POPs) with a focus on the disposal of unwanted/unused pesticides and warehousing.
  • There is a need for public involvement in reducing POPs; examples of programs that have facilitated public involvement include those related to wood and barrel burning. Under the Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy, a campaign on barrel burning informed the public about the impacts of open burning. Ontario's municipal hazardous waste program includes programs for collecting small quantities of hazardous wastes that can include POPs.
  • ATTCO electric has a successful phase-out program for PCBs.
  • Contaminants training program created by the Métis Nation.
  • Canada's record of reducing the release of dioxins and furans to water from the pulp and paper industry was highlighted as a success story, resulting in virtual elimination of releases.
  • Stakeholders recommended that the government take greater advantage of the Northern Ecosystems Initiative to implement and communicate obligations of the Stockholm Convention.
  • Civil society's engagement around the proposed waste incinerator in northern New Brunswick was suggested as a potential case study for how Canada as a society manages POPs. The study would examine the environmental impact assessment process and its relationship to local concerns and the creation of community organizations. A similar situation occurred in Newfoundland with a proposed medical waste incinerator.
  • Product Care in British Columbia is an example of how programs can start in limited ways and are then expanded in response to public demand. One community started a limited hazardous waste collection program and expanded it both geographically and in terms of the number of substances it collected.
  • Integrated approaches should be highlighted in case studies. An example is the new Pictou Airshed Management program that is beginning with an assessment of environmental issues. The program includes both industry and individuals and focuses on bringing them together to solve common problems. The Ontario Lampton Industrial Program is another example of an integrated approach.
  • Although Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET) is no longer operating, it is an example of how voluntary programs reduced POPs.
  • It was suggested that the Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention can provide other examples of pollution prevention that may relate to the Convention.

E. General Recommendations and Comments

The management of POPs is related to broader government initiatives, including pesticides management.

  • Stakeholders recommended continuing support for pesticide collection programs at the community level.
  • The following reading material was brought forward by various organizations:
  • Canadian Horticultural Association, "Crop Protection: Better Future for Canada", a booklet designed to improve growing horticultural crops
  • "Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood", Sandra Steingraber, 2001
  • Industry representatives indicated that it is difficult to bring "friendlier" replacement pesticides to market under the current registration system.

Annex I - Organization List of Stakeholder Workshop Participants

  • Randy Angle, Alberta Environment
  • Mark Barlow, Health Canada
  • Brent Baxter, Nova Scotia Environment
  • Alvin Bortnick, AltaSteel Ltd. And CSPA
  • Sandra Boswell, Allergy and Environmental Illness Group
  • Delores Broten, Reach for Unbleached!
  • David Browne, Urban Ecology Centre
  • Diane Campbell, Environment Canada
  • Scott Campbell, The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Lawrence Cheng, Alberta Environment
  • Victoria Christie, Canadian Electricity Association
  • Roger Cook, Forest Products Association of Canada
  • David Coon, Conservation Council of New Brunswick
  • Bob Cornelius, Ontario Environment
  • Derek Coronado, Citizens Environment Alliance
  • Vijay Cuddeford, World Wildlife Fund
  • Fe De Leon, Canadian Environmental Law Association
  • Danie Dube, Environment Canada
  • Nabila Elsaadi, Environment Canada
  • Greg Filyk, Environment Canada
  • Rick Findlay, Pollution Probe
  • Patrick Finlay, Environment Canada
  • David Fletcher, Green Coalition
  • Michel Gaudet, The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides
  • Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg, Women's Healthy Environments Network
  • Shalini Gupta, Health Canada
  • Martin Guy, Domtar Inc., Cornwall Mall
  • Peter Haring, Newfoundland Environment
  • Cheryl Heathwood, Environment Canada
  • Ann Hewitt, Anacapa Consulting
  • Michael Hingston, Environment Canada Atlantic Region
  • Eric Hundert, Environment Canada
  • Lars Juergensen, Health Canada
  • Maggie Julian, Assembly of First Nations
  • Markus Kellerhals, Environment Canada
  • Denis Kemp, Noranda Inc/Falconbridge Limited
  • Brenda Koekkoek, Environment Canada
  • Gabrielle Kretzschmar, New Brunswick Partners in Agriculture
  • Timothy Lambert, Canadian Public Health Association
  • Jean-Francois Levasseur, Environment Canada
  • Amy Lo, Domtar Inc., Cornwall Mill
  • Drew Loso, York University
  • Michelle Loso, Carleton University
  • Gordon Llyod, Canadian Chemicals Producers Association
  • Brenda MacDonald, Nova Scotia Power Inc.
  • Drew MacDonald, Environment Canada
  • Peter MacLeod, Croplife Canada
  • Keith Maguire, Council of Yukon First Nation
  • John Mayor, Saskatchewan Environment
  • Derek McDonald, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
  • Nancy McIntyre, Telus
  • Stephanie Meakin, Inuit Circumpolar Conference
  • Paul Muldoon, Canadian Environmental Law Association
  • Keith Murray, Alberta Forest Products Association
  • Tanya Neima, Carleton University
  • Jim Orr, Canadian Institute of Child Health
  • Chris Paci, Dene Nation
  • Judy Parkman, R.O.A.R
  • Bill Peel, ATCO Power Canada Ltd.
  • Randy Piercy, New Brunswick Environment
  • Lynne Ree, Canadian Steel Producers Association
  • Guy Roy, Ministère de l'Environment
  • Shelly Roy, Environment Canada
  • Kamuran Sadar, Environment Canada
  • Bernadette Sarazin-Nappert, Environment Canada
  • Amy Seabrook, Dalhousie University
  • Judy Shaw, Syngenta
  • David Short, Dow Canada
  • Suzanne Spicer, Environment Canada
  • David Stone, Indian and Northern Affairs
  • Diane Sullivan, Environment Canada
  • Sarah Ternan, Environment Canada
  • Dean Thomson, Canadian Horticultural Council
  • Anna Tilman, STORM Coalition
  • Ken Tsang, Dow/CCPA
  • Franca Ursitti, Ontario Public Health Association
  • George Venta, Cement Association of Canada (CAC)
  • Shannon Watt, British Columbia Environment
  • Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Inuit Circumpolar Conference
  • James W. White, Ecology Action Centre
  • Sharon Vervaet, Nova Scotia Law and Labour
  • Jean Zigby, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

Annex II - 2004 Written Submissions Regarding Canada's National Implementation Plan

Canadian Chemical Producers Association

May 7, 2004

TO: Cheryl Heathwood

From: Gordon Lloyd, CCPA

COPY: Brenda Koekkoek

RE: CCPASubmission on POPs National Implementation Plan

CCPA would like to submit the following comments on the Stockholm Convention National Implementation Plan. As you know, CCPA has been an active participant in supporting Canada in moving forward to develop the Stockholm Convention and we are also pleased to be on the Advisory Committee for the development of the National Implementation Plan.

We have made a number of the comments below during participation by the Association and by our members in the workshops that have been held on the National Implementation Plan, but we also felt that it would be useful to provide them in this submission.

  1. Canada's National Implementation Plan and its development should not consume an unnecessary amount of time and resources from either the Government or stakeholders. Canada has the tools necessary to implement the Stockholm Convention as was evident by our ability to be the first country to ratify the Convention. Moreover, we have banned nearly all of the substances that are on the POPslist. For the exception of PCB, we have a nationally agreed implementation plan of action and phase-out. Similarly, we have a national implementation plan agreed to for dioxins and furans. Thus Canada has already done what is necessary to implement the Stockholm Convention and little more needs to be done for the National Implementation Plan than to recognize that our programs and activities are in place to meet our commitments and obligations.
  2. While Canada should not expend excessive time and resources on developing a National Implementation Plan, we should recognize the importance of supporting developing countries in developing their own National Implementation Plans and provide resources to assist them. Most of the benefit for the reductions in POPs in Canada will come not from further reductions within Canada, but from reductions of POPs that originate from developing countries and through various transportation media are being deposited in Canada. This is where we should put our resources to get the best "bang for the buck".
  3. It will be important in the National Implementation Plan development not reopen issues that were already settled in the negotiations of the Stockholm Convention. This includes issues such as:
    • the precautionary approach as articulated in the Convention; and
    • allowing the use of appropriate incineration as a disposal tool as recognized in the Convention. Here we note the Canadian Government's stated position as reflected in the attached letter from Assistant Deputy Minister, Barry Stemshorn.
    • The process for considering additional POPs
  4. CCPA would also want to ensure that Environment Canada confine discussions to the development of the National Implementation Plan and not countenance a wide-ranging debate on chemicals management issues. The National Implementation Plan should be restricted to what is necessary to implement the Stockholm Convention. Broader review issues should take place in the context of the CEPA review, not in the context of the development of the National Implementation Plan.
  5. The development of the National Implementation Plan and the consultations around this should recognize that Canada has in place well established interprovicial, regional and continental processes to deal with chemical safety issues such as Canada-wide standards development for dioxins and furans, the CEC's North American strategy for managing dioxin under the SMOC, and the BNTS in the Great Lakes for PBT substances, supported by the National Pollutant Release Inventory to track POP releases in the natural environment. While it would be appropriate for the National Implementation Plan discussion to raise issues with respect to Stockholm Convention implementation that should be forwarded to these groups for consideration, it would be inappropriate if the National Implementation Plan discussions lead to parallel paths to address issues that are already being addressed in existing consultation and collaborative mechanisms.
  6. CCPA believes that the multistakeholder approach that was used in developing Canada's positions in POPs and for participation in the Canadian Delegation worked well and should be continued in terms of National Implementation Plan development and implementation. However, the terms of reference of the Advisory Group will need to be appropriately narrow to ensure that its focus is on Stockholm Convention issues and not on general chemicals management issues. Although it may identify issues that should be addressed in other consultation mechanisms, it should not serve as a parallel process for issues being dealt with in other consultation mechanisms.
  7. It needs to be recognized that the Stockholm Convention is not just about banning substances that are intentionally produced. Rather it is about "measures to reduce or eliminate releases from intentional production and use" and there are two distinct annexes (A & B) in this regard. Moreover, the Stockholm Convention is not a "zero discharge" instrument for emissions from un-intentional emissions of POPs. Rather it is about "measures to reduce or eliminate releases from unintentional production". Here there is a goal of continuing minimization and ultimate elimination, but only where feasible, taking into account technical and economic considerations. Moreover, the Convention is not about substitution. Rather it is about "promoting the application of available, feasible and practical measures that could expediously achieve a realistic and meaningful level of release reduction or source elimination". While substitution is to be considered where appropriate, it is inappropriate to overly emphasize the substitutional aspects of the Convention. Rather we believe that the general focus will be on the best risk management option, which will generally be characterized as best available techniques (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP).
  8. It will be important to keep in mind the detailed procedures for adding additional POPs to the Stockholm Convention in any discussions on this issue that take place in Canada. These were carefully negotiated and include:
    • use of certain defined characteristics set out in the Convention that can be used to nominate substances as candidate POPsthrough screening criteria (Annex D);
    • development of a risk profile for substances that are to be considered further in determining if they should be considered as POPs(Annex E); and
    • consideration of socio-economic factors (Annex F) for chemicals under consideration for inclusion in the Convention, with this encompassing a full range of options including management and elimination.
  9. Again, it should be stressed that the Convention is not about phase-outs and elimination, but about considering these among the full range of management options.

  10. Canada has developed expertise in how to deal with POPs (e.g. appropriate incineration and other disposal technologies) that should be made available to developing countries to assist them in this regard.
  11. Canada should generally work towards implementing the obligations of the Stockholm Convention within timelines consistent with the Convention and not try to do things earlier unless there is a well-articulated and sound domestic reason for this.
  12. We do note that there are many similarities between the Stockholm Convention and the TSMP and virtual elimination in CEPA, including use of very similar criteria for persistence and bioaccumulation and very similar treatment of release objectives and how they should be achieved. However, it would be imprudent to equate substances added to the Stockholm Convention as substances that should automatically be added to the Canadian virtual elimination list, as the legal constructs for the two instruments are different

CCPA hopes that the above comments will be useful to Environment Canada in proceeding with the development of the National Implementation Plan and the implementation of the Stockholm Convention. CCPA will be pleased to continue to be involved in these processes.

What we would like to stress, overall, is the importance of spending our scarce Canadian resources where it will have the most impact. In the POPs area, we firmly believe that this means an emphasis on capacity building and closing the gap between capabilities in developing countries and developed countries. After all, it was because we could not deal with the POPs issue domestically that Canada launched its successful campaign to develop a global treaty. Canada needs to continue "keeping its eye on the ball" in terms of keeping the emphasis on improvements in developing countries. While there is room for continuous improvement in Canada and CCPA, we certainly support that, the achievements here are likely to be at the margins in terms of improving environmental quality in contrast to what can be done by promoting achievements in developing countries.

Canadian Environmental Law Association

Dear Cheryl and Brenda:

Please find attached a submission prepared by CELA regarding the development of Canada's National Implementation Plan as required under the Stockholm Convention.

We are encouraged by the initial efforts undertaken by Environment Canada in these efforts and look forward to furthering our participation as the draft NIP is prepared.

The recommendations outlined in our submission address issues relating to process as well as specific components for consideration in the National Implementation Plan. We hope that our submission provides some guidance on the elements that contributes to an effective NIP. As you will see the recommendations outlined in this submission has received the support of a number of ENGOs across Canada.

Should you wish to discuss any aspects of this submission, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to your response.

Best regards,
Fe de Leon

Fe de Leon, Researcher
Canadian Environmental Law Association
130 Spadina Ave., Ste. 301
Toronto, ON M5V 2L4
Tel.: 416-960-2284 ext. 223
Fax: 416-960-9392
email: deleonf@lao.on.ca

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