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A Guide to Understanding the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

15. Research and Monitoring

Science is the foundation of decision-making under CEPA 1999. The Act requires that the Minister of the Environment conduct research on the effects of pollution on environmental quality, the nature and dispersion of pollution on ecosystems, pollution prevention and the control and abatement of pollution. CEPA 1999 also requires both the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health to conduct research and studies specifically on hormone disrupting substances and measures to prevent or control the risks associated with these substances. In addition, the Minister of Health must conduct research on the role of substances in illnesses or health problems.

Scientific research also supports the assessment of substances and whether and how to control such substances. Environment Canada and Health Canada participate in a multitude of cooperative projects with universities and research agencies in Canada and around the world to conduct research related to environmental sciences.

Examples of CEPA 1999-related research include:

  • field work and sampling programs to collect environmental information;

  • laboratory analysis and the development of sampling and analytical techniques to measure environmental parameters including protocols referenced in regulations and other pollution control instruments;

  • research, modeling and monitoring activities to better understand and predict environmental impacts;

  • research on the development of techniques for the categorization and assessment of priority substances;

  • research and risk assessments to better understand new environmental issues, their impacts on the environment and to fill scientific data gaps;

  • research and studies related to pollution prevention and the abatement of pollution; and

  • technology development, demonstration, evaluation and research into new potential technologies to address environmental problems.

Additionally, CEPA 1999 requires the government to maintain a system for monitoring environmental quality in Canada, maintain environmental quality data and monitor ocean disposal sites.