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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2003 to March 2004

4. Pollution Prevention

The Act allows the Minister to require any person to prepare and implement a pollution prevention plan in respect of a substance or group of substances specified on the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1. Pollution prevention planning is a systematic and comprehensive method of identifying options to minimize or avoid the creation of pollutants or waste. The Minister may also develop and publish guidelines and model pollution prevention plans.

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

4.1 Pollution Prevention Plans

In 2003-04, pollution prevention planning notices were published (see Appendix A) for the following toxic substances:

  • Acrylonitrile -- The final notice, published on May 24, 2003, addresses synthetic rubber manufacturing facilities. The risk management objective is to reduce the releases of acrylonitrile from this sector to the lowest achievable levels. One facility is expected to be subject to the notice.
  • Dichloromethane -- This final notice, published on November 29, 2003, targets releases from five sectors: aircraft paint stripping, flexible polyurethane foam blowing, pharmaceutical and chemical intermediates, adhesive formulations and industrial cleaning. The objective is to reduce releases of dichloromethane by 85% from 1995 base year levels by January 1, 2007. Approximately 80 facilities will be subject to the notice.
  • Ammonia Dissolved in Water, Inorganic Chloramines and Chlorinated Wastewater Effluents -- The proposed notice, published on June 7, 2003, targeted releases from wastewater collection and treatment systems. On the basis of available information, it was estimated that 168 wastewater systems would be subject to the two notices.
  • Textile Mill Effluent and Nonylphenol and Its Ethoxylates in Textile Mills -- The proposed notice, published on June 7, 2003, targets nonylphenol and its ethoxylates used in the wet processing textile industry and effluents from textile mills that use wet processing. Approximately 150 textile mills will be subject to the notice. The risk management objective is to reduce the use of these substances by 97% and to reduce the toxicity of textile mill effluents.
  • Nonylphenol and Its Ethoxylates Contained in Products -- This proposed notice, published on November 29, 2003, addresses approximately 200 manufacturers and importers of soap, cleaning products and processing aids used in textile wet processing and pulp and paper, as well as persons who acquire these substances. The risk management objective is to reduce levels of these substances in products.

4.2 Pollution Prevention Awards

Environment Canada participates in the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Pollution Prevention Awards Program, which recognizes organizations that have shown leadership and innovation in pollution prevention. There were six awards and two honourable mentions presented at the 2004 CCME Awards ceremony:

  • Small Business Award and Greenhouse Gases Reduction Award -Beach Solar Laundromat, Toronto, Ontario, for having replaced inefficient heaters and air conditioners, installed energy-saving devices, switched fuels and changed processes to reduce gas and electricity costs by 30% per load, and reduced emissions of carbon dioxide by 23 000 kilograms in the first year.
  • Small Business Award - Warrens Imaging and Dryography, Toronto, Ontario, for using a comprehensive pollution prevention planning process to conserve 21 000 gallons of water annually, eliminate water-borne pollutants, save energy, reduce volatile organic compound emissions and reduce solid waste disposal.
  • Medium Business Honourable Mention - Plains Marketing Canada, L.P., Calgary, Alberta, for having captured marketable gases formerly lost to the air; installed floating roofs on tanks to reduce odours; removed, repaired and lined underground storage tanks to reduce leaks; and built a land farm to treat and conserve soil.
  • Large Business Award - Alcoa Aluminerie de Deschambault, Deschambault-Grondines, Quebec, for having increased its aluminum production while reducing fluoride emissions.
  • Institution Award - The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, for having eliminated 2.5 kilograms mercury and 1 700 000 kilograms of carbon dioxide, recycled diverted solid waste from landfills, conserved 1 434 000 kilowatt- hours of energy per year, conserved 67 000 cubic metres of water per year and improved worker health and safety.
  • Innovations Award - Eco-Efficiency Centre, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, for having assisted companies to divert 1569 tons of solid waste from landfill and 25 265 gallons of liquid waste (including toxics) from sewers, conserve 3 million gallons of water and reduce fuel oil consumption by $36 000.
  • Greenhouse Gases Reduction Honourable Mention -Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, for having trained staff, replaced equipment and fixtures and improved maintenance and operating procedures to achieve energy savings. The project will realize 95% of planned savings in 2006.

4.3 Canadian Pollution Prevention Clearinghouse

The clearinghouse provides access to over 1700 pollution prevention references, including technical reports, guides, regulations, training materials and success stories. In 2003-04, 175 new references were added to the database in over 20 of the listed industry sectors, and 200 existing references were updated to reflect the most current available information. In addition, work has been initiated to revise and enhance the website, to support the growing interest and desire to access information on pollution prevention.

4.4 Extended Producer Responsibility and Stewardship

The concept of extended producer responsibility urges manufacturers to recover and manage their products in an environmentally sound manner when consumers are finished using them. It has already been used to target a broad and growing range of post-consumer products in Canada, including used oil, scrap tires, refrigerants, paints and pesticides. In 2003-04, Environment Canada co-hosted Canada's 3rd National Workshop on Extended Producer Responsibility and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Experts Workshop on Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Extended Producer Responsibility. Environment Canada also remains engaged in activities with provinces, territories, industry and other stakeholders to help foster regional and national approaches that require extended producer responsibility for electronic devices, including computers and televisions.

4.5 Regional Pollution Prevention Results

There are numerous outreach programs across the country that are intended to educate Canadians about pollution prevention and enable them to implement pollution prevention practices at work and in their everyday lives. Examples of regional pollution prevention actions are listed in the following sections.

4.5.1 Atlantic Region

  • Regional Pollution Prevention Demonstration Fund -- This program involved the development of 119 pollution prevention projects across industry and government. Six projects were funded: New Brunswick Business Incentive Program; Camp Green Canada - Clean Marine; Training for Dry Cleaners; Mercury Avoidance at Federal Facilities; Seafood Processing Waste Management; and Mercury Pollution Prevention Plans at Hospitals.
  • Substance Use Survey -- A survey of small and medium- sized businesses in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, found that 40% were using CEPA 1999 toxic substances or substances on the National Pollutant Release Inventory. Subsequent follow- up showed that all of the businesses were now more aware of their chemical usage and over half indicated that they were actively seeking ways to reduce usage or find a less toxic substitute.
  • Camp Green - Clean Marine -- As a result of the 2003 Camp Green - Clean Marine Marina Survey, a "Promote Green Boating" pamphlet (including a map) was developed, and 20 000 copies were distributed to regional marinas during annual safety visits by the Canadian Coast Guard in the summer of 2003. The map has been considered very useful and has been reproduced in several other boating publications (

4.5.2 Quebec Region

  • Enviroclub om -- Enviroclub, which operates in Quebec, encourages small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises to voluntarily reduce their pollution emissions and dependency on natural resources, while increasing their competitiveness. Four new clubs were established in 2003-04 (in the Estrie, Montérégie and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean regions and in Portneuf) involving 52 facilities. Economic savings for the year were $4 million. Environmental reductions for the year included:
    • 23 kilotonnes of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide equivalent)
    • 11 500 litres of volatile organic compounds
    • 220 tonnes of hazardous wastes
    • 2 million cubic metres of natural gas
    • 200 000 litres of gasoline and propane
    • 200 000 cubic metres of water
    • 100 000 cubic metres of wood

4.5.3 Ontario Region

  • Screen Printers EPA -- An Environmental Performance Agreement was signed between Environment Canada and the Specialty Screen Printers in February 2004 to reduce volatile organic carbon emissions. Five companies signed up and immediately started to implement best environmental management practices. Baseline information collected already indicates costs savings. Ten more companies have indicated their intentions of participating.
  • The Toronto Region Sustainability Program (TRSP) is an action- and results-oriented program to advance the environmental performance of small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and manufacturing facilities in Toronto in areas of pollution prevention and sustainable development. Specific objectives include encouraging SMEs to take action to reduce smog precursors, to reduce or eliminate the use of toxics and to move to zero generation of toxic wastes. TRSP is a collaborative multistakeholder program addressing reductions in toxics listed in both the Canada Ontario Agreement and the Great Lakes Bi-National Toxics Strategy. Annual pollution prevention results and savings from the 28 SMEs that have completed the pollution prevention assessments through the program include:
    • volatile organic compounds: 412 tonnes
    • metals: 2.2 tonnes
    • process wastes: 1200 tonnes
    • toxics: 32 tonnes
    • water: 22 200 tonnes
    • greenhouse gases: 1500 tonnes
    • particulate matter (PM10): 2.5 tonnes
    • ozone-depleting substances: 45 kilograms
    • average cost savings (per SME): $64 285
  • Ontario Snow Resorts P2 Task Force was established to serve as a forum for an information exchange on best practices, identification of pollution prevention (P2) opportunities and the development of partnerships for pilot projects and innovative technologies at Ontario ski resorts. The task force began development of a best management practices manual for ski resort operators (based on the Sustainable Slopes Program). As well, a training session on energy conservation was held for ski resort operators in April 2004. A fall seminar series will be initiated in 2004 to train operators on best management practices (i.e. energy, water, purchasing).

4.5.4 Prairie and Northern Region

  • Ground Source Heat Pump System -- Funding was acquired for Part I of a geothermal retrofit to serve heating and cooling requirements in six buildings at the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area. It will replace propane forced air furnaces in four buildings, resulting in an estimated annual reduction of 15 339 kilograms of carbon dioxide or equivalent.
  • Energy Retrofit -- An old operations building and a hydrogen generation building in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, were retrofitted. Although the used area in the building increased, energy use was still reduced by 2000 litres of diesel fuel and 10 000 kilowatt-hours annually.
  • Outreach Activities -- Initiatives in 2003-04 included the hosting of a Green Fair in Canada Place, Edmonton, where government departments showcased environment initiatives and held lunch-time speaker series; volunteer tree planting; and river valley cleanup events.

4.5.5 Pacific and Yukon Region

  • Green Commuting Action Plan -- Addressing primarily Environment Canada staff in downtown Vancouver, implementation of the program resulted in increased car/van pooling and ride sharing by staff, resulting in reductions in greenhouse gases and criteria air contaminants from vehicle emissions.
  • Cleaners, Toxins and the Ecosystem Workshops -- In partnership with the Labour Environmental Alliance Society, Environment Canada raised awareness of the presence of toxics such as dichloromethane, toluene and tetrachloroethylene as well as endocrine disrupting chemicals such as ethoxylated nonylphenols and dibutyl phthalates in the home and workplace and communicated strategies to eliminate them and/or substitute them with non-toxic alternatives (
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