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New Substances Program Advisory Note 2009-01

Clarification of the maximum quantity that can be used, manufactured or imported for a substance subject to a Significant New Activity Notice in application of subsections 81(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999


(PDF Version - 54 Ko)

This advisory note is to inform users, manufacturers and importers of new substances in Canada of the maximal quantities prescribed to be used, manufactured, or imported with respect to a substance subject to a Significant New Activity Notice.


Background

Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 [the Act], any person who plans to manufacture or import into Canada a substance not listed on the Domestic Substances List (DSL) in quantities exceeding those prescribed by the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers) [the Regulations] must provide to the Minister of the Environment the information prescribed by the applicable Schedule and trigger quantity set out in the Regulations.

When Environment Canada receives the prescribed information, a joint assessment process is carried out with Health Canada to determine whether the substance is toxic or capable of becoming toxic, as that term is defined in s. 64 of the Act[1]. If, during the assessment, it is determined that there is no suspicion that the substance is toxic or capable of becoming toxic for the notified activities specified in the notification package but we suspect that a Significant New Activity (SNAc) in relation to the substance may result in the substance becoming toxic, the Ministers may publish a SNAc Notice pursuant to section 85 of the Act.

A SNAc Notice defines, by inclusion or exclusion, what is considered a Significant New Activity. A Significant New Activity results or may result in:

  • a significantly greater quantity or concentration of the substance in the environment; or
  • a significantly different manner or circumstances of exposure of the environment to the substance.

A SNAc Notice also mentions the information that must be communicated to the minister should a Significant New Activity be proposed, the timelines for providing the information and the period for assessing the information.

Clarification of “Quantity to be used, manufactured or imported”

A person who proposes a Significant New Activity for the substance shall provide to the Minister of the Environment, within the timeframe prescribed (i.e., at least 90 days prior to the commencement of the proposed Significant New Activity), the information required in the SNAc Notice.

Sometimes a quantity is specified in the SNAc Notice published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, (e.g., any activity involving more than 10 kilograms per calendar year), In these cases, any person proposing a Significant New Activity for the substance shall provide the prescribed information at least 90 days before exceeding 10 kilograms per calendar year.

When a quantity is not specified in the SNAc Notice, any person proposing a Significant New Activity for the substance shall provide the prescribed information required in the SNAc notice 90 days prior to the commencement of the proposed Significant New Activity.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please contact the New Substances Notification Information Line:

Telephone: 1-800-567-1999 (toll-free in Canada); 1-819-953-7156 (outside Canada)
Fax: 1-819-953-7155
E-mail: nsn-infoline@ec.gc.ca

For additional information or documents regarding the Regulations, please visit the New Substances Website.

Original signed by

Mark Burgham
A/Executive Director
Program Development and Engagement Division
Environment Canada

Signed on March 30, 2009


Footnote

[1] S. 64 of CEPA 1999 states: “For the purposes of this Part and Part 6, except where the expression ‘‘inherently toxic’’ appears, a substance is toxic if it is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that: (a) have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity; (b) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or (c) constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health”.

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