Managing Pollution

As hard as we try to prevent pollution, human activities, increasing industrial output and spreading urbanization produce a variety of harmful substances. These substances must be managed so their impact on human health and the environment is limited.

Within the Government of Canada, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999 is the primary tool to manage pollutants. Environment Canada enforces this and other protective laws and regulations.

In addition, departmental scientists strive to gain a better understanding of how we are affecting the environment. Based on this growing knowledge, new tools to limit harmful substances are introduced.

Environment Canada’s efforts to keep pollution in check include:

  • A science-based tool that helps protect ecosystem health by determining the impact of human activities.
  • Assessing all new substances for potential toxicity and controlling their introduction into the Canadian marketplace.
  • Learn how EC is managing contaminated sites under its responsibility and helping other departments deal with ecological issues and other environmental matters related to their contaminated sites.

Evaluating Existing Substances and the Chemicals Management Plan

The Existing Substances Program prioritizes, and assesses substances that have been or are currently used in Canada as commercial substances or products, or are released into the Canadian environment on their own or as effluents, mixtures or contaminants and that pose risks to the health of Canadians and the environment. Within Environment Canada and Health Canada it represents the Government of Canada's expertise for the risk assessment of existing substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act,1999 (CEPA 1999).

For information on risk assessment of existing substances under the Existing Substances Program, please consult the Chemical Substances Web site.