4. Pollution prevention

The act allows the Minister to publish a Pollution Prevention Planning Notice requiring any person described in the Notice 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. The Minister may also require pollution prevention plans from Canadian sources of international air and water pollution for substances not on the List of Toxic Substances, with the approval of the Governor-in-Council and if the government responsible for the area in which the pollution source is located cannot or will not take action.

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (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.

As of March 31, 2006, six final Pollution Prevention Planning Notices were published and one was proposed.

Acrylonitrile - The final Notice, published in 2003, applies to any person or class of persons who, on the date of publication of this notice, owns or operates a facility involving the manufacture of synthetic rubber, where such manufacture uses acrylonitrile and results in releases of acrylonitrile to the environment. The risk management objective is to reduce the releases of acrylonitrile to the lowest achievable levels using best available techniques economically achievable by December 31, 2005. The one facility subject to this Notice is working towards achieving the risk management objective.

Nonylphenol and Its Ethoxylates Used in the Wet Processing Textile Industry and Effluents from Textile Mills that Use Wet Processing - The final Notice, published in 2004, targets persons involved in textile wet processing activities who discharge the effluents generated by wet processes to off-site wastewater treatment facilities and whose daily effluent discharge exceeded 30 cubic metres at least once between 1999 and 2003. The Notice is aimed at approximately 80 textile mills. The risk management objectives are to reduce the use of nonylphenol and its ethoxylates by 97% from 1998 levels and to achieve and maintain a maximum acute toxicity of 13% IC50 (50% inhibiting concentration) of textile mill effluents. Of the 56 reports received from facilities to end of fiscal year 2005-06, 100% have indicated that they will meet the risk management objectives for nonylphenol and its ethoxylates by 2009 and 29% have indicated that they currently meet the risk management objectives for the toxicity of textile mill effluents.

Nonylphenol and Its Ethoxylates Contained in Products - The final Notice, published in 2004, outlines the requirements for manufacturers and importers of soap and cleaning products, processing aids used in textile wet processing, and pulp and paper processing aids containing nonylphenol and its ethoxylates to prepare and implement pollution prevention plans. The Notice targets manufacturers and importers who purchase or otherwise acquire a total of 2,000 kilograms or more of these substances annually for any year between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2012. The risk management objective is to reduce the total use of these substances in products manufactured in or imported into Canada by 50% from 1998 levels by 2007 and by 95% from 1998 levels by 2010. The Notice targets approximately 89 manufacturers and importers. Of the 69 reports received from facilities to end of fiscal year 2005-06, 63 (91%) have indicated that they are on track to meeting the risk management objective.

Wood Preservation - The final Notice, published on October 22, 2005, targets five facilities that use wood preservatives containing the following substances listed on Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999: arsenic compounds, chromium compounds, dioxins and furans, and/or hexachlorobenzene. The intent of this Notice is to reduce the releases and exposures to these substances. The Notice uses the pollution prevention planning provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to provide a backstop to a voluntary best management practices) implementation program. The voluntary program was initiated in 2000 and the majority of facilities have met the 2005 deadline to implement best management practices. This will be confirmed by a final audit program being conducted in 2006.

Specified Toxic Substances Released from Base Metal Smelters and Refineries and Zinc Plants - During 2005-06, significant action was taken and progress made after the publication of the proposed Pollution Prevention Notice for specified toxic substances released from base metals smelters and refineries and zinc plants and a complementary Environmental Code of Practice for Base Metal Smelters and Refineries, in Part I of the Canada Gazette dated September 25, 2004.

Independent economic and technical studies on the proposed targets were conducted. Further consultations with stakeholders and the Base-metals Environmental Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group were conducted and modifications were proposed for inclusion in the Final Notice.

The substances listed on Schedule 1 of the Act that will be addressed by the Final Notice include particulate matter containing metals that is released in emissions from copper smelters or refineries, or from both, and from zinc plants; sulphur dioxide; particulate matter less than or equal to 10 microns; lead; mercury; arsenic compounds; cadmium compounds; nickel compounds; dioxins and furans. Reports on progress will be made in subsequent years.

In the Final Notice, each of the 11 facilities will have to consider the following requirements in developing and implementing their pollution prevention plans:

The Final Notice was published in April 2006 in Part I of the Canada Gazette.

Environment Canada participates in the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Pollution Prevention Awards Program, which recognizes organizations that have shown leadership and innovation in pollution prevention. The 2006 Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Pollution Prevention Awards marked the creation of a new category for Micro Business, for which the achievements of six organizations were recognized in 2005.

Chanterelle Country Inn and Cottages Ltd. in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. This tourist accommodation provider is dedicated to providing a "green" environment for its guests. One of the inn's main features - an active solar water heating system - was installed on the south side of the roof to provide domestic hot water and radiant heat through an in-floor space heating system. It is estimated that the inn's energy systems, combined with high efficiency insulation and windows, save about 25,000 kWh of energy per year and have eliminated the consumption of fossil fuels for space and water heating.

Elite Earth-friendly Cleaners, Victoria, British Columbia. This garment cleaner converted its dry cleaning plant to accommodate an ecologically sustainable, water-based, wet-cleaning process that uses citrus- and soy-based cleaning agents and banana-oil spotting agents. By converting to this new process, Elite completely eliminated its use of the toxic solvent perchloroethylene and its production of hazardous waste.

Omron Dualtec Automotive Electronics Inc., Oakville, Ontario. This automotive electronics manufacturer was recognized for the construction of its new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Canada-certified Electronics Control Unit facility. A key component is the high-performance building envelope that contributes to an overall annual energy savings of 688,000 kWh, enabling the company to reduce its required number of heating, ventilation and air conditioning units. High-efficiency models that contain no ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons or hydrochlorofluorocarbons in the refrigerant were installed.

Purolator Courier, Mississauga, Ontario. Purolator incorporated leading-edge fuel efficient technology into its vehicle fleet. As of November 2005, the company's 10 diesel-hybrid electric vehicles had driven a total of 43,811 kilometres and reduced fuel consumption by 6,790 litres, preventing approximately 16 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted. In addition, the company introduced a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle that produces no greenhouse gas or other smog-inducing emissions.

Greenhouse Gases Reduction Award to the City of Fredericton, New Brunswick. For the last 15 years, the City of Fredericton has painted its traffic lines using water-based paints rather than conventional solvent-based paints. In 2005 alone, the use of 11,630 litres of water-based paints has prevented an estimated 3.7 tonnes of volatile organic compounds from being emitted to the atmosphere. Through the city's Municipal Building Initiative, numerous energy efficiency building upgrades resulted in savings of 1,828,086 kWh of electricity between 2000 and 2004. The conversion of 65 traffic and signal lights to the light-emitting diode type represents a savings of 1,552 kWh per month.

Honourable Mention Greenhouse Gases Reduction to TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. of Calgary, Alberta. This company implemented a full-scale fugitive emissions management program to detect leaks, and track immediate repairs and associated emissions along its pipeline system. Since 1998, the system has helped TransCanada avoid the release of more than 500 million cubic feet of methane to the atmosphere, which is equivalent to over two million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

For the purposes of encouraging and facilitating pollution prevention, Part 4 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 provides for the establishment and maintenance of a national pollution prevention information clearinghouse. The Canadian Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse, an online database and comprehensive resource on pollution prevention, continues to grow as over 170 new resources were added to the database and additional improvements were made to the Web site.

In the months immediately following the redesign of the Canadian Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse, completed April 2005, the database experienced a tremendous increase in the number of site visitors and the number of viewed records.

Efforts to promote the clearinghouse continue through exhibit presence at tradeshows, Web site linkages, articles, newsletters, etc.

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