2. Public participation (Part 2)
Part 2 of Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) outlines public participation requirements under the act, including the establishment of an environmental registry, whistleblower protection, and the right of an individual to request an investigation and pursue court action.
The CEPA Environmental Registry was launched on Environment Canada's website with the proclamation of CEPA 1999 on March 31, 2000. Since that time, ongoing efforts have been made to increase the Registry's reliability and user-friendliness. The structure of the Registry continued to evolve during the reporting period, as new documents were added and as improvements were suggested by users.
Figure 1 shows that from 2007-2008 to 2008-2009, there was a reduction in the number of visitors to approximately 79 000 per month, a decrease from 163 000 in the previous year. The content of the Registry continues to expand to serve Canadians better and now encompasses thousands of CEPA-related documents and references. It has become a primary source of environmental information for the public and private sectors, both nationally and internationally, and has been used as a source of information in university and college curriculums.
In 2008-2009, the Registry received more than 250 requests for CEPA-related information. Many of these requests were for information on the assessment reports of Batches 3 and 4 substances under the Chemicals Management Plan Challenge. Other requests involved pollution prevention plans, proposed regulations, guidelines, import of chemicals, biotechnology, permits and the Domestic Substances List. There was one Notice of Objection filed in 2008-2009.
In 2008-2009, there were 30 opportunities posted on the Environmental Registry for stakeholders and the public to consult. This is the average number usually posted within a given year.
Figure 1: Visitors to the CEPA Environmental Registry, by month, from 2006-2007 to 2008-2009
Long description for figure 1
For 2006-2007, this line graph shows a drop in visits from about 60 000 in April 2006 to a low of about 25 000 in May and June, then an increase to a high of about 175 000 visits in March 2007.
For 2007-2008, this line graph shows a sharp increase from about 160 000 visits in April 2007 to a high of almost 300 000 visits in July 2007, then a decline to a low of about 60 000 visits in December 2007, and yet another increase to 150 000 visits in March 2008.
For 2008-2009, this line graph shows a sharp decline in visits from about 180 000 in May 2008 to about 50 000 in August 2008, then a gradual increase to about 60 000 visits in March 2009.Visitors to the CEPA Environmental Registry, by month, from 2006-2007 to 2008-2009
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