1. Introduction

Environment Canada adopted the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations (EIHWR) in 1992 under the authority of the former Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1988 (CEPA, 1988). The EIHWR are now under the authority of the new Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999). The EIHWR were developed to protect Canada's environment from the risks posed by unregulated traffic in hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials, and to implement Canada's international obligations to protect the environment of other countries from uncontrolled exports of these wastes and recyclable materials from Canada (e.g. Basel Convention).

Since 1992, the volume of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials crossing Canada's border has increased, particularly in 1998 and 1999 where there were increases in imports of hazardous waste destined for final disposal. In addition, various changes have occurred to the domestic and international legal regimes over the past decade. The parties involved in managing transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials have also identified opportunities to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the design and implementation of the EIHWR. Numerous opportunities have arisen to harmonize the relevant federal-provincial regimes, particularly in defining hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material.

At the same time, international regimes regulating the import and export of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable material have also evolved. These international obligations stem from three different agreements:

Similarly, CEPA, 1999, in force since April 2000, includes various important new provisions with respect to hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials. One of the most important of these changes is the clear authority for a distinct control regime for exports and imports of hazardous recyclable materials. In addition, the new Act authorizes of the Minister of Environment to:

As a result of these new powers, Environment Canada is developing new regulations to replace the EIHWR. Given the decoupling of the definitions of waste and recyclable materials under CEPA, 1999, these new regulations will become the Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes and Recyclable Materials Regulations (EIHWRM Regulations).

The EIHWR Regulations will retain the primary objective of ensuring that the environment and human health of Canadians and others is protected when transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials occur. As with the current EIHWR, the new regulations will establish controls on such movements that are consistent with Canada's international obligations. The new regulations will also contain substantial revisions from the current EIHWR in order to:

In addition to revising the substantive content of the regulations, Environment Canada also intends to improve the clarity of the regulations as a whole.

In recent years, there has been a dramatic shift in waste management practices from reliance on disposal to a greater emphasis on prevention and recycling of hazardous waste. A need was determined by the Hazardous Waste Task Group (HWTG) of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) to review the definition of "waste" and "recyclable material," as well as the criteria for environmentally hazardous wastes and for leachate toxicity. The HWTG also identified a need to harmonize these definitions and criteria across the federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions.

A series of five (5) two-day stakeholder workshops were held in early 2002 for consultation on these proposed amendments to the regulations. The workshops were held in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax Vancouver, and Calgary in order to get a broad regional stakeholder representation. Representatives from industry, carriers, waste management companies, and environmental non-governmental organizations were invited to attend the workshops, in addition to representatives from various federal and provincial government departments.

The following report is a summary of the key issues discussed by the stakeholders during the consultation process for the proposed amendments to the EIHWR. The summary has been prepared using input from the flip chart notes from each workshop break-out session, and notes taken by SENES staff and Environment Canada representatives during plenary sessions. In this report, common themes are identified throughout the five workshops.

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