Canadian Environmental Protection Act annual report 2018 to 2019: chapter 2
On this page
- 2. Addressing key risks
- 2.1 Chemicals
- 2.2 Living organisms
- 2.3 Air pollutants and greenhouse gases
- 2.4 Water quality
- 2.5 Waste
- 2.6 Environmental emergencies
2. Addressing key risks
Parts 4, 5 and 6 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) include specific provisions for data collection, assessment and management of toxic substances. Substances include both chemicals and living organisms (specific information on living organisms begins in section 2.2). For chemicals, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health were required by 2006 to sort through, or “categorize”, the substances on the original Domestic Substances List (DSL), an inventory of approximately 23 000 existing substances manufactured in, imported into or used in Canada in the mid 1980s. The categorization process identified the need for a more detailed assessment of approximately 4300 substances that were suspected to be inherently toxic to humans or to the environment, and are persistent (take a very long time to break down) or bioaccumulative (collect in living organisms and end up in the food chain), or present the greatest potential for exposure to Canadians.
The Chemicals Management Plan update
The Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) is a program developed to protect Canadians and their environment from exposure to toxic substances. At its core is a commitment to assess by 2020 the approximately 4300 substances of potential concern that were already in commerce in Canada. Under the CMP, the government also conducts pre-market assessments of health and environmental effects of approximately 500 substances that are new to Canada each year.
Since the launch of the CMP in 2002, the Government of Canada has:
- assessed 3639 of the 4363 existing substances identified as priorities for attention by 2020-2021
- found 459 existing chemicals to be harmful to the environment and human health
- implemented over 90 risk management actions for existing chemicals
- received approximately 5909 notifications for new substances prior to their introduction into the Canadian market, which were assessed and over 291 risk management actions were taken to manage potential risks to Canadians and their environment
Monitoring and surveillance activities are essential to identify and track levels and trends of chemicals in the environment and human exposure to those chemicals. Monitoring activities also support Canada’s contribution to international efforts, such as the multilateral cooperation under the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, and helps Canada fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Environment Programme’s Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
A broad range of monitoring activities for chemicals was conducted to support a number of domestic programs including:
- the Chemicals Management Plan
- the Northern Contaminants Program
- the Freshwater Quality Monitoring Program
- the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
- the Great Lakes Herring Gull Contaminants Monitoring Program
- the St. Lawrence Action Plan
The CMP Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance Program involves the collection of data on the concentration of chemical substances in various environmental compartments at locations across Canada. Environmental compartments include surface water, sediment, air, aquatic biota and wildlife. Wastewater system influent, effluent and biosolids are also monitored at select locations representing a range of input and treatment system types. These monitoring and surveillance activities provide data to inform the assessment and management of chemical substances in the environment.
Priority substances monitored in 2018-2019 as part of the CMP Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance Program included: polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polyfluoroalkyl, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), a selection of priority rare earth elements, chlorinated alkanes, siloxanes, phthalates, nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP/NPEs), alkyl aryl sulfonates, chlorhexidine salts, organotins, triclosan, triclocarban, bisphenol A, and metals (such as mercury, cobalt, lead, selenium).
For example, a retrospective analysis of the concentration of polychlorinated naphthalenes in gulls, fish and sediment of the lower Great Lakes revealed a consistent decrease in biota from 1980 (when its use was banned) until 1995. There was an unexpected spike in concentrations in biota in Detroit River and western Lake Erie in 1995 that persisted until 2005, after which it resumed a declining trend. This spike in biota was associated with sediment remediation activities involving dredging in the Detroit River at that timeFootnote 1 (see figure 2).
Figure 2. Concentrations of chlorinated naphthalenes in walleye and herring gull eggs and sediments in the Laurentian Great Lakes
Long description for figure 2
This graph shows the concentrations (in pg/g ww) of chlorinated naphthalenes in walleye and herring gull eggs and sediments in the Detroit River and western Lake Erie for every 5 years approximately from 1979 to 2013. There was a consistent decrease in biota from 1980 (when its use was banned) until 1995. There was an unexpected spike in concentrations in biota in Detroit River and western Lake Erie in 1995 that persisted until 2005, after which it resumed a declining trend.
|Walleye - Western Basin||1980||16 921||10 725|
|Walleye - Western Basin||1985||13 342||8 403|
|Walleye - Western Basin||1990||3 825||1 757|
|Walleye - Western Basin||1995||2 266||409|
|Walleye - Western Basin||2000||8 053||7 078|
|Walleye - Western Basin||2006||11 099||5 188|
|Walleye - Western Basin||2013||7 659||5 118|
|Herring Gull Egg - Fighting Island||1981||14 479||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Fighting Island||1985||9 861||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Fighting Island||1990||7 473||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Fighting Island||1995||3 192||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Fighting Island||2000||6 114||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Fighting Island||2005||3 476||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Middle Island||1981||9 981||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Middle Island||1985||8 463||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Middle Island||1990||5 636||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Middle Island||1995||5 644||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Middle Island||2000||5 747||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Middle Island||2005||3 738||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Middle Island||2011||3 332||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Middle Island||2012||2 535||-|
|Herring Gull Egg - Middle Island||2013||3 200||-|
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) also monitors similar suites of bioaccumulative chemicals in the eggs of a wildlife sentinel species as part of the Great Lakes Herring Gull Contaminants Monitoring Program, where eggs have been collected annually for 45 years.
ECCC monitors hazardous airborne chemicals through the Great Lakes Monitoring Program, the Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling network (GAPS), and the atmospheric component of the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP). Air and precipitation monitoring in the Great Lakes Basin measures persistent organic pollutants (POPs), other priority chemicals and trace metals to determine the atmospheric loadings of these substances to the Great Lakes. GAPS uses cost-effective and simple passive air samplers designed by ECCC scientists to collect data. The atmospheric component of NCP conducts long-term monitoring of POPs and other priority chemicals in the Canadian Arctic to evaluate trends and to assess the influence of long-range atmospheric transport.
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) started to decline in the arctic air
ECCC has been monitoring organic pollutants in the arctic atmosphere since the 1990s in support of the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) to determine the effectiveness of source reduction measures and factors influencing air concentrations due to long-range transport of pollutants. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are water and oil-repellents that have been applied in a wide variety of consumer and industrial products. They are commonly found in the environment, including in remote regions, such as the Arctic.
Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), a short-chain PFAS that contains 4 carbon atoms, was found in 100% of the samples. Its concentrations were relatively higher than other PFASs. Furthermore, it exhibited an increasing trend over the studied period, suggesting a shift from long to short chain fluorochemical production. Continual measurement of these substances is necessary to ensure regulatory efforts are working. There may be a lag time between regulation control and observed air concentration decline in arctic air.
PFASs that contain eight carbon atoms, namely perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) are of concern due to their hazardous health effects, and their usages are regulated by domestic and international chemical management strategies. Research by ECCC scientists shows that PFOS in air at Alert, Nunavut has started to decline and PFOA concentration has stopped increasing in arctic air in 2013 (figure 3).
Figure 3. Time trends of PFBA, PFBS, PFOA and PFOS in air in Alert from 2006 to 2017
Long description for figure 3
The 4 graphs show time trends (In C) of PFBA (heptafluorobutyric acid), PFBS (perfluorobutane sulfonate), PFOA (–perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS ( perfluorooctane sulfonate) in air in Alert from 2006 to 2017. IDL = indicated instrumental detection limit; MDL = indicated method detection limit.
Health Canada (HC) continued analysis and publication of biomonitoring and research results from the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Research Platform. In 2018-2019, 19 MIREC papers were published. This included studies of environmental exposures and outcomes in infants (birth weight, obesity, behavioral and cognitive outcomes, hearing function) and pregnant women (gestational diabetes). Other research included the importance of maternal diet on child outcomes and the utility of using specific measurements as indicators of health outcomes. Notably, it was found that non-smoking women living in an apartment had 1.7 times higher odds of detectable plasma cotinine, a marker of exposure to smoking, than those living in a single family home after adjusting for other variables.
In 2018-2019, participant recruitment began for the latest MIREC Research Platform study, MIREC-ENDO (Pubertal Timing, Endocrine and Metabolic Function). MIREC-ENDO studies the effects of prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals on puberty and metabolic function in the child, as well as maternal health. As a result, the number of biological samples in the MIREC Biobank continues to grow. Researchers from outside the MIREC Platform continue to access the data and biospecimens in the biobank, and 6 of the 19 papers published this year were the result of Biobank research projects.
HC’s human biomonitoring efforts continued in 2018-2019 with the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), measuring environmental chemical exposures in blood and urine of a nationally representative sample of Canadians aged 3 to 79. During this period, laboratory analyses of 99 environmental chemicals in blood and/or urine samples collected as part of CHMS cycle 5 (2016-2017) were carried out and the Fifth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada was drafted for publication in November 2019. In addition, sample collection for cycle 6 is ongoing and is scheduled for completion in December 2019. The selection and prioritization of chemicals to be included in cycles 7 and 8 (2020-2023) was finalized, and the development of new laboratory analytical methods was undertaken.
During this reporting period, two HC authored peer-reviewed journal articles were published including a review of biomonitoring and other environmental health-related CHMS data use over the past decade, and an analysis of factors associated with plasma concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p’-DDE).
During the same period, CHMS data contributed to the re-evaluation of decisions for the pesticides deltamethrin, cypermethrin, cyfluthrin and their associated end-use products; the draft screening assessment report for antimony-containing substances; the health risk assessment of dietary exposure to cadmium; the public consultation document on copper and cadmium in drinking water; and the drinking water quality guideline technical document for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and lead. The data also formed the basis for the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI), Human exposure to harmful substances.
Trends in environmental chemical levels from the Canadian Health Measures Survey
Nationally representative biomonitoring data collected as part of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) are an important tool in tracking trends over time and determining the efficacy of regulatory interventions. Data from four cycles of CHMS collected between the periods of 2007 to 2009 and 2014 to 2015 have been used to assess trends in the average concentrations of cadmium, mercury and lead in blood, and bisphenol A (BPA) in urine of Canadians (see figure 4, adapted from the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators: Human exposure to harmful substances). During this period, there was no significant trend for cadmium or mercury and a marginal decreasing trend for BPA. There was a significant decreasing trend in the average concentration of lead with a 26% decrease between the periods 2007 to 2009 and 2014 to 2015, and an 80% decrease since 1978 to 1979. This is mainly attributed to the successful phase-out of lead in gasoline, lead-based paints and lead-solder in food cans.
Figure 4. Changes in the average concentrations of selected substances in Canadians, between the periods 2007 to 2009 and 2014 to 2015
Long description for figure 4
This graph shows changes in the average concentrations of selected substances in Canadians, between the periods 2007 to 2009; 2009 to 2011; 2012 to 2013; and 2014 to 2015.
|Year||Mercury in blood
(changes from the 2007 to 2009 survey, indexed to 1)
|Lead in blood
(changes from the 2007 to 2009 survey, indexed to 1)
|Cadmium in blood
(changes from the 2007 to 2009 survey, indexed to 1)
|Bisphenol A in urine
(changes from the 2007 to 2009 survey, indexed to 1)
|2007 to 2009||1||1||1||1|
|2009 to 2011||1||0.92||0.85||1|
|2012 to 2013||1.14||0.85||0.97||0.92|
|2014 to 2015||n/a||0.73||0.91||0.83|
Note: The table presents changes in the average (geometric mean) concentrations of selected substances in Canadians relative to the values in the period 2007 to 2009.
Both ECCC and HC contribute to the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) led by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC). HC partners with CIRNAC on the human health component of the NCP, which addresses concerns about human exposure to elevated levels of contaminants in wildlife species important to the traditional diets of northern Indigenous peoples. In 2018-2019, HC supported four human biomonitoring and health projects under the NCP. These projects addressed exposure to contaminants and links to country foods and nutritional status in multiple northern regions (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavik) and the development and evaluation of health communication tools.
ECCC has been a major contributor in monitoring abiotic media, aquatic biota and wildlife, as well as Arctic ecosystem health. ECCC monitors wildlife at numerous sites across the Canadian Arctic on a biennial or annual basis under the NCP, for a large suite of legacy and new Chemicals of Emerging Arctic Concern (CEACs), as well as metals including mercury.
2.1.2 Information gathering
Mandatory surveys (or information gathering notices) issued under sections 46 and 71 of CEPA request commercial use information needed to support priority setting, risk assessment, or risk management activities. During 2018-2019, the Government of Canada published three mandatory survey Notices. Two notices were issued under section 71 of CEPA to inform risk management decision-making for 1,4-benzenediamine, N,N′-mixed phenyl and tolyl derivatives (BENPAT) (published in August 2018 ) and coal tars and their distillates (published in December 2018). A third notice was issued in November 2018, under section 46 of CEPA, to collect basic information on the commercial status of approximately 800 quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) for the purposes of creating an inventory of QACs in Canada.
Targeted voluntary data gathering activities also contribute to risk assessments and risk management activities. This year, the Government conducted voluntary data requests for 23 substances or substance groupings to support risk assessments.
2.1.3 Risk assessment activities
There are 2 streams of risk assessment for substances in Canada based on when they enter into commerce. Substances on the Domestic Substances List (DSL) are referred to as existing substances and many have been in use in Canada for over three decades. Substances that are not on the DSL are considered “new” substances.
New substances risk assessment
Substances that are new to Canada require notification to the government prior to beginning commercial activity in Canada. In 2018-2019, 398 new substance notifications were received pursuant to section 81 of CEPA and the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers).
A new initiative to promote transparency was launched in 2018 to expand the practice of publishing summaries of new substance risk assessments. A total of 144 new substance risk assessment summaries were published online in 2018-2019.
During 2018-2019, a total of 60 waivers of information requirements were granted and published in the Canada Gazette, for new chemical and polymer substances.
Substances in products regulated under the Food & Drug Act are subject to the new substances provisions in CEPA for examination of potential risks to the environment and indirect exposure to humans. For new substances in products regulated under the FDA, 89 notifications for chemical/polymer substances and living organisms were received in 2018-2019.
Existing substances assessment
ECCC and HC conduct risk assessments or screening assessments to determine whether existing substances meet or are capable of meeting any of the criteria for toxicity as set out in section 64 of the act. Draft screening assessments are published on the Chemical Substances website, along with a notice in the Canada Gazette, Part I which includes a summary of the report. Following publication, interested parties can submit written comments during a 60-day public comment period. These comments are taken into consideration during the completion of the final screening assessment, a summary of which is then published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. The Chemical Substances website is also updated.
During 2018-2019 (see table 1), the Minister of Health and the Minister of the Environment:
- published 18 draft screening assessment reports covering 128 substances
- published 21 final screening assessment reports covering 599 substances
- concluded that, of the 727 substances assessed, 32 meet or are proposed to meet one or more of the toxicity criteria set out in section 64 of CEPA
- published one Science Approach Document covering 80 substances with low ecological concern
Along with the results of the screening assessment, the ministers must publish in the Canada Gazette their final decision with respect to the assessment by choosing one of the following three “measures”:
- recommending to the Governor in Council the addition of the substance to Schedule 1 of CEPA (the List of Toxic Substances)
- adding it to the Priority Substances List for further assessment
- proposing no further action in respect of the substance
Ministers may recommend the addition of a substance to Schedule 1 of CEPA if a screening assessment shows that a substance meets one or more of the toxicity criteria set out in section 64 of CEPA. The Governor in Council may then approve an order specifying its addition to Schedule 1. The decision to recommend adding a substance to Schedule 1 obliges the ministers to develop a “regulation or instrument respecting preventive or control actions” within specific time periods.
In 2018-2019, the ministers proposed that one substance be added to Schedule 1 of CEPA as listed in table 2.
March 2, 2019
In 2018-2019, four substances or groups of substances were added to Schedule 1 as listed in table 3.
In 2014, ECCC and HC formalized their ongoing approach for the identification of risk assessment priorities (IRAP) for chemicals and polymers under CEPA. As a result of the IRAP process, substances may be considered for future risk assessment. Results of the 2017-2018 IRAP review were published in early 2019 and identified one new candidate for risk assessment, 1-H-benzotriazole (CAS RN 95-14-7). This substance fits within a group of substances already under assessment in the CMP work plan and therefore was added to that group. Another 1094 substances (or 13 groups of substances) were recommended for further scoping/problem formulation post 2020. Another 60 substances were identified for further data collection.
Substances in products regulated under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) between 1987 and 2001 that are on the administrative Revised in Commerce List (~2600) were prioritized in 2016, and substances found to be listed on the DSL were removed from the Revised in Commerce List. A subset of higher priority substances (~675) were the subject of a section 71 inventory update in 2017 in order to gather information on their commercial status and quantities in use. Substances that were identified for further consideration are being assessed to determine whether they meet or are capable of meeting any of the toxicity criteria set out in section 64 of CEPA.
2.1.4 Risk management activities
In general, when a draft risk assessment proposes a conclusion that the substance is “toxic” under CEPA, a risk management scope document is developed and published at the same time as the draft assessment report. Risk management scopes are used as discussion documents to engage stakeholders on potential risk management actions. A scope briefly describes the health or environmental concern, the activities potentially impacted and the type of risk management actions being considered. In 2018-2019, risk management scope documents were published for the following seven substances, or groups of substances:
- furan compounds group (furfuryl alcohol and tetrahydrofuran)
- solvent violet 13 (anthraquinones group)
- triarylmethanes group (basic violet 3, malachite green, basic violet 4, basic blue 7)
- ketones group (MEK, MIBK, 2,4-PD)
Similar to the risk management scopes, when the final screening assessment report concludes that a substance is “toxic” under CEPA and proposed for addition to Schedule 1 of the act, a risk management approach document is developed and published at the same time as the final risk assessment report. The risk management approach document provides a more detailed description of the risk management being considered, such as regulations, pollution prevention planning notices, environmental performance agreements, guidelines, codes of practice or significant new activity notification provisions. These instruments can address any aspect of the substance’s life cycle, from the research and development stage through manufacture, use, storage, transport and ultimate disposal or recycling. In 2018-2019, a risk management approach document was published for 2-ethylhexyl-2-ethylhexanoate.
The Regulations Amending the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations were amended by an interim order in October 2018, which revised the Canadian HFC baseline value to reflect information received following its entry into force on April 16, 2018. These regulations control hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) through the phase-down of consumption of bulk HFCs and controls on specific products containing or designed to contain HFCs, including refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, foams and aerosols.
In October 2018, the final Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. These regulations prohibit the import, sale and use of asbestos, as well as the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos, with some exceptions.
On April 28, 2018, the proposed Regulations Repealing the Chlor-Alkali Mercury Release Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. The Chlor-Alkali Mercury Release Regulations were established to limit the release of mercury into air from chlor-alkali facilities using the mercury cell process, but are no longer needed because the last chlor-alkali facility employing the mercury cell process closed in 2008.
On December 15, 2018, the proposed Regulations Amending the Chromium Electroplating, Chromium Anodizing and Reverse Etching Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. These proposed regulations address a number of concerns with these regulations that have been raised by the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of RegulationsFootnote 2 .
On October 13, 2018, ECCC and HC published a Notice of intent to amend the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012 to further restrict the following substances: (perfluorooctane sulfonate, its salts and its precursors (PFOS); perflurooctanoic acid, its salts and its precursors (PFOA); long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids, their salts and their precursors (LC-PFCAs)); and two flame retardants (hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)). The amendments would also prohibit two additional flame retardants (Dechlorane Plus (DP) and decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE)), should their final screening assessment reports confirm that they are toxic under section 64 of CEPA. In December 2018, a consultation document was published to inform and solicit comments from stakeholders on this proposed regulatory approach.
In February 2019, ECCC published a consultation document outlining proposed amendments to the Ozone Depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations. The proposed amendments would revise the Canadian hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) baseline value in accordance with the October 2018 Interim Order, before it expires in October 2020. In addition, the proposed amendments would allow the consumption of HCFC-123 (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) for the servicing of existing fire protection equipment until 2029, in accordance with recent adjustments to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations are the main instrument that implements Canada’s obligations under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol), including the Kigali Amendment to phase down HFCs. These regulations control the export, import, manufacture, sale and certain uses of ozone-depleting substances and hydrofluorocarbons as well as certain products containing or designed to contain them. In 2018-2019, approximately 195 permits were issued under these regulations.
The Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003 reduce and prevent emissions of halocarbons to the environment from refrigeration, air conditioning, fire extinguishing and solvent systems that are located on aboriginal or federal lands or are owned by federal departments, boards and agencies, Crown corporations, or federal works and undertakings. In 2018-2019, 12 permits to charge a fire-extinguishing system with a halocarbon were issued under these regulations.
Other risk management tools
Cosmetic hot list
The Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist is an administrative tool that HC uses to communicate to manufacturers and others that certain substances may be prohibited or restricted for use in cosmetics. In June 2018, pigment red 4 was added to the Cosmetic Ingredients Hotlist. Due to potential health concerns, this ingredient was added to the list of restricted substances with a maximum concentration of 3% permitted.
Pollution Prevention Planning notices
On July 14, 2018, the proposed Notice requiring the preparation and implementation of pollution prevention plans in respect of reaction products of 2-propanone with diphenylamine (PREPOD), CAS RN 68412-48-6, in industrial effluents, was published in Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day comment period. The notice applies to persons who own or operate a facility within the chemical manufacturing and rubber sectors that has industrial effluent and that manufacturers or uses PREPOD in quantities greater than 100 kg.
On November 10, 2018, ECCC published, in the Canada Gazette, Part I, the final Notice Requiring the Preparation and Implementation of Pollution Prevention Plans for Hydrazine in the electricity sector. Hydrazine was classified as a toxic substance under CEPA and added to the List of Toxic Substances on September 20, 2012.
On November 24, 2018, ECCC published a Proposed notice requiring the preparation and implementation of Pollution Prevention (P2) Plans with respect to triclosan in certain products in the Canada Gazette, Part I for a 60-day comment period. The intent of the notice is to reduce the amount of triclosan that is washed down drains into waterways by 30% from triclosan-containing cosmetics, natural health products and drugs.
On February 16, 2019, ECCC published, in the Canada Gazette, Part I, the Final notice requiring the preparation and implementation of pollution prevention plans in respect to toluene diisocyanates (TDIs). This notice replaces the P2 planning notice for the polyurethane and other foam sector (except polystyrene) in respect of toluene diisocyanates (TDIs) published on November 26, 2011. The new notice streamlines testing and administrative requirements while broadening the coverage to any facility that releases more than 100 kg of TDIs annually.
A P2 planning notice in respect of specified toxic substances released from the iron, steel and ilmenite sector was published in 2017 and is in effect. Of the 14 facilities subject to the notice, 13 submitted a declaration that a pollution prevention plan has been prepared and is being implemented. The remaining facility closed. All 13 facilities have also submitted their first interim progress reports. Facilities are required to submit annual interim reports until 2028 at which time they will submit a final report.
A P2 planning notice in respect of specified toxic substances released from base metals smelters and refineries and zinc plants was published in 2006. Three facilities were granted a three-year extension to December 31, 2018 to implement their plans. The declarations of implementation for the three facilities were received by the deadline of January 2019. The notice is no longer in effect.
The Notice requiring the preparation and implementation of pollution prevention plans in respect of halocarbons used as a refrigerant published in 2016 is still in effect. This notice is in place to manage halocarbon refrigerants in an environmentally sound manner in order to minimize releases of halocarbons into the environment. The declarations of implementation were due on December 20, 2018, for the nine companies that were subject to the notice at the time of publication. All nine companies have met the objective. One more company became subject to the notice in 2018 and has submitted its declaration of preparation.
A P2 planning notice for isoprene was published in 2012 and is in effect. One facility was subject to the notice at the time of publication. A time extension was granted to the facility. The deadline to implement the plan was extended to December 31, 2018. A declaration of implementation was received in January 2019.
In April 2018, ECCC published a final performance report on the implementation of the Notice requiring the preparation and implementation of pollution prevention plans with respect to siloxane D4. With a 56% reduction of D4 releases, the notice achieved two thirds of its risk management objective (80% reduction in total D4 releases). However, five facilities out of six subject to the notice have reduced the D4 concentration in their effluents to a level that is less than or equal to 17.3 μg/L or have reduced the release of D4 in their effluents to less than 3 kg per year. ECCC and the facility that did not meet the risk management objective of the notice continue to work together to examine measures that can be undertaken to further reduce the D4 releases of the facility.
Environmental Performance Agreements
An Environmental Performance Agreement (EPA) is negotiated around the key principles and design criteria outlined in ECCC’s Policy Framework for EPAs. Results from EPA’s are posted online. No EPAs were finalized in 2018-2019.
Export Control List
The Export Control List, Schedule 3 of CEPA includes substances whose export from Canada is controlled because their use in Canada is prohibited or restricted, or because they are subject to an international agreement that requires notification or consent of the country of destination before the substance is exported from Canada, such as under the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. CEPA requires exporters to submit prior notice of export for substances on the Export Control List.
The Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations set out the content of notices of proposed export and export permits, and the period and manner in which they must be provided. The regulations ensure that Canada complies with its export obligations under the Rotterdam Convention, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and Minamata Convention on Mercury.
The Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations were amended to list all forms of asbestos on the Export Control List . An order amending Schedule 3 to CEPA was published in October 2018. These amendments support the Regulations Prohibiting Asbestos and Asbestos Products by adding new provisions to prohibit (with some exceptions) the export of asbestos and products containing asbestos. They also ensure that Canada is compliant with its export obligations under international conventions, including the Rotterdam Convention.
In 2018-2019, 51 notices of proposed export were submitted to the Minister of the Environment. No export permits were requested or issued by the minister.
Release guidelines recommend limits, including limits expressed as concentrations or quantities, for the release of substances into the environment from works, undertakings or activities. They may be issued by the Minister of the Environment under section 54, or by the Minister of Health under section 55 of CEPA.
On February 23, 2019, the Government of Canada published in the Canada Gazette, Part I Proposed release guidelines for Disperse Yellow 3 (DY3) and 25 other azo disperse dyes in the textile sector under paragraph 54 of the act. The proposed guidelines were open for a 60‑day public comment period which ended on April 24, 2019. The objective of the guidelines is to limit releases of DY3 and 25 other azo disperse dyes with molar weights below 360 g/mol to levels below the Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC) of 2.3 µg/L at the final discharge point of textile facilities.
Environmental quality guidelines
Environmental quality guidelines provide benchmarks for the quality of the ambient environment. They may be developed nationally through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) as Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines (CEQGs) or federally under section 54 of CEPA as Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines (FEQGs).
Table 4 lists the CEQGs that were published or being developed nationally through CCME in 2018-2019. Table 5 lists the seven FEQGs for various CMP substances that ECCC finalized in 2018-2019 and the substances for which FEQGs are under development.
* Published on CCME website June 12, 2018.
* Published in the Canada Gazette June 2018.
Significant New Activity requirements
A Significant New Activity (SNAc) requirement is applied when a substance has been assessed and no current risk-based activities were identified; however there is a suspicion that new activities may pose a risk to human health and/or the environment. When it is applied, new uses or activities must be reported to the government. This ensures that departmental experts can evaluate whether the new use of a substance poses a risk to human health or the environment, and determine if risk management should be considered as a result of the new use.
* The dates are those on which the final notices or orders were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.
Conditions and prohibitions on new substances
When the assessment of a new substance identifies a risk to human health or the environment, CEPA allows the Minister of the Environment to intervene prior to or during the earliest stages of its introduction into Canada. In this case, there are 3 actions that may be taken.
The minister may:
- permit the manufacture or import of the substance subject to specified conditions
- prohibit the manufacture or import of the substance
- request additional information considered necessary for the purpose of assessment
In 2018-2019, the Minister of the Environment issued 11 Notices of Ministerial Conditions for new substances (table 8).
* The dates are those on which the notices were published in the Canada Gazette.
2.2 Living organisms
Products of biotechnology that are living organisms are regulated for health and safety purposes by a variety of federal departments and agencies across the government. CEPA sets the federal standard for assessment and risk management of new and existing living organisms that are new animate products of biotechnology. Other Canadian legislation meeting the CEPA standard is listed in Schedule 4 of the act. Living organisms manufactured or imported for a use not covered by an act listed on Schedule 4 are regulated under CEPA. These include naturally occurring and genetically modified organisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and higher organisms such as fish or pigs) used for various environmental, industrial and commercial purposes.
The act requires that all living organisms on the DSL (about 68 existing micro-organisms) undergo a screening assessment to determine whether the living organism is toxic or capable of becoming toxic.
2.2.1 Risk assessment activities
Risk assessment of new animate products of biotechnology
During 2018-2019, 30 notifications of new animate products of biotechnology were received and assessed as new animate products under the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms). All notifications that were accepted as new animate products were assessed within the statutory assessment period.
For new substances in products regulated under the Food and Drugs Act, 10 notifications for new animate products of biotechnology were received in 2018-2019.
Also during 2018-2019:
- 25 pre-notification consultations were held to help companies better understand the notification requirements for their specific organism before submitting a notification
- 25 waivers of information requirements for new living organisms were granted and published in the Canada Gazette
Risk assessment of existing animate products of biotechnology
ECCC and HC jointly perform the screening assessment of micro-organisms listed on the DSL. In 2018-2019, final screening assessments for two micro-organisms were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I (see table 9). Neither of these organisms met the toxicity criteria in section 64 of the act.
|Assessment||Publication date final|
Bacillus cereus (strain ATCC 14579 and Bacillus subtilis strain 11685-3)
August 4, 2018
Note: The date is that on which the notice was published in the Canada Gazette.
Risk assessment of higher organisms
The Voluntary Public Engagement Initiative on the risk assessment of higher organisms (for example, genetically modified plants and animals) was launched in 2018. This initiative promotes greater public engagement in the risk assessment of higher organisms. Two public comment periods were completed in July and September 2018 on a total of six new genetically modified fishes to inform risk assessments.
2.2.2 Risk management activities
The significant new activity (SNAc) provisions trigger an obligation for a person to provide the Government of Canada with information about a substance when proposing to use, import or manufacture the substance for a significant new activity. The government then assesses the substance for potential risks to human health and/or the environment. If risks are identified, the government may impose management measures.
Significant New Activity requirements
On May 30, 2018, the Minister of the Environment applied the SNAc provisions of CEPA to the DSL strains of A. oryzae and P. putida (see table 10).
* The dates are those on which the notices of intent and final orders were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I or Part II, respectively.
2.3 Air pollutants and greenhouse gases
Air pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHGs) originate from numerous domestic and international sources, such as industry and transportation.
Monitoring and reporting activities are important for identifying and tracking levels and trends of air pollutants that impact both the environment and human health, as well as greenhouse gases that impact climate change.
Ambient (outdoor) air quality monitoring informs air quality management in Canada, including tracking progress relative to the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards. The data is used for validation of numerical air quality prediction models, for evaluating the benefits and effectiveness of control measures, as well as for assessments of the impact of air pollution on Canadians and the environment.
ECCC monitors ambient air quality across the country through 2 complementary networks known as the National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS) program and the Canadian Air and Precipitation Monitoring Network (CAPMoN). NAPS is managed by ECCC via a cooperative agreement with the provinces, territories and 2 municipalities in order to provide long-term air quality data from populated regions of Canada. CAPMoN provides information on regional patterns and trends of atmospheric pollutants in both air and precipitation at rural and remote sites.
Data collected through NAPS, CAPMoN and other provincial, territorial and municipal monitoring stations are used to calculate air quality indicators. In October 2018, the indicators were updated. The air quality indicators track ambient concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ground-level ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at the national, regional and urban levels and at local monitoring stations.
Between 2002 and 2016:
- nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), volatile organic compound (VOC) and peak ozone (O3) concentrations decreased
- average ozone (O3) concentrations showed almost no change
- fine particulate matter concentrations exhibit variable results
Figure 5. Air pollutant concentrations, Canada, 2002 to 2016
Long description for figure 5
|Year||Ground-level ozone average 8-hour concentration
(percentage change relative to 2002)
|Ground-level ozone peak (4th highest) 8-hour concentration
(percentage change relative to 2002)
|Fine particulate matter average concentration
(percentage change relative to 2002)
|Fine particulate matter peak (98th percentile) 24-hour concentration
(percentage change relative to 2002)
|Year||Sulphur dioxide average concentration
(percentage change relative to 2002)
|Sulphur dioxide peak (99th percentile) 1-hour concentration
(percentage change relative to 2002)
|Nitrogen dioxide average concentration
(percentage change relative to 2002)
peak (98th percentile) 1-hour concentration
(percentage change relative to 2002)
|Volatile organic compounds concentration
(percentage change relative to 2002)
Note: For more information on the air quality indicators, consult the air quality indicators definitions in the Methods section.
Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada (2018) National Air Pollution Surveillance Program and the Canadian Air and Precipitation Monitoring Network.
Additional air pollutant monitoring carried out by ECCC includes:
- AEROCAN, the Canadian sub-network of NASA’s global AERONET satellite network, takes optical readings of solar radiation in order to measure atmospheric aerosols
- the Canadian Brewer Spectrophotometer Network measures the total thickness of the ozone layer (known as total column ozone) and ultraviolet radiation (UV) at selected locations across Canada
- the Canadian Ozonesonde Network measures vertical column ozone from ground level up to 36 km altitude by launching weekly ozonesondes affixed to balloons, providing long-term ozone data
The Canadian Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Program includes observations of carbon dioxide and other GHGs from 16 long-term measurement sites across Canada (figure 6). Among the sites is the Alert Global Atmosphere Watch Observatory. Alert serves as one of three global GHG inter-comparison sites to ensure consistent measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas concentrations across the world.
Figure 6. Canadian Greenhouse Gas Measurement Program monitoring sites
Long description for figure 6
This map shows the 15 ECCC Canada long term monitoring sites for the Canadian Greenhous Gas Measurement Program: Estevan Point; Abbotsford; Inuvik; Lac La Biche; Esther; Behchoko; Bratt’s Lake; East Trout Lake; Cambridge Bay; Churchhill; Alert; Fraserdale; Egbert; Downsview; Sable Island.
ECCC makes its atmospheric monitoring data available to the public through national and international databases, including the Government of Canada Open Data Portal; World Meteorological Organization (WMO); World Data Centres for GHGs; WMO World Data Centre for Precipitation Chemistry; and the WMO World Ozone and Ultraviolet Data Centre, which is operated by the Meteorological Service of Canada.
Measurements of atmospheric CO2 and CH4 at Alert Nunavut
Measurements of atmospheric CO2 began in March 1975 at Alert, Nunavut (figure 7). The seasonal decline in late May to early June is due to the transport of air from southern latitudes that is depleted in CO2 from photosynthetic uptake. The annual average CO2 value at Alert in 2018 was 409.5 parts per million (ppm). The annual average CO2 value at Alert in 2017 and 2016 were 407.7 ppm and 404.3 ppm, respectively.
In addition to CO2, ECCC also conducts measurements of atmospheric methane (CH4), which began in August 1985 at Alert, Nunavut (figure 8). The annual average CH4 value at Alert in 2018 was 1940.2 parts per billion (ppb). The rate of annual increase in CH4 concentrations steadily declined since the late 1980s and hovered around zero from 1999 to 2006, reflecting a near global balance between emissions and removal by atmospheric chemical processes. However, since 2007, CH4 has increased every year on average by 6 ppb per year.
Figure 7. Atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Alert, Nunavut
Long description for figure 7
Figure 7 shows the monthly mean, annual cycle and trend of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Alert, Nunavut from 1975 to 2018. The remote location of the site ensures that the measurements indicate changes in the global atmosphere, as there is virtually no contamination from nearby sources of carbon dioxide. The graph indicates that carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere has been rising rapidly since 1975. The red line indicates the average upward trend, while the blue line shows annual fluctuations. (Each year carbon dioxide decreases during the summer in Northern Hemisphere, as plant growth absorbs carbon from the atmosphere; and increases during the winter.)
Figure 8. Atmospheric methane measured at Alert, Nunavut
Long description for figure 8
This graph shows the monthly mean, annual cycle and trend of atmospheric methane measured at Alert, Nunavut from 1985 to 2018. The graph indicates that the rate of annual increase in CH4 concentrations steadily declined since the late 1980s and hovered around zero from 1999 to 2006, reflecting a near global balance between emissions and removal by atmospheric chemical processes. However, since 2007, CH4 has increased every year on average by 6 ppb per year. The red line indicates the average upward trend, while the blue line shows annual fluctuations.
2.3.2 Risk management activities
Different instruments are available under the authorities provided by CEPA to limit and reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from vehicles, engines and fuels, consumer and commercial products, and industrial sectors, as well as for establishing national ambient air quality objectives to drive air quality improvements.
Cooperation among governments is key in managing air pollution. The Air Quality Management System (AQMS), agreed by federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers in 2012, provides a collaborative approach to reducing air pollution and improving the health of Canadians and the environment. The AQMS includes:
- Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS)
- local air zones and regional airsheds
- industrial emission requirements for major industries
- intergovernmental working group for enhanced collaboration and the reduction of emissions from mobile sources
- reporting to Canadians on the state of the air
CAAQS are environment- and health-based-standards that apply to the concentration of specific air pollutants in the outdoor air. They provide the drivers for air quality management actions across the country. ECCC and HC lead the process under the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) to develop, review and amend CAAQS. Once agreed under the CCME, CAAQS are published as environmental quality objectives under CEPA.
CEPA provides authorities to establish CAAQS as environmental quality objectives to be met across the country and to develop and administer regulatory and non-regulatory instruments to reduce the releases of air pollutants and GHGs.
Industrial sector emissions requirements
Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations
In 2016, the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations (MSAPR) came into force. The MSAPR establish nationally consistent industrial emissions performance standards and limits nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from large industrial boilers and heaters, as well as from stationary spark‑ignition engines, used in several industrial sectors, that burn gaseous fuels (such as natural gas). The MSAPR also limit NOx and SO2 emissions from kilns at cement manufacturing facilities. The MSAPR will contribute significantly to reducing emissions that contribute to smog and acid rain, including 2000 kilotonnes of NOx emission reductions in the first 19 years.
For stationary spark-ignition engines, the on-line reporting system for engine registrations was tested and launched, with over 250 enquiries handled, 10 information sessions and 9 webinars held as part of compliance promotions activities. Registrations for 53 modern and 4657 pre‑existing engines were received from over 100 regulated parties. Emissions requirements for the modern engines are in force with reports due in 2019‑2020. Emission requirements for pre‑existing engines apply in 2021.
Oil and gas sector emission requirements
Methane is a potent GHG, with a global warming potential 28 times greater than carbon dioxide. The federal government has committed to reduce methane emissions to 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025.
In April 2018, the final Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector) were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II and introduced control measures (facility and equipment level standards) to reduce fugitive and venting emissions of hydrocarbons, including methane, from the oil and gas sector.
Electricity sector emissions requirements
In December 2018, ECCC published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, final amendments to the Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-fired Generation of Electricity Regulations. The amendments require all coal-fired electricity generating units to comply with a carbon dioxide emissions performance standard at the end of their useful life as specified by the existing coal-fired electricity regulations, or by the end of 2029, whichever comes first. The purpose of the amendments is to accelerate the phase-out of traditional coal-fired electricity.
To support the transition away from coal towards cleaner sources of generation, the Government published the final Regulations Limiting Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Natural Gas-fired Generation of Electricity in the Canada Gazette, Part II in December 2018. The regulations for natural gas-fired electricity have been designed to ensure that new natural gas-fired electricity generation facilities use efficient technology, while providing flexibility for new units to meet electricity system demand and incorporate variable renewables, like wind and solar.
For coal units that convert to run on natural gas, the regulations encourage companies to convert their coal units to natural gas ahead of their end-of-life under the amended coal regulations, while also providing assurance that higher emitting coal-to-gas converted units will be phased out more rapidly than better performers.
Forest products sector emissions requirements
In July 2018, ECCC published the Code of Practice for the Management of Air Emissions from Pulp and Paper Facilities. The code provides best practices to facilitate and encourage ongoing improvements in the environmental performance of pulp and paper facilities with respect to air emissions of SO2 and total particulate matter from combustion sources.
Transportation sector emissions requirements
ECCC administered six vehicle and engine regulations and nine fuel regulations under CEPA.
ECCC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continued to collaborate closely through the Canada U.S. Air Quality Committee towards the development of aligned vehicle and engine emission standards, related fuel quality regulations and their coordinated implementation.
Greenhouse gas emissions regulations
In May 2018, ECCC published final amendments to the Heavy-duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations. These amendments have introduced progressively more stringent GHG emission standards for on-road heavy-duty vehicles and their engines, as well as for trailers hauled by transport tractors.
In August 2018, ECCC published a discussion paper to begin consultations on the mid-term evaluation of Canada’s light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission regulations for the 2022 to 2025 model years. The mid-term evaluation aims to determine whether the established GHG emission standards for the 2022 to 2025 model years remain appropriate for Canada. The discussion paper facilitated consultations by seeking early views on factors to be considered when assessing the appropriateness of Canadian requirements. A summary of the comments received in response to the discussion paper was published in March 2019.
Air pollutant emissions regulations
In December 2018, ECCC published final Regulations Amending the Regulations Prescribing Circumstances for Granting Waivers Pursuant to Section 147 of the Act. The Amendments are administrative in nature, and have no impact on stakeholders.
In March 2019, ECCC published proposed Off-Road Compression-Ignition (Mobile and Stationary) and Large Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I. The proposed regulations would repeal and replace the current Off-road Compression-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations and introduce new emission standards and requirements in alignment with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for large spark-ignition engines and stationary compression-ignition engines, in addition to improving the requirements for mobile compression-ignition engines. The proposed regulations would reduce harmful emissions of smog-forming air pollutants from machines, such as forklifts, ice resurfacers and large stationary generators, as well as reduce emissions, such as black carbon, from combustion of diesel fuel in stationary compression-ignition engines, many of which are found in Canada’s North.
Regulatory administration of the transportation regulations
ECCC administers a compliance program under the transportation and fuels regulations. This includes processing of regulatory reports, importation declarations, managing notice of defects and recalls and testing of selected vehicles and engines to verify compliance with the regulations.
Some of the transportation regulations require companies to submit annual compliance reports documenting fleet performance, the quantity of products or fuel quality parameters. During 2018-2019, the department received over 260 regulatory reports for vehicles and engines and over 720 reports for fuels.
In 2018-2019, ECCC processed about 270 Canada-uniqueFootnote 3 submissions and almost 1760 importation declarations for vehicles and engines. Additionally, the department processed 78 notices of defect and recall notifications covering over 599 000 vehicles and engines. Of those, ECCC influenced 5 notices of defect covering over 44 000 vehicles and engines. ECCC also began posting basic information summarizing notices of defect and other company notifications submitted to the department on the Government of Canada’s Open Data portal.
The regulatory administration of the transportation regulations is supported by ECCC laboratory emissions testing on vehicles and engines, and fuel quality testing in order to verify compliance with the regulations. Occasionally, private laboratories will be used by ECCC to conduct testing. In 2018-2019, the department conducted testing on 102 vehicles and engines.
During 2018‑2019, ECCC responded to almost 1500 inquiries regarding the vehicles and engines regulations and over 500 regarding the fuels regulations.
In 2018-2019, ECCC continued to expand its capacity to verify compliance with the transportation sector’s emission regulations, including identifying devices to defeat the emission regulations, and carrying out five major inspections at fuels facilities. The expanded program increases opportunities to identify non-compliant regulatees and take enforcement action where required.
During 2018-2019, the department also made the required improvements to NOx performance reports for the 2017 model year light-duty vehicle fleets to reflect the more stringent Tier 3 provisions and published the 2011 to 2016 model year light-duty vehicle GHG performance report. Those reports, compiled from the annual compliance reports submitted by automobile companies, document the overall fleet performance for each of the specified model years. Aggregated fuel quality data was shared for the first time in 2018-2019 using the Open Data Portal.
More information on ECCC’s vehicle, engine and fuel regulations is available online.
Clean fuel standard
The government is developing a Clean Fuel Standard, a key part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change that will reduce the carbon intensity of the liquid, gaseous and solid fuels used in transportation, industry, and buildings. The Clean Fuel Standard aims to lower the carbon intensity of fossil fuels, resulting in significant GHG emissions reductions, while sending a market signal for investment and innovation in low carbon fuels and technologies and reducing compliance costs through a flexible regulatory design.
Since its announcement in 2016, extensive stakeholder engagement and consultations with industry, provinces and territories, Indigenous groups, and environmental non-governmental groups have helped inform the design of the Clean Fuel Standard, including the formation of a Multi-Stakeholder Consultative Committee and a Technical Working Group. Consultations are ongoing to continue informing the development of the gaseous and solid fuel class regulations.
Consumer and commercial products
ECCC has been targeting the reduction of emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from consumer and commercial products. VOCs are a contributing factor in the creation of air pollution. Control measures have been developed that set VOC content limits in some products, which in turn reduce their emissions. The ECCC VOC in products laboratory conducts testing in order to verify compliance with the regulations. In 2018-2019, the department completed testing on 120 products including architectural coatings and automotive refinishing products; 56 of these were tested for a special project looking at traffic marking coatings.
In 2018-2019, ECCC published the 2017 Progress report on the Code of Practice for the reduction of VOC emissions from cutback and emulsified asphalt (the code). The objective of the code is to protect the environment by reducing VOC emissions from the asphalt sector by at least 40 percent over a 6 year period. The code includes reporting provisions targeting asphalt manufacturers. The first reporting period covered activities from the 2017 calendar year.
In 2018-2019, ECCC worked on the preparation of proposed Volatile Organic Compound Concentration Limits for Certain Products Regulations. The proposed regulations would establish VOC concentration limits for 130 product categories including personal care, automotive and household maintenance products; adhesives, adhesive removers, sealants and caulks; and other miscellaneous products.
Indoor air quality
In addition to the penetration indoors of outdoor pollutants, indoor air can be contaminated by emissions from building materials, products, and activities inside the home, and by the infiltration of naturally occurring radon from the soil under the building.
The Residential Indoor Air Quality Guidelines summarize the health risks posed by specific indoor pollutants, based on a review of the best scientific information available at the time of the assessment.
In 2018-2019, Health Canada continued risk assessments on indoor carbon dioxide and acrolein. Health Canada also began a new round of risk assessments based upon a recently completed prioritization process. Work has commenced on an assessment of xylenes and the reassessment of benzene.
Health Canada developed a public awareness campaign on carbon monoxide (CO) in indoor air carried out in 30 retail locations in Ontario and British Columbia. A study of air quality in ice arenas was begun with the objective of developing broadly applicable risk management practices. In collaboration with the National Research Council, emission testing of 100 composite wood products and laminate products was conducted in support of the development of regulations.
HC scientists contributed to many other publications, including a series of fact sheets on air quality.
In 2018-2019, HC published a series of fact sheets on air quality including
2.4 Water quality
Water quality is affected in many ways, including by nature's own patterns. The water quality of rivers and lakes changes with the seasons and geographic areas, even when there is no pollution present. It is also affected by human development, particularly by the release of human wastes, animal wastes and chemical substances into the environment.
Water quality is a shared responsibility with provinces and territories. In addition to CEPA, the federal government addresses water quality under other statutes, such as the Fisheries Act. Work on water quality under CEPA includes monitoring, scientific research, and leadership on the development of guidelines for water quality.
ECCC’s Fresh Water Quality Monitoring program continues to implement a risk-based adaptive management framework in conjunction with statistical analyses to better target monitoring activities to the risks of contaminants and human activities in Canadian watersheds. The approach has been used to optimize monitoring locations and adjust monitoring frequencies relative to the environmental risks and to report on changes in environmental condition.
2.4.2 Risk management activities
HC works in collaboration with the provinces and territories to establish a list of priority contaminants for developing or updating Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ) and their technical documents. Priorities for guideline development are established approximately every 4 or 5 years, using exposure information from federal, provincial and territorial sources and up-to-date science, international actions, as well as taking into consideration jurisdictional needs. Health-based guidelines are developed for drinking water contaminants that are found or expected to be found in drinking water supplies across Canada and at levels that could lead to adverse health effects. The GCDWQ are used by all provinces and territories as a basis to establish their own regulatory requirements regarding the quality of drinking water in their jurisdictions to manage the risk from drinking water.
HC has also been modernizing its drinking water program to increase openness and transparency and further engage the Canadian public. New or updated GCDWQ are published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, while the technical document continues to be published on Health Canada’s website. The final GCDWQ are also accompanied by a plain language summary to increase public’s access.
As part of the drinking water program’s modernization efforts, the process for prioritizing the development and update of GCDWQ was published in 2019. The list of priority contaminants will be finalized and form the basis for the future workplan for the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water (CDW).
For increased transparency, each guideline contains a section dedicated to a comparison with standards of international agencies and other jurisdictions, including new or updated standards. In some instances, drinking water values for specific pollutants vary internationally due to a number of considerations. All leading international agencies and jurisdictions consider the science that has been used by other agencies on contaminants of joint concern. However, each jurisdiction maintains its own considerations that are specific to climate, geology, industrial uses and other factors which are characteristic of the country, thus accounting for the potential for different values in different jurisdictions (whether higher or lower). An international comparison is more than choosing the most stringent value or lowest number for drinking water standards around the world.
To help inform the development of the guidelines, HC keeps abreast of new scientific studies and reviews and continually assesses standards and guidelines respecting the quality of drinking water from leading international agencies, including:
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Australia National Health and Medical Research Council (ANHMRC)
- European Union (EU)
Internationally, Canada is considered a leader in the development of drinking water quality guidelines. Health Canada is recognized as a Collaborating Centre for Water Quality by the World Health Organization, highlighting Canada’s international prominence and expertise.
It was determined that for 2018-2019, there were no updates from other jurisdictions that should be considered for the development of a new guideline or an update to an existing one. However, priorities are continuously informed by new data, science and international actions.
Table 11 lists the guidelines that were published in 2018-2019.
Waste generally refers to any material, non-hazardous or hazardous, that has no further use, and which is managed at recycling, processing or disposal sites or facilities.
In Canada, the responsibility for managing and reducing waste is shared between the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments. Municipal governments are responsible for collecting and managing waste from homes for recycling, composting and disposal, while provincial and territorial authorities are responsible for the approval, licensing and monitoring of waste management operations.
For its part, ECCC exercises responsibilities with respect to disposal at sea of specified materials, as well as the international and interprovincial movements of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material.
Disposal at sea site monitoring program
By monitoring disposal sites, ECCC is able to verify that the permitting of disposals is sustainable and that permit holders can have continued access to suitable sites. Where monitoring indicates a problem or where the site has reached its capacity over time, management action in the form of closing, moving or altering the site use can occur.
Due to the timing of field work and the length of time required for data analysis, the results of disposal at site monitoring projects are typically not available until at least a year after they are completed. Therefore the 2017-2018 results are presented in this CEPA report for all regions, as well as the 2018-2019 results where available. Any pending 2018-2019 results will be presented in the 2019-2020 CEPA report. In 2017-2018, monitoring projects were completed at 13 ocean disposal sites nationally (or 13% of the 104 actively used sites that fiscal year).
In April 2017, in the Pacific and Yukon region, monitoring was conducted at 4 disposal at sea (DAS) sites.
- At the Cape Mudge, Comox (Cape Lazo), Malaspina and Point Grey DAS sites, monitoring consisted of sediment sampling and analysis for physicochemical parameters toxicity testing, and sediment profile imaging (SPI) surveys to better understand the potential effects related to disposal activities. The results were as follows:
- For all sites, the mean of concentrations of contaminants (cadmium, mercury, total PAHs and total PCBs) were found to be below national screening levels.
- With the exception of the field duplicate sample from the ambient area at Point Grey, all samples from all sites passed the acute and sub-lethal toxicity tests and showed no evidence of toxicity to amphipods, echinoids and bacteria. The field duplicate composite failed the amphipod test and passed both of the sub-lethal toxicity tests. Proximity to anthropogenic sources could attribute to the failure. Toxicity tests will be performed as part of subsequent monitoring programs to verify there is no issue at the site.
- All sites where Sediment Profile Imaging (SPI) was conducted (Cape Mudge, Comox (Cape Lazo), and Point Grey), the surveys revealed that disposal activity did not appear to affect the benthic habitat quality outside of disposal site, and physicochemical sediment sampling and SPI surveys confirmed that all disposal material remains within the footprints of the disposal sites. Some wood waste was observed outside the disposal site at Cape Mudge, which could be attributed to current and historical forestry activities in the area.
In 2018-2019, disposal site monitoring surveys were conducted at Cape Mudge, Sand Heads and Newcombe Channel. These included physicochemical sediment sampling, toxicity testing and Sediment Profile Imaging benthic studies. Preliminary SPI results at all sites indicate that no concerns exist with regard to impacts to benthic habitat outside of the disposal site. All other results for the 2018-2019 surveys are pending.
In the Quebec region, in 2017-2018, the efforts of the ECCC’s environmental monitoring programs were focused on 6 disposal sites under 2 separate projects to monitor the presence or absence of the deposited material. Hydro acoustic surveys were conducted at the following disposal sites M-5 (Millerand), PBCM-1 (Pointe-Basse), IE-6 (Ile-d’Entree), in the Magdalen Islands, as well as 3 sites on the Gaspésie, ST-4 (Sainte-Thérèse), SG-2 (Saint-Godefroi), and G-5 (Gascons).
- At site M-5, measurements did not detect deposited volumes in place, which suggests material was moved by currents. They also show that there is still sufficient draft for safe navigation, however this site will be monitored more closely to study the sediment dynamics at this location.
- At sites PBCM-1 and IE-6, it was found that all dredged material was deposited at the coordinates set out in the permit and that approximately 80% to 90% of material is still in place. No management actions are required at these sites.
- At site ST-4, where no permitted deposit occurred, results confirmed that there were no unreported deposits and no management actions are required.
- The hydrographic surveys conducted at disposal sites SG-2 and G-5 suggest that no material was deposited in the authorized area. However, permit records show that 8896 m3 and 2575 m3 of dredged material, respectively, was placed at the sites between 2013 and 2017. Further work will be done to ensure that when these disposal sites are next used, the material is placed only at the authorized disposal site.
In 2018-2019, hydroacoustic surveys were conducted at 5 sites in Gaspésie: Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé (ST-4), L'Anse-à-Beaufils (AB-5), L'Anse-à-Brillant (ABR-1), Saint-Godefroi (SG-2) and Port-Daniel-Est (PD-6) to determine if disposal activities had been carried out in accordance with the conditions of the DAS permits. The results from 2018-2019 are still pending.
A preliminary study on the presence of micro-plastics in sediments in the Quebec region was initated. In 2017-2018, 22 sediment samples were collected from commercial harbours of Magdalen Islands that are currently in use and that are regularly dredged. In 2018-2019, additional samples were collected in harbours of Gaspésie in order to expand the geographic coverage of this project to all harbours currently in use in the Quebec region. The study also aimed at evaluating a new method to measure the concentration of plastics in sediments. This project is ongoing.
In the Atlantic region, in 2017-2018, monitoring studies were conducted at three DAS sites; the Outer False Harbour DAS site in Nova Scotia, the Woods Island DAS site in Prince Edward Island and the Pigeon Hill Bar DAS site in New Brunswick.
- At the Outer False Harbour site in Nova Scotia, a post-disposal combined bathymetric and backscatter survey was conducted to assess the dredged material remaining at the site following the winter storm period and to classify the seafloor bottom. A high resolution optical imaging study was also conducted in order to characterize the benthic substrate and identify macroflora and fauna. Macroflora appeared consistent in composition except for the area closest to the open ocean. Macrofauna was generally evenly observed throughout all sampled areas. Benthic substrate composition and habitat types varied throughout the project area. The results of both these studies will be used to refine future monitoring at this site.
- At the Woods Island site in Prince Edward Island, a post-disposal survey was conducted on December 5, 2017 to determine the location and surface area of the sediments disposed at sea. The survey, conducted the day after disposal operations had concluded, determined that within the entire site, approximately 16% of material was remaining and covered an area of 11 640 m2.
- At Pigeon Hill Bar site in New Brunswick, a post-disposal hydrographic survey was conducted to assess the compliance with the permit conditions, and to define the immediate post-disposal footprint. Disposal activities were conducted in compliance with the disposal permit. It was determined that the footprint of the disposed material was still largely contained within the disposal site, 15 days after disposal operations had ceased.
In 2018-2019, monitoring studies were conducted at four disposal sites: Woods Island, Black Point, Chance Harbour, and Pigeon Hill Bar.
- For the Woods Island DAS site, a survey was conducted to test the prediction that the disposal site would return to pre-disposal conditions in less than one year following the completion of disposal activities. Fifty weeks after disposal operations had concluded, less than 3% of the total volume of disposed material remained within the disposal site and covered about 9% of the disposal site. These results showed that disposed material had mostly moved offsite within one year.
- For the Black Point DAS site, a survey was carried out as part of the monitoring in support of the ten-year Management Plan for the Black Point Dredged Material Disposal Site, Saint John Harbour, New Brunswick. Supplementary analyses of the results of the 2018 and 2016 hydrographic surveys were also conducted. The supplemental analyses determined that disposals had occurred beyond the western boundary of the site, possibly occurring as early as the year 2000. It appears that the disposal outside the boundary resulted from an incorrect defining of the boundary rather than non-compliant disposal activities or slumping of the disposed material. As a result, the western boundary of the Active Area was extended. It was also recommended that the surveyed area be extended along the western, northern and eastern sides of the disposal site in future surveys. Lastly, it was determined that in order to better manage the disposal site, the hydrographic surveys should be conducted annually rather than biennially.
- For the Chance Harbour DAS site, a post-disposal hydrographic survey was required to confirm the location and surface area of the sediments disposed at sea and was conducted approximately 4 months after the completion of disposal activities. After 4 months, it was not possible to define a footprint arising from the disposal activities. However, there were features on the seabed that were suggestive of the disposed material.
- A hydrographic survey was conducted at the Pigeon Hill Bar DAS site immediately following the completion of the 2018 disposal activities. The results of the August 2018 hydrographic survey were compared to the November 2017 survey. Changes in the footprint and depth differences between the 2 surveys were noted. From the comparison, there appeared to be some erosion of the material disposed in 2017. It was recommended that another post-disposal survey be conducted to verify the accuracy of the dispersion predictions following the expiration of the current dredging permit in 2019.
2.5.2 Risk management activities
In addition to the activities listed below, risk management actions described in section 2.1.4 on toxic substances also contribute to the overall improvement of waste management.
Disposal at sea
Part 7, Division 3 of CEPA imposes a general prohibition on the disposal at sea of substances or onto sea ice. Disposal at sea activities conducted under a permit from ECCC are exempt from this prohibition and permits are only available for a short list of low risk wastes. A permit is only granted after an assessment, and only if disposal at sea is the environmentally preferable and practical option.
On October 12, 2018, ECCC and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation approved an agreement for collaborative decision making on disposal at sea permitting, monitoring and related science in Tsleil-Waututh Nation core territory in the Burrard Inlet near Vancouver, BC. This agreement will help the department meet its duty to consult with Tsleil-Waututh Nation on disposal at sea matters, including at the Point Grey disposal site, which is one of the most actively used disposal sites in Canada.
The negotiation of this agreement confirmed that the Crown and Tsleil-Waututh Nation share many important interests, including protecting the marine environment and promoting sustainable development.
Implementing the DAS requirements helps Canada meet its obligations as a party to the 1972 London Convention and the more modern London Protocol (1996). Canada reports the number of permits, quantities and types of wastes, and results of disposal site monitoring to the London Protocol Secretariat each year.
In 2018-2019, ECCC successfully hosted more than 20 countries in Vancouver for the Scientific Group Meetings of the London Protocol and Convention. In advance of the main meetings, ECCC developed and delivered a new workshop to train participants on how to assess and issue permits to prevent marine pollution from disposal of waste or other matter at sea.
During the meetings, progress was made by the delegates on issues including marine plastics, better disposal assessment guidance for platforms and fiberglass vessels, and other science issues to support decision making. The hands-on workshop was acknowledged by participants to have increased their ability to implement the London Protocol, with the International Maritime Organization suggesting that the new format be repeated in the future as a means of increasing ratification of the London Protocol Treaty, and assisting new parties to implement the treaty.
In 2018, Canada continued to Chair the London Protocol Compliance Group, which encourages and supports compliance and ratification of the treaty. Canada also completed a 4 year term as Chair of the Scientific Groups of the Protocol and Convention.
Disposal at sea permits
In 2018-2019, 93 permits were issued in Canada for the disposal of 9.4 million tonnes of waste and other matter at sea (tables table 12 and table 13), compared to 70 permits for the disposal of 6.2 million tonnes in 2017-2018. The significant increase from the previous year was largely due to the permitting of a few major projects for port development and the continued need to remove dredged material from harbours and waterways to keep them safe for navigation. Also permitted was excavated native till (geological matter) that is disposed of at sea in the lower mainland of British Columbia, where on-land disposal options for clean fill are extremely limited. Fish‑processing waste was also permitted in remote communities where there is no access to reuse‑and‑recycling opportunities.
Note: Dredged material and geological matter were converted to tonnes using an assumed density of 1.3 tonnes per cubic metre.
Note: Dredged material and geological matter were converted to tonnes using an assumed density of 1.3 tonnes per cubic metre.
The number of permits issued increased in 2018-2019 (figure 9). The quantities permitted continue to fluctuate from year to year. Building of infrastructure led to an increase in both dredged material and inert, inorganic geological matter (excavated material) this past fiscal year (figure 10).
Figure 9. Number of disposal at sea permits issued in each fiscal year by type of material
Long description for figure 9
This graph shows the number of disposal at sea permits issued in each fiscal year from 2009-2010 to 2018-2019, by type of material: dredged material, geological matter, fish wastes, vessels, and organic matter.
Figure 10. Annual disposal at sea quantities permitted (in millions of tonnes)
Long description for figure 10
This graph shows the annual disposal at sea quantities permitted (in millions of tonnes) from 2009-2010 to 2018-2019, by type of material: dredged material, geological matter, fish wastes, vessels, and organic matter.
|Dredged material||3 790 150||3 321 370||3 671 850||3 218 800||4 702 750|
|Geological matter||715 000||390 000||910 000||689 000||1 040 000|
|Fish wastes||67 355||70 385||58 587||57 799||58 005|
|Dredged material||3 539 900||4 557 800||6 294 600||4 993 950||7 218 250|
|Geological matter||1 378 000||1 105 000||741 000||1 137 500||1 959 100|
|Fish wastes||71 940||55 965||48 845||39 644||35 220|
|Vessels||2 880||0||42||0||6 755|
Further information on disposal at sea is available online.
Controlling the movement of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material
With respect to managing the movement of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material, CEPA provides authority to:
- make regulations governing the export, import and transit of waste (including both hazardous and prescribed non-hazardous waste) and hazardous recyclable materials
- establish criteria for refusing an export, import or transit permit, should the hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material not be managed in a manner that will protect the environment and human health
- make regulations governing movements of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials between provinces and territories
Through the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations, the Interprovincial Movement of Hazardous Waste Regulations and the PCB Waste Export Regulations, 1996, Canada implements its international obligations as a party to the:
- Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention)
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Decision on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Wastes Destined for Recovery Operations (OECD Decision)
- Canada-United States Agreement on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste
In 2018, ECCC processed 2062 notices for proposed imports, exports and transits of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials under the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations. The notices received covered 29 369 waste streams, which exhibited a range of hazardous properties such as being flammable, acutely toxic, oxidizing, corrosive, dangerously reactive and environmentally hazardous. Of the notices received, 1771 permits were issued. From these permits, 32 765 individual transboundary shipments of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material were reported in movement documents received by ECCC. By comparison, in 2017, 31 759 individual transboundary shipments were done; an increase of about 3%, in 2018.
In 2018, almost all imports (99.6%) and exports (96.5%) of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials occurred between Canada and the United States. The remaining import exchanges occurred with Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and Vietnam while the remaining exports occurred with Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Belgium, Germany and Austria.
The quantity of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials imported into Canada was 388 289 metric tonnes (t) in 2018. This represents an increase of 18 317 t or 4.7% compared to 2017.
Shipments imported destined for recycling totaled 241 457 t and represented about 62% of all imports in 2018. Imports of all hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials in 2018 were shipped to authorized facilities in 5 provinces: Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Alberta. Hazardous recyclable material imported into Canada in the greatest quantities were:
- hydraulic fluids (used oil)
- spent lead-acid batteries
- spent sulfuric acid, corrosive liquids, waste liquors from pickling of metals
- flammable liquids, organic solvents
- metal-bearing waste
The remaining 146 832 t imported were hazardous wastes (about 38%) and were mostly composed of:
- soil, sand, or clay, including dredging spoils
- waste oil/water, hydrocarbon/water mixtures, and emulsions
- organic solvents/flammable liquids
- waste tarry residues arising from refining, distillation, and any pyrolytic treatment
- sludges from water-purification plants and wastewater treatment plants
- wastes from the production, formulation and use of biocides and phytopharmaceuticals, pesticides, and herbicides
The quantity of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials exported was 378 315 t in 2018. This represents a decrease of 8998 t or 2.3% from 2017.
Shipments exported for recycling totaled 315 221 t and represented about 83% of all exports in 2018. Exports of hazardous recyclable materials in 2018 originated from 7 provinces and one territory: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwest Territories. The majority of hazardous recyclable material exported abroad for recycling included:
- spent catalyst materials
- waste acidic or basic solutions
- residue from pollution control operations
- waste oil/water, hydrocarbon/water mixtures, and emulsions, hydraulic fluids (used oil)
- batteries and other electrical cells
- ashes or cinders, metal-bearing waste
The remaining 63 094 t exported were hazardous wastes (16.7%) and were mostly composed of:
- waste oil/water, hydrocarbon/water mixtures, and emulsions (used oils)
- liquids or sludges containing metal
- contaminated equipment
- clinical and related wastes
- wastes resulting from surface treatment of metals and plastic
- spent sulfuric acid, corrosive liquids, and waste liquors from pickling of metals
Tables table 14 and table15 list the quantities of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials exported and imported from 2009 to 2018.
Note: Data are revised periodically as new information becomes available. Therefore, information presented here may differ from information published in other reports.
The proposed Cross-Border Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Materials Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on Saturday, December 15, 2018. The proposed regulations would consolidate and streamline the requirements set out under the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations, the Interprovincial Movement Regulations of Hazardous Waste Regulations and the PCB Waste Export Regulations, 1996.
2.6 Environmental emergencies
Part 8 of CEPA (Environmental Matters Related to Emergencies) addresses the prevention of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from uncontrolled, unplanned or accidental releases into the environment of substances that pose potential or immediate harm to the environment or danger to human life or health.
Part 8 of CEPA provides the authority, among other things, for making related regulations, guidelines and codes of practice. It also establishes a regime that makes the person who owns or has the charge, management or control of such a substance liable for restoring the damaged environment and for the costs and expenses incurred in responding to an environmental emergency.
The Environmental Emergency Regulations (referred to as the E2 Regulations) require any person who owns, manages, or has the control of a regulated substance at a place in Canada, at or above the established threshold, to notify ECCC when this quantity threshold is met or when the maximum container capacity meets or exceeds this threshold. If the total quantity and container capacity thresholds are both met, there is an additional requirement to prepare and exercise an environmental emergency (E2) plan for prevention, preparedness, response and recovery in the event of an environmental emergency.
When the new regulations come into force, there were approximately 4895 regulatees from various sectors under the E2 Regulations. Of these regulatees, approximately 3000 were required to prepare E2 plans. The 7 most commonly identified substances requiring E2 plans are propane, anhydrous ammonia, butane, pentane, gasoline, hydrochloric acid, and chlorine.
In 2018-2019, ECCC’s regional activities associated with the implementation of the E2 Regulations included conducting site visits, delivering presentations to the regulated community, and promoting and enforcing compliance with regulated persons. As a result of targeted efforts to increase the implementation of E2 plans by regulated parties, approximately 95% of those regulated parties which require E2 plans reported to the department that they have fully implemented and tested their plans.
On August 21, 2019, the Environmental Emergency Regulations were repealed and replaced by the Environmental Emergency Regulations, 2019. The new regulations clarified the requirements of the legislation and reinforce sound environmental emergency management and timely public notifications before, during and after an environmental emergency. They also better protect Canadians and the environment by adding 33 new substances to the list of regulated substances in Schedule 1. The responsible person subject to the Environmental Emergency Regulations, 2019 is able to submit required information through the new reporting platform which is accessible through ECCC’s Single Window Information Management (SWIM) system.
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