Environmental damages fund evaluation: conclusion


Conclusion

The manner in which the Atlantic Region has implemented the EDF should be adopted in the other Environment Canada regions, including the frameworks for project approval, project teams and approval process. It is effective and has grown based upon the interest and enthusiasm of those who use it.

Where the EDF has been only partially used, (i.e. PYR) the potential beneficiaries of this innovative approach are being deprived of the benefit of allocating funds received in accordance with the provisions of the original TB decision.

The availability of the EDF should be communicated to the broader user community. While we express no opinion on the matter, it would appear that there is a prevailing myth that the EDF is only available for CEPA prosecutions. This should be clarified.

There is an opportunity available now to both enhance the effectiveness of the EPAMS and enshrine the EDF as an effective tool for managing the receipt and payment out of environmental penalties that EC should consider. All prosecutions that have as a basis an environmental event should be considered for inclusion explicitly within the EDF framework.

EDF was a ground-breaking mechanism to permit a transparent transfer of monies received in respect of environmental penalties to respond to the need to remediate the damages that occurred. Its use can be enhanced if it is well communicated to those who would employ it. That is the challenge that faces Environment Canada if it wishes to continue to have fund that is relevant, successful and effective.

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