Guide to understanding the Canadian Environmental Protection Act: chapter 11
The international air and water pollution provisions allow the Minister to address Canadian sources that pollute or may pollute the air or water in another country or where that pollution violates an international agreement binding on Canada. This section addresses any type of release of substances that contributes to international air or water pollution, not just those that may have been determined to be toxic. Before using the powers in this division, the Minister must first consult with the provincial, territorial or aboriginal government responsible for the area in which the pollution source is located. This consultation will determine if that government is willing or able to address the problem. If that government is not willing or able to take action, the Minister must take action to reduce or prevent the pollution including:
- requiring pollution prevention planning;
- recommending the making of regulations; or
- issuing an interim order for emergency situations.
Nutrients, as defined in CEPA 1999, are substances that promote the growth of aquatic vegetation. CEPA 1999 provides authority to regulate nutrients that degrade or have a negative impact on an aquatic ecosystem, such as nutrients contained in cleaning products and water conditioners. CEPA 1999 prohibits the manufacture for use, sale or import of a cleaning product or water conditioner that contains a prescribed nutrient in a concentration or quantity that exceeds the regulated limit. For example, the level of phosphates in laundry detergent is currently regulated under CEPA 1999. CEPA 1999, however, cannot be used to regulate sources of nutrients already regulated under other federal Acts that provide sufficient protection of the environment.
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