Base metal smelters sector: environmental performance agreements overview

New reporting deadline

Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for submitting the annual report for the 2019 calendar year is extended to August 30, 2020.

These environmental performance agreements are in effect from January 5, 2018 to December 31, 2025.


The objective of the agreements is to implement the base level industrial emissions requirements (BLIERs) developed for the base metals smelting and refining sector.


The agreements have been negotiated between Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and 5 base metal smelting and refining companies, each with a specific agreement:

Key requirements

The participating companies agree to:

  1. Achieve and maintain the BLIERs for emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM).
  2. Continual improvement, where reasonably feasible, with respect to:


Type of reports Deadline
Annual report June 30 (covering data collected each calendar year between 2017 and 2025)
Verification Once (within 2 years of the date of the agreement)
ECCC public reporting Annually (until end of agreement)

Where to submit

All annual reports are to be submitted electronically to

Performance results

Annual reports were submitted to the Government of Canada in 2018. The annual reports contain data on releases of particulate matter (PM) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) from all of the 11 participating facilities. Results indicate that the 8 facilities with a target date of January 5, 2018, met the targets for PM intensity and sulphur capture rate. The 3 remaining facilities have a target date of January 1, 2019,  for PM intensity and sulphur capture rate.

Background information

Federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers are taking action to better protect human health and the environment by endorsing and implementing the Air quality management system (AQMS). The AQMS includes Canadian ambient air quality standards for fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone, BLIERs and local air zone management by the provincial/territorial jurisdictions.

Summary of ECCC instruments used to implement BLIERs

ECCC led a federal, provincial and territorial consensus process with stakeholder involvement to complete the development of BLIERs. For the base metals smelting sector, BLIERs were developed for SO2 and PM.

Response to comments

The draft agreements were posted for public consultation on the Government of Canada's environmental performance agreements website for 60 days. Comments were received from industrial stakeholders. These comments were taken into consideration when finalizing the agreements.

In response to these comments, text was added to clarify when annual reports are due and which party is responsible for chairing a working group to work towards reducing emissions of metals and fugitive particulate matter. As well, a footnote was removed from the Annex I of each agreement to avoid confusion regarding the process for amending the agreements.

Related information

Contact us

Mining and Processing Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St-Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau QC  K1A 0H3


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