Toxic substances management process: management tools and instruments

A variety of management tools are available to risk managers to reduce risk associated with the use and/or release of toxic substances. These management tools may be used to control any aspect of the substance's life cycle -- from the design and development stage to its manufacture, use, storage, transport and ultimate disposal. They include tools that are developed under a provision in CEPA 1999 (referred to as instruments) and those that are developed outside of CEPA 1999 such as environmental performance agreements.

Under CEPA 1999, the Minister of Environment must publish a proposed instrument for a substance in the Canada Gazette within two years of the recommendation that the substance be added to the List of Toxic Substances [s.77(6)].

Within 18 months of the publication of the proposed instrument, the Minister must publish the final instrument in the Canada Gazette. Affected parties will have a set period of time (depending on the nature and the scope of the instrument) to implement measures to meet the requirements of the instrument.

Examples of Preventive or Control Instruments


impose restrictions on an activity related to a substance, or set limits on the concentrations of a substances that can be used, released to the environment or present in a product.

Pollution Prevention Plans

require the preparation and implementation of a pollution prevention plan outlining actions to prevent or minimize the creation or release of pollutants and waste.

Environmental Emergency Plans

require facilities to document information regarding the prevention of, preparedness for, response to or recovery from an environmental emergency.

Environmental Codes of Practice

recommend procedures, practices or release limits for environmental control relating to works, undertakings and activities during any phase of their development and operation, and any subsequent monitoring activities.

Environmental Release Guidelines

include limits expressed as concentrations or quantities, for the release of substances into the environment from works, undertakings or activities.

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