Technical expert group for screening assessment of living organisms on domestic substances list

What is the purpose of the Technical Expert Group?

The purpose of the Technical Expert Group is to engage a broad range of stakeholders and other individuals with scientific and technical expertise, and have them help Environment Canada and Health Canada's New Substances Program identify and resolve scientific, technical and process-related issues associated with the implementation of screening assessments of living organisms on the Canadian Domestic Substances List.

How will the Technical Expert Group assist Environment Canada and Health Canada's New Substances Program?

The Technical Expert Group will

  • review, discuss and make recommendations to the New Substances Program on issues such as the screening assessment process and guidance documents as well as the need to engage additional stakeholders and/or external experts with relevant knowledge during the course of individual screening assessments;
  • establish working groups as required (may include, for example, external reviewers of screening assessment reports); and
  • help ensure transparency of the screening assessment process.

What will Environment Canada and Health Canada's New Substances Program do with recommendations from the Technical Expert Group?

The New Substances Program will look for direct and innovative advice on formulating solutions to problems identified by the Technical Expert Group, and will consider such advice and recommendations in making decisions. The New Substances Program will provide feedback to the Technical Expert Group on how their input influenced decisions.

How many members are on the Technical Expert Group?

Ten members were chosen from key groups that have particular interest in the initiative, may be affected by the initiative, or have relevant expertise or knowledge (see Members page for names, affiliations and expertise). In brief, members come from among the following sectors:

  • three from industry
  • one from an environmental non-governmental organization
  • one from a human health non-governmental organization
  • two from academia
  • three from federal government departments external to the New Substances Program.

Who selected the members and how were members selected?

The New Substances Program was responsible for selecting members. Members were chosen from among stakeholders and other individuals who had expressed their interest following a nomination call that spanned from December 2006 to the end of February 2007. Members were chosen based on their scientific background (for example, expertise in environmental microbiology, industrial microbiology, pathogenic micro-organisms or environmental and human health risk assessments). Priority was given to nominees who could represent a group of stakeholders. Additional details on the selection process are available upon request.

Who is leading the work of the Technical Expert Group?

The New Substances Program will lead the work of the Technical Expert Group with the help of an independent facilitator.

How long do members serve and how often does the Technical Expert Group meet?

Technical Expert Group members will be appointed for a two-year term. During the first year of the project (2007-2008), the Technical Expert Group may be more active and may convene every three months (four times per year), or as often as needed depending on the work plan. During subsequent years (2008 to 2012), the Technical Expert Group will likely convene on an ad hoc basis, approximately twice a year. The Technical Expert Group will continue its work until publication of the last screening assessment summary report and proposed measure in the Canada Gazette, Part I (expected by 2012).

Are members of the Technical Expert Group compensated for their work?

Members will serve on the Technical Expert Group on a voluntary basis and receive no remuneration for their services. Individuals representing non-governmental organizations (any non-profit organization, group or institution not associated with any government and whose objectives are humanitarian or cooperative) will receive per diemcompensation for preparation for and participation in the meetings, and reimbursement for travel- and accommodation-related expenses. Members from academia will be reimbursed for travel- and accommodation-related expenses.

Can I still contribute to the work of the Technical Expert Group after the selection period has ended?

Yes. The New Substances Program welcomes comments from all stakeholders for possible consideration by the Technical Expert Group. Comments can be sent to the address below.

Where can I get more information on the Technical Expert Group?

For any inquiries, or to request a copy of the Terms of Reference for the Technical Expert Group, contact the address below. In addition, beginning in March 2008, annual reports of the Technical Expert Group will be posted on the Web.

Comments on this initiative or requests for information are welcome at any time by mail, e-mail or facsimile. Please contact:

The New Substances Notification Information Line
Environment Canada
Fontaine Building, 8th Floor
Gatineau QC  K1A 0H3
Telephone:
1-800-567-1999 (Toll-free in Canada)
819-953-7156 (Outside of Canada)
Fax: 819-953-7155
E-mail: nsn-infoline@ec.gc.ca

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