Mercury: about federal actions

The challenge for governments is to ensure that the levels of mercury in the environment do not exceed the concentrations which we would expect from natural processes. As the dangers of mercury and its compounds become more apparent, governments are working with concerned citizens, industries and environmental organizations to examine a range of mercury management tools. In Canada, mercury is managed by federal legislation and guidelines, various programs and research groups, and through participation in international initiatives. Provincial and territorial governments have also established tools for reducing the impact of mercury pollution. Several Canada-wide standards have also been endorsed by Environment Ministers from provinces, territories, and the federal government to ensure that efforts are consistent across the country.

Environment Canada and other federal departments have responded to the need for mercury management by developing many diverse policy and program initiatives. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999) is the primary example of Canadian legislation that has clearly identified the risks of toxics in the environment. The focus of this Act is pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in order to contribute to sustainable development. CEPA, 1999 includes a section devoted entirely to controlling toxic substances.

Use the links below to find out about Canadian mercury legislation and guidelines of interest.

The Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act

The Canada Water Act

The Canada Shipping Act

Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 1999)

Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines

The Fertilizers Act

The Fisheries Act

Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality - Mercury

Hazardous Products Act

The Nuclear Safety and Control Act

The Pest Control Products Act

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act

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