Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Chemicals Management Plan

A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) was undertaken as part of the development of the second phase of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP).  The purpose of a SEA is to ensure environmental considerations are taken into account during the decision-making process. By evaluating the environmental effects, positive or negative, of a proposed policy, plan, or program and its alternatives, the SEA informs strategic decision-making through analysis of environmental risks and opportunities. 

First launched in 2006, the CMP has made Canada a world leader in assessing and managing the risks associated with chemical substances.  With the renewal of the CMP in 2011, the Government of Canada is continuing to take action to protect Canadians and their environment from harmful chemicals.  The CMP achieves this through the systematic prioritization, assessment and, as appropriate, management of existing and new chemicals supported by monitoring, surveillance, research and program and policy management. This rigorous and predictable chemical management ensures that chemicals are appropriately used and controlled in Canada.  As part of this initiative, Environment Canada and Health Canada have worked closely with environmental and health groups, consumer groups, and industry. 

The Detailed Analysis that was completed as part of the SEA indicated that the CMP will have a positive effect on the environment and human health.  Therefore, the focus of the SEA process was on developing measures to enhance the positive environmental effects. The enhancement measures, as set out in the CMP SEA, are consistent with the objectives of the CMP:

  1. Meeting Canada's international commitments under the World Summit for Sustainable Development.  By 2020, complete the assessment of the 4,300 existing substances that require further assessment as determined by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) categorization process in 2006.
  2. Enhancing the Chemical Substances Web site and other means of communications to inform the public about the sound management of chemicals.
  3. Introducing new processes, technologies and delivery arrangements to continue to optimize the scientific soundness and efficiencies in the program.
  4. Reporting on the enhancement measures identified in the SEA in Departmental Performance Reports and the Federal Sustainable Development Progress Reports.

Health Canada will undertake a 4-year retrofit of the Sir Frederick Banting building to support CMP research.  The retrofit of the Sir Frederick Banting Building will be used to accommodate Health Canada CMP scientists that currently occupy the Environmental Health Centre (EHC).  The EHC building is no longer adequate to meet the requirements of the Department and will be demolished once retrofit of the new research space in the Sir Frederick Banting Building is complete. 

To mitigate environmental impacts associated with the renovation of the Sir Fredrick Banting Building and the demolition of the EHC, a construction waste diversion program to recycle as much material as possible and reduce the burden on landfill sites will be implemented.  As well, prior to the demolition work, all designated substances and hazardous materials, if any, will be removed.

The CMP supports three goals in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.  These are as follows:

  1. Minimizing the threat to air quality so that the air Canadians breathe is clean and supports healthy ecosystems.
  2. Protecting and enhancing the quality of the water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems
  3. Maintaining productive and resilient ecosystems with the capacity to recover and adapt; and protecting areas in ways that leave them unimpaired for present and future generations.

Chemicals management indicators have been developed to support the measurement of related Health Canada and Environment Canada commitments to the SEA

Additional information on the second phase of the CMP can be found on this website.

Additional information on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy can be found on Environment Canada's website.

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