New Canadian Environmental Protection Act Now in Force

April 6, 2000
New rules for reducing the threat of toxic substances to human health and the environment in Canada are now in force, Environment Minister David Anderson announced this week.

The Minister's announcement that the new Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) is now law, was made at a public information session in Hull, Quebec.

"The new Canadian Environmental Protection Act is one of the most advanced environmental laws of its kind in the developed world and will be our most important tool in preventing the release of toxic substances into our air and water," Anderson told participants in the information session.

CEPA is designed to provide strong protection for the environment and for human health through science-based pollution prevention strategies

It incorporates current scientific understanding about the impact of toxic substances and pollutants on the environment and health, and places a new emphasis on public accountability.

The new law, approved by Parliament in September 1999, emphasizes the importance of preventing pollution rather than cleaning it up after the fact.

It explicitly acknowledges that the protection of the environment is essential to the well-being of Canadians and that the primary purpose of this Act is to contribute to sustainable development through pollution prevention.

For example, under CEPA, the Minister of the Environment can request the development and implementation of pollution prevention plans by facilities that manufacture or use substances that are "toxic" under the act.

CEPA 1999 is significantly improved over the former act in five areas: promoting cleaner air and water; managing toxic substances; better tools for public participation; preventing and responding to environmental emergencies; and enforcement.

"The new CEPA provides a strengthened framework for protecting Canadians from pollution caused by toxic substances," said Health Minister Allan Rock. "Canadians will be able to continue to enjoy the highest standards of environmental and health protection."

Anderson also unveiled the new CEPA Environmental Registry at the information session.

This online database includes a wide range of information about the act.

The Registry is available on the Green Lane, Environment Canada's Web site at CEPARegistry.

"Canadians can use the Registry to access up-to-date information on regulations, orders, permits and thousands of other documents related to CEPA," said Anderson. "I believe this new registry will be a powerful new tool in helping to engage more and more Canadians in the day to day work of pollution prevention."

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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