Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
|Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999|
|An Act respecting pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in order to contribute to sustainable development|
|Citation||Canadian Environmental Protection Act|
|Enacted by||Parliament of Canada|
|Date assented to||September 14, 1999|
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999 is "An Act respecting pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in order to contribute to sustainable development."
The goal of the renewed Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 1999) is to contribute to sustainable development through pollution prevention and to protect the environment, human life and health from the risks associated with toxic substances. It covers a diversity of activities that can affect human health and the environment, and acts to address any pollution issues not covered by other federal laws. As such, CEPA 1999 is a "catch all" piece of legislation that ensures potentially toxic substances are not inadvertently exempt from federal oversight as a result of unforeseen legislative loopholes.
CEPA 1999 also recognises the contribution of pollution prevention and the management and control of toxic substances and hazardous waste to reducing threats to Canada's ecosystems and biological diversity.
It acknowledges, for the first time, the need to virtually eliminate the most persistent toxic substances that remain in the environment for extended periods of time before breaking down and bioaccumulative toxic substances that accumulate within living organisms.
Health Canada works in partnership with Environment Canada to assess potentially toxic substances and to develop regulations to control toxic substances.
Section 93 of CEPA provides the authority to the federal government to make regulations to restrict and manage pollution in Canada.
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act was first passed in 1988 in order to provide a systematic approach to assess and manage chemical substances in the environment that were not addressed under existing programs. This iteration of CEPA included an amalgamation of existing laws and provided new powers for health and environmental protection.
CEPA was reviewed in the 1990s and Bill C-32, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, was introduced to the House of Commons on March 12, 1998 by the Minister of the Environment. The Act came into force on March 31, 2000 and replaced the original Canadian Environmental Protection Act from 1988. To distinguish between the original and new versions of CEPA, the new version is referred to as CEPA, 1999.
New and existing substances 
New substances 
All new substances must be evaluated for human health and environmental risks before they can be manufactured or imported into Canada. Responsibility for these evaluations is shared between Environment Canada and Health Canada and is administered by the New Substances Program.
The New substances Program administers the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers) and the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms) of CEPA, 1999.
Existing substances 
Existing substances include all 23,000 substances that were in use in Canada prior to the establishment of the New Substances Notification Program. These substances are all listed on the Domestic Substances List (DSL). CEPA 1999 required systematic screening of these substances, a process that was completed in September 2006 and that led to the development of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP).
Micro-organisms on the DSL 
The 23,000 existing substances on the DSL included 67 microbial strains and 2 complex microbial cultures. These substances were subject to a separate prioritization assessment and will be evaluated using the Framework for Science-Based Risk Assessment of Micro-organisms regulated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. For example, see the review of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains ATCC 31480, 700370 and 700371 that summarizes the outcome of the complete screening assessment, completed in August 2010.
Risk assessment 
Health Canada and Environment Canada share responsibility for conducting risk assessments of new biotechnology products (including micro-organisms) that are not subject to a pre-manufacture toxicity assessment under other federal legislation. Under CEPA 1999, both naturally occurring and genetically modified organisms are evaluated under the NSNR(O) according to the Guidelines for the Notification and Testing of New Substances and the Framework for Science-Based Risk Assessment of Micro-Organisms Regulated under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
Risk assessment decisions are summarized and posted publicly. To date, ten such summaries have been made publicly available:
- Carnobacterium maltaromaticum strain CB1
- Rotavirus strains W179-9 (G1), SC2-9 (G2), 178-9 (G3), BrB-9 (G4), 179-4 (P1)
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain ECMo01
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain ML01
- Trichoderma reesei 1391A
- Pseudomonas putida CR30RNSLL(pADPTel)
- Trichoderma longibrachiatum RM4-100
- Trichoderma reesei P59G
- Trichoderma reesei P210A
- Trichoderma reesei P345A
- "Canadian Environmental Protection Act, Official Website".
- Plain language environmental regulations in Canada – with updates and other info
- http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/LegislativeSummaries/bills_ls.asp?lang=F&ls=C32&Parl=36&Ses=1 Bill C-32
- http://www.ec.gc.ca/subsnouvelles-newsubs/default.asp?lang=En&n=AB189605-1 New Substances Program
- http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/default.asp?lang=En&n=5F213FA8-1 Domestic Substances List