Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment
The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) is an inter-governmental organization in Canada with members from the federal government, ten provincial governments and three territorial governments. Membership is at the Ministerial level and meetings typically occur at least annually to discuss national environmental priorities and determine work to be implemented through the CCME organization.
The purpose of the Council is to "achieve positive environmental results, focusing on issues that are national in scope and that require collective attention by a number of governments."
Most work of the CCME involves interjurisdictional issues (e.g. air pollution, waste management, toxic chemicals). Members may propose nationally consistent environmental standards and objectives to achieve a common level of environmental quality across the country. The CCME recommendations may be adopted by member jurisdictions but they are not binding as the CCME has no authority to implement or enforce legislation.
CCME Canada-Wide Standards
The CCME develops Canada-wide Standards (CWS) to protect and reduce risk to the environment and human health where issues are most efficiently addressed with a common approach.
Component (sub) organizations
Environmental Planning and Protection Committee
Purpose is to provide on-going advice to the CCME and coordinate specific CCME projects assigned to intergovernmental task groups. Members are senior staff from each jurisdiction (Assistant Deputy Minister level).
Purpose is to work cooperatively to achieve specific goals, and to reach consensus on proposed national policies, programs, standards and guidelines. Membership depends on the purpose and function of the task group.
Water Quality Task Group (1986+)
Purpose is to develop, approve and publish national water quality guidelines; identifies indicators to measure ecosystem health. The Secretariat for this Task Group is the National Guidelines and Standards Office (Environment Canada).
- Canadian Water Quality Guidelines (1987) - includes recommended guidelines for raw water for drinking water supply, recreational water quality and aesthetics, aquatic life (freshwater and marine), agricultural uses (irrigation and livestock watering), and industrial water supplies. Now includes 19 appendices and 41 guidelines
- Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines (1999). Includes factsheets for guidelines (water, sediment, soil and tissue quality) and CCME protocols to develop Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines.
Soil Quality Guidelines Task Group
Purpose is to develop, approve and publish national soil quality guidelines to protect environmental and human health. The Secretariat for this Task Group is the National Guidelines and Standards Office (Environment Canada) Core activities are technical coordination and delivery of new and revised soil quality guidelines; development of Canada-wide Standards for soil contaminants.
- Guidance documents to manage contaminated sites in Canada.
- Guidance documents to develop and use of Canadian soil quality guidelines
- Input to the 1999 CCME publication entitled "Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines".
- Advancement of the Canada-wide Standards for Petroleum Hydrocarbons in soil.