The federal government considered a report submitted by the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development with 87 recommendations for amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) related to chemicals management in Canada. The formal government response suggested that many of the recommendations can be effected within the context of the current policies and administration under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), while others may require further consideration before any amendments to the Act can be proposed to Parliament. In the meantime, the industry continues to liaise with federal officials to comply with the requirements of the CMP under the current Act and works to ensure it retains its status as the best chemicals management program in the world for the protection of human health and the environment.
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The ongoing review of CEPA could be problematic for industry. While the federal government has said it will not engage in legislative amendments of CEPA as it relates to chemicals management in this mandate, the department of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is actively looking at ways to effect changes via policy and program approaches. This is being done to address the concerns raised by the environmental NGO community throughout the Parliamentary Committee hearings, which produced 87 recommendations for changes to CEPA. The existing government is viewed as an activist government on the environment and is closely aligned with environmental groups, that is, a coalition of bout 30 environmental NGOs in Canada. ECCC is moving forward in this vein with policy approaches on raising the bar in chemicals management assessment on issues like informed substitution, vulnerable populations, confidential business information, precautionary principle and others. Industry must ensure that such policies do not vastly alter the way current chemical assessments are conducted under the Act. For the most part these assessments have been done to date based on science and the weight of evidence. We do not want it to change to a political and/or activist considerations when assessing chemicals used in literally thousands of paint and coatings products every day.
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The table below outlines all activities conducted by CPCA related to the issues within the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP). Anything that is marked as "Member Action Required" within the table will display in your dashboard if you are subscribing and following this issue. Look for important compliance dates and deadlines within the Compliance Calendar.