Toronto – The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) says Bill S-5, currently before the Senate of Canada, won’t fix the problem of emissions of cancer-causing agents in the environment unless the federal government improves the Bill’s approach to pollution prevention under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).
CELA analyzed 13-years of national pollution data and found that while federal requirements appear to be reducing on-site air emissions of some of the most harmful chemicals to human health and the environment, on-site disposal and land releases of the same chemicals have been dramatically increasing over the same period.
According to CELA, moving a known or suspected carcinogen from one environmental pathway (air) to another (land) does not represent progress in protecting human health and the environment. It merely represents regulatory whack-a-mole – putting a different part of the environment and a different group of people at risk. It is not a solution to the problem for chemicals the federal government has branded as “toxic”.
What is required, according to CELA, is a strategy of prevention and elimination of toxic substances from Canadian commerce, not simply shifting emissions of them from one environmental pathway to another.
CELA proposals to amend CEPA would: (1) make pollution prevention mandatory for all chemicals Canada has designated as toxic under the law; (2) enshrine analysis of safer alternatives to chemicals as a central pillar of CEPA; (3) impose mandatory chemical testing obligations on the private sector where information is not available to determine if a substance is toxic or capable of becoming toxic; (4) retain certain measures Bill S-5 would repeal (such as virtual elimination authority and designation of substances as toxic to protect CEPA’s authority to address such substances under the criminal law power of the Constitution); and (5) provide a clear right to, and effective remedy for, a healthy environment, among other measures.
Contact to arrange an interview:
Fe de Leon, MPH, Researcher and Paralegal, firstname.lastname@example.org / 416-960-2284 ext. 7223 (office)
Canadian Environmental Law Association. Submissions to the Ministers of Environment and Climate Change and Health on Bill C-28, An Act to Amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, etc., February 2022. Link: https://cela.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Submission_CEPA.pdf
CELA. Proposed Amendments Submitted to the Ministers of Environment and Climate Change and Health on Bill S-5, An Act to Amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, etc., March 2022. Link: https://cela.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/CELA-Proposed-Amendments-to-Bill-S-5-CEPA_03Mar22.pdf
To download this media release click the following link: MR_CEPA_Bill_ S-5_national_pollution_data