10 May 2022
In materials we submitted to the Committee, the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) has focused on the emission of cancer-causing agents to illustrate that Bill S-5 will not help solve the problem unless the Bill improves the approach of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) to pollution prevention. [...] The Problem Pollution Data Reveals CELA analyzed 13 years of national pollution data and found that while federal requirements are 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. [...] It is not a solution to the problem for the 150 chemicals the federal government has designated as “toxic” and placed in Schedule 1 of CEPA, let alone the forty-three cancer-causing agents in that Schedule. [...] Letter from CELA - 3 Why CEPA Contributes to the Problem and Bill S-5 Does Not Help There are three things wrong with the existing statute that Bill S-5 does not correct on the issue of pollution prevention: 1 - pollution prevention is discretionary not mandatory for toxic substances listed in Schedule 1 (this situation has resulted in only one-sixth of all substances in the Schedule in the last 2. [...] How Should Bill S-5 Amend CEPA? CELA proposals to amend the Act, as set out in our March 2022 document provided to the Committee, 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 w.