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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2003 to March 2004

Minister's Message

I am pleased to provide Canadians with the Government of Canada's annual report on the administration of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) for the reporting period April 2003 to March 2004. The goals of the Act, which came into force on March 31, 2000, are to contribute to sustainable development through pollution prevention and to protect the environment, human life and human health from the risks associated with pollution. With the close collaboration of my colleague, the Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, Minister of Health, we are committed to fulfi lling our obligations under CEPA 1999.

In 2003-04, we made signifi cant progress towards categorizing the 23 000 existing substances on the Domestic Substances List; categorization of more than 11 000 substances existing in Canadian commerce was completed, and preliminary decisions were released to the public. We continued to protect the Canadian public and environment from the possible risks associated with the introduction of new substances to the Canadian market by conducting more than 800 assessments. We also performed research and conducted monitoring activities to support informed decision-making, numerous examples of which are provided in this report.

The authorities in CEPA 1999 allow the government to select from a wide range of innovative options to manage environmental and human health risks, while providing Canadians with the fl exibility to support healthy economies. In 2003-04, we strengthened our management of toxic substances by proposing, amending or fi nalizing 13 regulations, 5 pollution prevention plans, 1 environmental performance agreement, 1 Canada-wide standard, 2 codes of practice and 2 water quality guidelines. A proposal to place the fi rst substance on the Virtual Elimination List was published. Accomplishments in managing other sources of pollution, such as hazardous waste and waste disposed of at sea, are also included in this report.

In keeping with CEPA 1999's national goal of pollution prevention, hundreds of projects with other governments, industry and universities were undertaken to address the release of pollution into our environment. We highlight several of the results derived from these initiatives in this year's report.

The report contains achievements under international agreements, such as the Ozone Annex to the Canada - United States Air Quality Agreement. Under this annex, action on cleaner fuels, cleaner emissions from vehicles as well as new source emissions arising from the use of small spark-ignition engines (such as lawn mowers), light-duty industrial machines (such as pressure washers) and light-duty logging machines (such as chainsaws) is now leading to cleaner air for Canadians.

For further information on actions being taken under CEPA 1999 and to find ways to become part of the solution, I encourage all Canadians to consult the CEPA Environmental Registry on Environment Canada's website.

Stéphane Dion signature
The Honourable Stéphane Dion, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment

Minister's Message