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Backgrounder

Proposed Regulation of Mercury-Containing Products in Canada

On February 26th, 2011 the Government of Canada published a proposed regulation under Part 5 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999) outlining proposed prohibitions on the import, manufacture, sale and offer for sale of mercury-containing products. The proposed regulation is published in the Canada Gazette, Part I for a 75-day comment period.

Comments are invited on the proposed regulation and Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement between February 26th and May 12th, 2011.

Next Steps

All comments received will be considered in the development of the final regulation.

Environment Canada will summarize the comments received and will publish a 'Response to Comments' document based on comments received from stakeholders and in collaboration with Health Canada and other interdepartmental colleagues. It will be published on the CEPA Registry on Environment Canada’s web site, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/default.asp?lang=En&n=D44ED61E-1.

The final regulation and Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, in 2012.

Background Work

This proposed regulation was developed following a series of public consultations.

In December 2006, Environment Canada published and invited comments on a Risk Management Strategy for Mercury-containing Products, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/default.asp?lang=En&n=C54B4FE5-1&offset=1. The Strategy set a risk management objective of reducing mercury releases to the environment from consumer products to the lowest possible level. It also discussed a range of options for managing new and end-of-life mercury-containing products, including a regulation under section 93 of CEPA 1999, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/default.asp?lang=En&n=24374285-1&offset=6&toc=show.

In December 2007, Environment Canada followed up with a document entitled Proposed Risk Management Instruments for Mercury-Containing Products, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/default.asp?lang=En&n=86E14658-1. The proposed instruments included regulations to control the use of mercury in products and a pollution prevention planning notice for dental amalgam. This document also includes Environment Canada's response to comments, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/default.asp?lang=En&n=86E14658-1, received on the 2006 Risk Management Strategy for Mercury-containing Products.

In February 2008, Environment Canada hosted multi-stakeholder consultation sessions in Toronto and Vancouver, to further discuss specific aspects of the strategy and proposed instruments. A meeting report from those sessions as well as a summary of comments and Environment Canada's responses are available, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/default.asp?lang=En&n=CF95DFD3-1.

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