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Part II: Canada's Draft National Action Plan on Unintentionally Produced Persistent Organic Pollutants

7. Use of Substitute or Modified Materials, Products and Processes

As noted above, pollution prevention is a key principle of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. The Canadian concept of pollution prevention embodies the "use of substitute or modified materials, products and processes to prevent the formation and release of chemicals listed in Annex C" (from Article 5 (c) of the Stockholm Convention).

Early actions taken to address releases of dioxins and furans to water from pulp and paper mills through regulations under CEPA, encouraged the industry to switch to an elemental chlorine-free bleaching technology, thus minimizing the formation of dioxins and furans and preventing their release into the environment. These actions further required industry to substitute products that contained precursor compounds. See section 5.1 for information on "Early Actions for Pulp Mill Wastewater".

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Canada-wide Standards for Dioxins and Furans called for the development of Pollution Prevention Strategies. Sector strategies were developed in consultation with stakeholders for:

  • Waste incineration;
  • Pulp and paper boilers burning salt-laden wood;
  • Iron sintering plants; and
  • Steel manufacturing electric arc furnaces.

The recommendations advanced for each sector provided options or tools aimed at minimization of air pollutants for jurisdictions to consider and use in whole or in part. See section 5.2 for information on "Canada-wide Standards".

Other examples of the use of substitute products and processes include the efforts on residential wood combustion. Education and wood-stove change-out programs work toward building awareness of techniques for improved combustion of wood, incentives for increased use of best available wood-stove technology, and/or the use of alternative heating sources. See section 5.4.6 for information on "Residential Wood Combustion".

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