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New Substances Advisory Nov-03

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Consultation on the proposed
New Substances Program Operational Policies Manual

This advisory note outlines the current status of the proposed New Substances Program Operational Policies Manual, briefly explains the manual, and requests comments on the proposed manual.

Current Status

The New Substances Program is responsible for administering the New Substances Notification Regulations (NSNR) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. During 1999 and 2000, the New Substances Program engaged stakeholders in extensive discussions about regulatory opportunities and challenges related to the Program. The Final Report on these consultations included the following recommendation:

"Several policy document/statements should be developed in order to comprehensively describe and explain how the NS Program operates. These include..."

Environment Canada (EC) and Health Canada (HC) responded, as follows:

"Environment Canada and Health Canada will, in 2002, inventory and review as required, the operational policies associated with the NS Program, including the policy documents outlined in the consultation recommendations. Subsequent to this review, the departments will establish an ongoing process for the preparation, review and publication of operational policies and will ensure that they are complete and clearly written..."

The New Substances Program Operational Policies Manual was developed by Environment Canada and Health Canada to follow up on the above recommendation. The manual will provide the staff and stakeholders of the New Substances Program, and the public with general information on how Environment Canada and Health Canada interpret and apply the provisions of Part 5 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, in the context of the New Substances Program. The intent is to increase transparency of the program, and to improve consistency in its operations.

The Manual includes information of a general nature on the program, and more specific information related to processing and assessment of new substances notifications, and risk management for new substances suspected of being toxic.

The final version of the manual will be published on the New Substances website, and additional operational policies will be added as they are developed.

Path Forward

Environment Canada is offering interested parties the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed New Substances Program Operational Policies Manual. Please send submissions and inquiries to the attention of the New Substances Branch, Environment Canada, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3, 819-953-7155 (Facsimile), or by electronic mail to the New Substances Notification Webmaster, no later than January 30, 2004.


David McBain
Director, New Substances Branch
Environment Canada

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