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February 26, 2015

Government to Review ‘Significant New Activity’ Orders Under The Chemicals Management Plan

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Government to Review ‘Significant New Activity’ Orders Under The Chemicals Management Plan
Environment Canada and Health Canada announced, January 28, 2015, that they intend to conduct a review of Significant New Activity (SNAc) orders and notices currently in place under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999).

The review will:
  • review completed risk assessments for substances subject to a SNAc and other available information to confirm that the rationale for applying the SNAc is consistent with current policies;
  • ensure that SNAcs are in step with current information, policies and approaches;
  • ensure wording is clear and consistent with current approach to drafting of SNAc requirements; and
  • apply all elements of the Policy on the Use of Significant New Activity Provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

"Following the review process, there may be no changes needed for certain SNAcs or, for others, rescissions or amendments may be warranted. As the review will be implemented via a phased approach, information on the results of the review process will be published on an ongoing basis as elements of the review are completed. Elements of the review may be subject to external consultation".

Under current provisions (S. 83 of CEPA 1999), if a proponent engaged in the manufacture, import or use of a substance to which SNAc provisions apply, undertakes a new activity which may result in the substance being released in amounts or conditions that could result in that substance meeting one or more criteria set out in CEPA 1999 section 64 Toxic substances, then the government can require the proponent to provide "adequate additional information" in order to assess potential environmental and human health risks associated with the new activities before they are undertaken.

There have been a few substances reviewed under the Chemicals Management Plan that have been used in some way in water or wastewater treatment facilities. While only of peripheral interest to our members they should be aware of this initiative.


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