June 27, 2005

Marine pollution law takes effect June 28

ST JOHN'S, NFLD-Bill C 15, giving Canada greater authority to protect its marine environments from polluters, will come into force on June 28, 2005, federal Environment Minister St√ąphane Dion said last week. The legislation received Royal Assent on May 19 (ELW May 30, 2005). It consists of amendments to the Migratory Birds Convention Act (1994) and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999) which together more effectively addresses the enforcement of these Acts in cases of marine pollution. "The legislation provides clarity for enforcement officials, as well as owners and operators of vessels in waters under Canadian jurisdiction, including the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone," said Minister Dion. "This includes almost a quarter million kilometers of coastal waters including both Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as the Arctic." In addition to increasing penalties for violations, all penalties now received under the Migratory Birds Convention Act will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund. Additional support for marine pollution surveillance efforts is provided by the Canadian Space Agency through the Integrated Satellite Tracking of Polluters (ISTOP) program which uses Canada's Radarsat remote sensing satellite.

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