January 28, 2000

Canada, U.S. to start clean air talks in February

Negotiations between the Canadian and U.S. governments concerning the reduction of transboundary smog will begin February 16 in Ottawa, federal Environment Minister David Anderson and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner announced last week.

The negotiations will specifically address transboundary flows of ground-level ozone, the major component of smog. Approximately 50% of Ontario's ground-level ozone and up to 90% of that found in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia has been determined to originate in the U.S. Canada's efforts will focus on achieving the new Canada-Wide Standard for Ozone agreed to in principle last November by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.

The two senior environmental officials have also made a commitment to complete the Ozone Annex under the 1991Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement this year. It will commit both countries to reducing emissions of other smog precursors, notably nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. The Annex is considered an essential part of a strategy for managing ground-level ozone in Canada and will reduce the movement of smog from one country to the other.

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