May 1, 2006

Quebec seeks comment on draft emissions reporting rule

The Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks is accepting until May 15, 2006 comments on proposed regulations on mandatory reporting of atmospheric emissions of contaminants. The regulations establish thresholds at which companies will be required to declare their releases of the specified contaminants to the Ministry. The content of the information to be provided is set out as well.

The regulation targets emissions of toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHG), as well as smog and acid rain precursor substances. Threshold reporting levels for polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), for example, will be set at 50 kg per year and total reduced sulfur (TRS) at 10 tonnes per year, while reporting thresholds for GHG, acid rain and smog precursors and other toxics such as mercury, lead, PCB and dioxins and furans will be harmonized with section 46 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

The draft regulation may be viewed on the Quebec Environment Minstry Web site, www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/.

Comments should be directed to Michel Goulet, director of the atmospheric quality service, air policy directorate, Ministry of Sustainable Development Environment and Parks, Marie-Guyart building, 6th Floor, 675, René-Lévesque Boulevard East, PO Box 30, Quebec City G1R 5V7.

More information is available from Vicky Leblond at the Ministry, 418/521-3813, ext 4386, FAX 418/646-0001, E-mail vicky.leblond@mddep.gouv.qc.ca.

In other legislative activities, Quebec's Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Claude Béchard announced the coming into force of the province's Sustainable Development Act, the centrepiece of Quebec's sustainable development plan. The legislation, he said, establishes new rules for governance throughout the provincial administration, assuring the consultation, coherence and harmonization of government initiatives needed to ensure that environmental, economic and social factors are taken into account in decision-making. The new act, added Béchard, will enable the government to provide leadership by example, fulfil more efficiently its role as steward of the province's resources and ensure the success of Quebec's sustainable development plan.

The legislation establishes a new level of responsibility across all government departments and agencies, setting out 16 principles for sustainable development to guide government activities. Within one year of the act's passage, the government is required to adopt a formal sustainable development strategy which will become the backbone of Quebec's sustainable development plan. This will include establishing sustainable development indicators by which progress will be measured. Each department and agency as well will be required to prepare sustainable development action plans and report annually on progress in implementing those plans.

The act also creates the post of Commissioner of Sustainable Development for Quebec, reporting to the provincial Auditor General. The new Commissioner will be responsible for monitoring the government's performance in this area and reporting to the National Assembly

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