July 3, 2006

Committees will advise Ont govt on managing transboundary air pollution

Two new committees have been created to give critical advice to the Ontario government on how to manage transboundary air pollution in Ontario, eastern Canada and the Northeast United States. The Executive Committee on Transboundary Air Pollution, headed by Dr Ted Boadway, and the Advisory Committee on Transboundary Science, chaired by Dr David Balsillie, "represent some of the best scientific, environmental and business minds in North America," said Environment Minister Laurel Broten.

The Executive Committee on Transboundary Air Pollution consists of prominent Canadian and American business, legal, scientific and environmental leaders. Their mandate is to advise the Environment Minister on regional transboundary air issues.

"I am honoured to chair a committee that puts the health of Ontarians and our shared environment first," said Dr Boadway, former executive director of health policy for the Ontario Medical Association. "Transboundary air pollution respects no borders and must be addressed now for our children and for future generations," he added.

The Canadian and U.S. experts who make up the Advisory Committee on Transboundary Science will provide scientific and technical advice to the Ministry of Environment. This group will draw up a list of priorities to help achieve the greatest health and environmental gains for Ontarians and the Northeast, and will help set realistic, achievable targets for emission reductions, together with innovative strategies to meet those targets.

"I am proud to work with such distinguished scientists to develop solutions to an important problem that affects us all," advisory committee chair Dr Balsillie, who will also serve as a member of the executive committee. "We look forward to working with the Ministry of Environment to produce the scientific basis for the policies and programs that will improve the air quality in our shared airshed," he noted.

Executive Committee on Transboundary Air Pollution

Dr Ted Boadway (Chair): After 13 years as a family physician, Dr Boadway served as the OMA's executive director of health policy and was responsible for the influential OMA policy statement on "Health Effects of Ground-Level Ozone, Acid Aerosols and Particulate Matter." More recently, he oversaw the development of "Illness Costs of Air Pollution," an interactive computer software program.

David Balsillie: Currently an adjunct professor in the University of Toronto's forestry faculty, Dr Balsillie is a former assistant deputy minister in Ontario's ministries of Environment and of Natural Resources. Consequently, he brings a wealth of public sector experience to this committee (as well as to the Advisory Committee on Transboundary Science, of which he is chair), including extensive work on the long-range transport of air pollution and acid precipitation files.

Marc Garneau: Best known as the first Canadian astronaut to fly in space Dr Garneau served as president of the Canadian Space Agency where he focused on building stronger links between the Agency and its stakeholders, namely, the scientific community, government and industry.

Scott Hand: As CEO of Inco since April 2001, Hand has been instrumental in shaping progressive environmental standards at Inco, including reducing sulfur dioxide emissions by 175 kilotonnes at the company's Sudbury operations as part of the Countdown Acid Rain Program.

David Hawkins: A recognized expert on advanced coal technologies and carbon dioxide capture and storage, Hawkins is director of the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Center focuses on advancing policies and programs to reduce the pollutant emissions responsible for global warming, and is working with the U.S. Congress to design a legislative mechanism to slow, stop and reduce these emissions.

Arthur Marin: Marin is the Executive Director of the Northeast States for Co-ordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), a nonprofit association of air quality agencies in the northeastern U.S. NESCAUM works to create effective responses to critical clean air issues that harmonize environmental, public health, economic and other societal goals through cutting-edge scientific research, policy analysis, outreach, and demonstration projects.

Ken Ogilvie: As executive director of Pollution Probe, one of Canada's most respected environmental groups, Ogilvie draws on extensive experience from his previous positions with the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Manitoba Department of Environment and Environment Canada, as well as his post as executive co-ordinator of the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy.

John Stanton: A New Jersey-based lawyer, Stanton also serves as vice-president of energy and climate programs for the National Environmental Trust in Washington, DC, a non-profit organization working to inform citizens about environmental problems and how they affect health and quality of life.

Advisory Committee on Transboundary Science

David Balsillie: A member of the Executive Committee, Dr Balsillie heads this committee (see note above).

David Besner: President of D Besner and Associates, an environmental management firm, Dr Besner is a former assistant deputy minister of New Brunswick's Department of Environment and Local Government and a former member of the International Joint Commission's Air Quality Advisory Board. He also serves on the New Brunswick Premier's Round Table on Environment and Economy.

Jeremy Hales: Dr Hales is the principal of Envair, an unincorporated association specializing in contract research and consulting services in the environmental and earth sciences. Based in the state of Washington, his company provides technical consulting in air quality and atmospheric sciences, including large, combined monitoring, modeling, and data analysis programs, and pollutant-removal processes for U.S. government and private-sector clients.

Geoffrey Westcott Harris: A chemistry professor at York University, Dr Harris is also director of the university's Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry. His areas of expertise include tropospheric ozone and the chemistry of the background atmosphere in connection with climate change processes.

Brian Magee: Dr. Magee is vice-president and principal toxicologist at AMEC Earth & Environmental's Westford, Massachusetts office. A former toxicological chemist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he has written and evaluated environmental laws and regulations and has provided expert testimony about the risks posed by numerous toxic substances, including emissions from coal-fired power plants.

David Pengelly: Currently holding teaching positions at McMaster University and the University of Toronto, Dr Pengelly has worked in the field of air pollution research for over 40 years as an engineer and physiologist, most recently using the tools of epidemiology. He has also headed or served on committees set up by both non-governmental organizations and government agencies to address issues of environment and health, including the Advisory Committee on Environmental Standards in Ontario.

Lesbia Smith: Dr. Smith is also affiliated with U of T and McMaster in capacities relating to public and occupational health and the environment. She has extensive Ontario government experience, in particular with the Ministry of Health where she was an acknowledged leader in quantifying the relationship between human health and the environment.

Douw Steyn: Dr Steyn is Associate Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of British Columbia's Department of Earth and Ocean Science and Geography. He has an extensive background in the use of integrated atmospheric pollution transportation and transformation models as tools for the development of pollution abatement policy.

Peter Victor: Former Dean of York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies and a former assistant deputy minister in the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Dr Victor was the first economist to apply the physical law of the conservation of matter to the empirical analysis of a national economy. He was one of the founders of the emerging discipline of ecological economics.

James Young: Currently president of Jim Young Atmospheric Services, Dr Young is also still affiliated with the environmental firm Senes Consultants. He previously worked with Environment Canada's Atmospheric Environment Service, headed the air quality section of New Brunswick's Department of Environment, and served as the Canadian co-chair of the International Joint Commission's Air Quality Advisory Board. Dr Young's experience with climate change issues, meteorology, acid rain and pollution abatement spans all scales, local to global.

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