Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment


The CCME Canada-wide Environmental Standards Sub-Agreement provides a framework for federal, provincial, and territorial Environment Ministers to work together to address key environmental protection and health risk reduction issues. The sub-agreement sets out principles for governments to jointly agree on priorities, to develop targets, and to prepare complementary workplans based on the unique responsibilities and legislation of each government. Each Canada-wide Standard (CWS) also sets out a schedule for reporting on progress.

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), commonly known as dioxins and furans, are toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative, and result predominantly from human activity. Development of CWSs for dioxins and furans is focused on atmospheric releases. CWSs have been developed for waste incineration, burning salt laden wood in coastal pulp and paper boilers, iron sintering, electric arc furnace steel manufacturing, and conical municipal waste combustion.

The Jurisdictional Interim Progress in Achieving Dioxins and Furans Canada-wide Standards presents jurisdictions' interim progress in achieving the targets for the first four of the five sectors for which dioxins and furans CWSs have been developed. The fifth CWS, addressing emissions from Conical Waste Combustion, requires an interim progress report in Spring 2005. In 2008, jurisdictions will report on achievement of the standards.

Jurisdictions report that action is being taken to meet or surpass the dioxins and furans emissions targets and timeframes contained in the CWSs. In some cases, the longer-term 2010 targets are already being surpassed, in others more effort will be required in order to meet those targets. Jurisdictional data collection and analysis issues have been identified and targeted for action.

A 2003 review of three of the CWSs by multistakeholder advisory groups concluded that no changes in the standards were necessary at that time, recognizing that the required 2006 review of all dioxins and furans CWSs will be timely. Implementation approaches vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, including, for example, incorporation of the CWSs into guidelines, regulations, and facility designs and approvals.

For the full text of the Jurisdictional Interim Progress in Achieving Dioxins and Furans Canada-wide Standards, see under “What’s New.”