Improving Air Quality - Government of Canada

Essay by aya_diabUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, March 2006

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Work had been under way for a decade or more to improve air quality in Canada. However, as scientific evidence demonstrates that more and quicker action is necessary, the ten-year Clean Air Agenda was developed and launched in May 2000. It focuses on five key areas:

* reducing major industrial emission;

* reducing transboundary emission;

* reducing transportation sector emission;

* advancing the science; and,

* engaging the public.

Additional areas of air-related work not included in the Agenda, such as Acid Rain, are included in this backgrounder. Good progress is occurring. Milestones have been achieved in every area of the Agenda.

In June 2000, the Canada-wide Standards (CWSs) for Particulate Matter (PM) and Ozone were endorsed by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME). These standards set new ambient targets for these two pollutants to be achieved by the year 2010.

In December 2000, Canada signed an Ozone Annex Agreement with the United States, which committed each nation to reduce its emission of ozone-forming substances (nitrogen oxide [NOX] and volatile organic compounds [VOCs]).

In February 2001, the Minister announced an investment of $120.2 million over four years to deliver on the Canadian Ozone Annex commitments. This has allowed Environment Canada to start partial implementation of the Clean Air Agenda. The following outlines the allocation of these resources:

* $48.4 million for regulatory initiatives on new vehicles, engines and fuels that will reduce emission of nitrogen oxides from new vehicles by 90 percent;

* $19.8 million on initial actions, including development of a ten year plan to reduce NOX, in particular from the electricity sector, and VOCs emission from solvents and consumer products; development of a large joint analysis work program with the U.S., and funding for model applications;

* $29.1 million to...