Meeting yesterday in Whitehorse to discuss issues such as climate change, federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers recognized the work done to date in developing the Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME).
The strategy sets out a framework to manage discharges from more than 3,500 wastewater facilities in Canada, many currently in need of repair and upgrading. It provides an agreed-upon path forward for achieving regulatory clarity for owners of municipal wastewater facilities. Performance standards will increase protection for human health and the environment on a national basis. Bilateral agreements between the federal government and provinces and territories will ensure one-window regulatory delivery of the strategy.
A number of jurisdictions have endorsed the Strategy and are ready to begin implementation.
Ministers also received an update on water-related CCME initiatives, which have been an ongoing focus for the Council. Progress was provided on the Council’s water-related priorities, which include water monitoring and climate change, water valuation and groundwater, as well as longstanding activities related to water quality. As a follow-up to the 2008 Council of the Federation meeting, CCME has recently initiated a study on water conservation and scarcity in the context of Canada’s changing climate. Ministers agreed to develop a strategic national vision that captures existing water priorities.