Citizens Guide to Environmental Investigation and Private Prosecution

Appendix D  –  Pollution Standards

The Prohibition of Certain Substances Regulations, made under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, prohibit the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, and import of certain toxic substances. Schedule 1 lists toxic substances that are subject to total prohibition with the exception of incidental presence. Schedule 2 lists toxic substances that are subject to prohibitions at certain concentrations or for certain uses. An analysis of the proposed 2012 regulations can be found on pages 2450-2489 of the Canada Gazette dated July 23, 2011. Schedules 1 and 2 appear on pages 2484-2487.

Ontario compiled a list of banned hazardous substances in 1994. The list, found in Appendix B of Water Management, Policies, Guidelines: Provincial Water Quality Objectives of the Ministry of the Environment, remains on the Ministry of Environment web site.

Ontario maintains a list of Class 8 pesticides — pesticides that are banned for sale or use in the province. This list was updated in March 2012.

Ontario and Canada publish benchmarks for water quality, sediment quality, and soil quality. The benchmarks are broken down by type of water (surface or ground) and by water use (residential, agricultural, industrial, etc.). The following tables were updated in May 2013.

Table 1: Water quality benchmarks

Table 2: Sediment quality benchmarks

Table 3: Soil quality benchmarks

Table 4: Units of Measurement

Table 5: Common prefixes

Health Canada published new Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality in 2012. Intended to protect swimmers, boaters, and others who become immersed in water, they establish numerical guidelines for E. Coli, Enterococci, Cyanobacteria, pH, turbidity, and clarity. They also refer to other pathogenic microorganisms, biological hazards, temperature, chemical hazards, colour, oil and grease, and litter.

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