News Release Article from  Environment and Climate Change Canada

Governments of Canada and the United States designate first set of chemicals of mutual concern for Great Lakes

Designation helps to protect the Great Lakes from potentially harmful chemicals

May 31, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Environment and Climate Change Canada

Canada and the United States work together under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to identify chemicals that are in the Great Lakes because of human activities and that cause mutual concerns. These chemicals are potentially harmful to human health or the environment.

Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, and United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy, today announced that Canada and the United States have identified eight substances as chemicals of mutual concern under the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. 

Following a comprehensive scientific review process and public consultations, the first batch of chemicals for designation are:

  • hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)
  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
  • perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
  • long-chain perfluorinated carboxylic acids (LC-PFCAs)
  • mercury
  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs)

Once a chemical has been designated, Canada and the United States develop and implement strategies to address the chemical, reporting every three years on its status.

Quotes

“A safe and secure water supply is critical for human health, the environment and the economy. Our joint designation of these chemicals of mutual concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is yet another example of Canada’s commitment to keep our Great Lakes great through collaboration and sound science.”
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Designating these chemicals of mutual concern puts us on the road to reducing them to protect the public health and water quality of the Great Lakes region. Together with Canada and the region’s partners, we’re making the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement work hard for the tens of millions of people who live, work and play around these magnificent water bodies.”
– Gina McCarthy, Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency

Related product

Canada and the United States Designate First Set of Chemicals of Mutual Concern backgrounder

Associated link

Binational.net

Contacts

Caitlin Workman
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-938-9436

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)

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