The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) commits Canada and the United States to prepare and issue binational strategies for Chemicals of Mutual Concern (CMCs), which may include research, monitoring, surveillance, and pollution prevention and control provisions.

A Draft of Canada’s Great Lakes Strategy for Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), and Long-Chain Perfluorocarboxylic Acids (LC-PFCAs) Risk Management is now available for public review. The draft strategy identifies opportunities for additional Canadian actions to address data gaps and better achieve key commitment under the GLWQA by minimizing the release of PFOS, PFOA, and LC-PFCAs to the Great Lakes basin. Actions can be considered by a variety of stakeholders, including industry, academia, and non-government organizations.

The period for interested agencies, organizations, and individuals to provide comments on the draft Strategy is from April 26, 2021 to May 26, 2021.

Use the Contact Us page to direct your submissions and questions by May 26, 2021.

More information on the Chemicals of Mutual Concern can be found here.

In related news, Michael Murray and John Jackson, co-chairs of the Toxics-Free Great Lakes Binational Network recently published two guest blogs for Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), discussing the impacts of toxic substances on water quality in the Great Lakes.

In the first, they discuss how Canada and the United States have failed to properly address harmful PFAS in the lakes under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Without a strong binational plan to deal with these “forever chemicals,” an integral component for addressing toxic substances under GLWQA will be missing.

In their second post, Murray and Jackson highlight how the principles of “zero discharge” and “virtual elimination” could be better implemented in the water quality agreement to address the threats of toxic substances in the Great Lakes Basin. The recent release of Bill C-28: Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act includes alarming amendments to remove virtual elimination in CEPA.

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