The Canadian regulatory landscape continues to churn. It is important for multinational companies to take note given the fact that more than 50 percent of coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers (CASE) are now imported into Canada. This represents a large spectrum of raw material ingredients and finished products shipped primarily from the United States. This is also critical in terms of the need to be fully compliant with existing and evolving regulations. It is critical to ensure that the plethora of substances being assessed under the federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) has the necessary data to render decisions on substances of concern as toxic or not. In many cases, without the necessary data a substance could inadvertently be declared toxic and subject to a higher degree of risk management than necessary, including concentration limits being lowered, thus negatively impacting product performance or discontinuing certain products altogether.
The federal Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development tabled its report on June 15 with 87 recommendations for amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA, 1999). Industry’s worst fears have been realized, especially in a majority government situation where the majority views of the Standing Committee could gain traction in the government’s official response to be tabled soon. It is not clear if that will be the case, but one thing is certain: the majority members on the Committee, MPs in the same government, along with the environmental lobby of 22 nongovernmental organizations, will push hard to get its recommendations reflected in the government’s response. Industry groups must now do everything possible to ensure Canada does not take a step backwards and “undermine the common approaches historically adopted by Canada and the United States on chemicals management,” as the minority opposition members on the Standing Committee accurately noted. This also takes on more significance, as both countries are about to enter negotiations to tweak NAFTA for greater regulatory alignment between the world’s two largest trading partners.
Our August issue has a big focus on equipment, with several articles and a directory of equipment suppliers. This issue also includes articles on transportation coatings, new binder technology and sustainability.