Canada – US Environmental Joint Action Plan

Today, Canada and the US entered into a Joint Action Plan under the  United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council that was announced in February.

Action Plan initiatives in the environmental area include the following:

  • Refine and enhance the existing Air Quality Committee (under the United States–Canada Air Quality Agreement) work plan with regard to information sharing, technical work-sharing, scientific
  • Collaboration and testing related to completed emission regulations for light-duty vehicles, which have been bilaterally coordinated.
  • Work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from locomotives, building on the already extensive collaboration and coordination between both governments on locomotive air pollutant regulations.
  • Environment Canada, U S Department of State, and the Environmental Protection Agency to consider an expansion of the United States–Canada Air Quality Agreement to address particulate matter, the air pollutant most commonly associated with premature mortality, based on comparable regulatory regimes in the two countries.
  • Work to better align American and Canadian standards on the containment of dangerous goods.
  • Develop and adopt common monographs (e g , including properties, claims indications, and condition of use) for routine over-the-counter drugs.
  • Enhance collaboration on enforcement and compliance by increasing mutual reliance on each other’s routine surveillance good manufacturing practices (GMP) inspection reports of manufacturing facilities for drugs and personal products, rather than having to conduct unnecessarily duplicative inspections in the other country.
  • Align and synchronize implementation of common classification and labelling requirements for workplace hazardous chemicals within the mandate of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Health Canada.
  • Share information, and develop joint approaches, on regulatory aspects of nanomaterials—including terminology and nomenclature, as well as risk assessment and management.

Other initiatives which may be of direct interest to our environment and business readers include:

  • Develop common approaches to food safety, in light of food safety modernization efforts in both countries, to jointly enhance the safety of the United States–Canada food supply and minimize the need for routine food safety surveillance inspection activities in each other’s country (applies to products within the mandates of both the U S Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency).
  • Enhance equivalence agreements for meat safety systems to streamline, simplify, and, where possible, reduce import and administrative procedures, while maintaining public health outcomes.
  • Establish mutual reliance on jointly acceptable food safety laboratory recognition criteria, test results, and methodologies to ensure food safety laboratory testing conducted in one country is acceptable to regulators in both countries and facilitate cross-utilization of laboratory results by industry and regulators (applies to products within the mandates of both the U S Food and Drug Administration and Canadian Food Inspection Agency).
  • Streamline the certification requirements for meat and poultry including, where possible, the reduction or elimination of redundant certification, data elements, and administrative procedures for shipments flowing between the United States and Canada.
  • Further align crop protection product (e.g., pesticides) approvals and establishment of maximum pesticide residue limits/tolerances in both countries.
  • Further align marketing application submission and review processes for veterinary drugs, including efforts to establish identical maximum drug residue limits/tolerances in both countries.
  • Develop a perimeter approach to plant protection with a view to leverage each country’s efforts to mutual advantage and, where possible, streamline certification requirements for cross-border shipments.
  • Work towards a common approach to zoning of foreign animal diseases.
  • Jointly review and establish a common collaborative regulatory standard setting agenda for all new motor vehicle safety standards (e g , rear camera, electric and alternative energy vehicles, quiet cars).
  • Work together on the development of regulations and standards to fully support the integration of intelligent transportation systems.
  • Align rail safety standards and establish a joint mechanism to conduct periodic review of regulations.
  • Establish a mechanism to share experiences on regulations related to unmanned aircraft systems, with a view to aligning regulatory approaches.

The full agreement is to be found under the heading United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Action Plan at

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