Atlantic Canada’s environment ministers have committed to regional cooperation on important issues following meetings in Charlottetown on Thursday, January 10, 2008.
The ministers agreed to look at the potential to harmonize legislation relating to solid wastes including e-waste (discarded computers and electronic equipment), paint and used oil and oil filters.
Due to the relatively small size of each province, a joint approach to the management of various waste materials could provide an opportunity for the most cost-effective and efficient approach. Ministers also agreed to look for opportunities to recycle products within Atlantic Canada, as opposed to shipping recyclable material to processors outside the region.
New Brunswick led discussions on the possibility of developing a harmonized approach to the management and remediation of brownfields (sites where soil has been contaminated with petroleum). At the moment, Prince Edward Island is the only Atlantic Canadian province with regulations regarding petroleum-damaged sites; however, other Atlantic provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador have policies in place that address contaminated sites.
The ministers also worked towards common ground on the issues of renewable energy, climate change, pesticide use and regulation, environmental enforcement and wastewater management. In particular, they agreed to work collaboratively to raise the profile of two key issues adaptation to climate change and sea level increases.
Atlantic Canada’s Environment Ministers will be meeting again within the next few months, with New Brunswick expected to host an upcoming workshop on climate change adaptation.
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