In June 2000, the federal, provincial and territorial governments except Quebec signed the Canada-wide Standards for Particulate Matter (PM) and Ozone. These standards commit government to significantly reduce PM and ground-level ozone by 2010. The Canada-wide Standards for PM and Ozone are an important step towards the long-term goal of minimizing the risks of these pollutants to human health and the environment. They represent a balance between achieving the best health and environmental protection possible and the feasibility and costs of reducing the pollutant emissions that contribute to PM and ground-level ozone in ambient air.
Extensive scientific studies indicate that there are significant health and environmental effects associated with these pollutants. Particulate matter and ozone are linked to serious health impacts including chronic bronchitis, asthma, and premature deaths. Other effects of these pollutants include reduced visibility in the case of PM, and crop damage and greater vulnerability to disease in some tree species in the case of ozone.
The CWSs also committed the jurisdictions to develop jurisdictional implementation plans. Jurisdictional plans are the primary vehicle for CWS implementation. Jurisdictional implementation plans will outline more comprehensive actions being taken within each jurisdiction to achieve the Standards for PM and Ozone by the 2010 target date. A different “level of effort” is required in each jurisdiction given that air quality varies significantly from region to region. These implementation plans will be developed in consultations with stakeholders. The concepts of continuous improvement, pollution prevention and keeping-clean-areas-clean are elements of the Standards which will help to guide the implementation plans. As these are made public by the jurisdictions, they will be posted here.
Note: As Québec is not a signatory to the Canada-wide Accord on Environmental Harmonization nor the Canada-wide Standards, Québec is not required to develop an implementation plan.