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October 22, 2010
For immediate release

Water strategy adopted at meeting of Canada’s environment ministers

Environment, Energy & Forestry

Federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers are moving forward with a three-year national water strategy to better protect human health and the environment says Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister Richard Brown.

“I am very pleased to have a national water strategy adopted,” said Minister Brown. “Access to safe, clean drinking water is a priority for all Canadians and the lack of it affects our health, the environment and the economy. It is an extremely important issue for Prince Edward Island because we rely on groundwater as our sole source of water.”

The strategy was adopted at the recent meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment in Saint John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Prince Edward Island co-chairs the CCME water committee.

“As co-chair of the water committee, I am very pleased with our progress on this issue,” said Mr. Brown. “I identified the need for a national water strategy in 2008 which resulted in the development of a strategy the following year and a three-year work plan in 2010.”

Work on the five strategic goals of the Water Action Plan will begin next January. These goals will help ensure that Canadians have access to clean, safe and sufficient water to meet their needs in ways that maintain the integrity of ecosystems.

The plan includes developing a national framework for sustainable management of groundwater, developing documents on sharing of ground and surface water data, climate change vulnerability assessments for watersheds, national principles for Integrated Water Resource Management and sharing best management practices.

The environment ministers also adopted an air quality management approach to improve air quality in Canada. The proposed new air quality management system will include stronger air quality standards and consistent industrial emissions standards across the country.

Ministers announced the completion of a new national standard for compostable products and packaging. Under this voluntary program, manufacturers will be able to use a special “compostable” logo on their products to indicate they can be composted in participating municipal or industrial facilities. The standard sets out criteria that products and packaging must meet to prove the material is compostable.

CCME is a national, provincial and territorial forum for collective action on environmental issues of national and international concern.

Media Contact: Kim Devine
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