Transboundary movement of hazardous waste benefits the Canadian environment and economy
The regulated import and export of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials will protect Canada’s environment, and is essential for sustaining sectors of the waste management industry, according to Canada’s environment industry body.
According to a new policy statement by the Canadian Environment Industry Association (CEIA), any restriction on the movement of hazardous materials may even increase the instance of persistent organic pollutants in arctic regions, where they tend to accumulate.
The new policy statement was developed in response to recent increases in the volume of hazardous waste moving across the US-Canadian border, resulting from rising concern for better waste management practices (see related story). Canadian companies involved in hazardous waste management or recycling have the expertise and facilities required for such materials, and provide an essential domestic service, as well as deriving 50% of their business from imports, says the CEIA.
Many wastes are a commodity for trade, and recycling, treatment, and disposal of hazardous materials are necessary services which should not be thwarted by border restrictions, according to the CEIA.
The key points of the policy statement are:
- CEIA supports waste treatment at licensed facilities, recognising that the most effective treatment often involves transboundary waste transport;
- CEIA maintains that generators of hazardous waste have the responsibility to ensure materials are managed in an environmentally sound manner at least equivalent to the regulations of the waste’s country of origin;
- CEIA is willing to work with both provincial and federal government agencies to implement the Basel recommendations (see related story);
The CEIA is keen to point out that the policy statement does not apply to the movement of high-level nuclear waste.