Section 6: Hazardous Polluting Substances (Annex 10)
Up-to-date lists of hazardous pollutants, now readily available by electronic means, can fill the need to provide a continually updated inventory as called for under Annex 10 of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Annex 10 was first included in the revised Agreement of 1978 to
provide information regarding hazardous polluting substances. The annex has
two appendices, a list of known hazardous polluting substances and a list
of potential hazardous pollutants. The annex requires that the two lists
be maintained and continually revised in light of growing scientific knowledge.
When the Agreement was updated in 1987, a short paragraph was added
to Annex 10 directing that the practices and procedures consistent with
the general principals of the Agreement be applied to those substances
categorized as marine pollutants by the International Maritime Organization.
The purpose of Annex 10 was explained in the Commission's 1992 Sixth Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality. At that time the Commission recognized that information called for from the United States was available to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and to the state environmental agencies, but that the Canadian information was not readily available to the two Canadian departments holding responsibilities under the Environmental Contaminants Act. This problem occurred because data held by Statistics Canada and Revenue Canada were, by Canadian law, confidential and inaccessible to any other federal departments. The Commission recommended that the governments initiate the development of a continually updated inventory to identify chemical compounds used, manufactured, processed or imported in the Great Lakes basin. Additionally, the Commission expressed concern about the availability of information to Canadian regulatory agencies and recommended that the situation be corrected.
Since that time, problems with access to critical data about hazardous polluting substances that were needed to protect the public health and welfare have been corrected. In 1988, the First Report of Canada under the 1987 Protocol to the Agreement noted that the original intent of Annex 10 had been met by Canada through the promulgation of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, Canadian Environmental Protection Act and legislation in Ontario. The government of Canada reported that the lists in Annex 10 were being superseded by new mechanisms and determined that a review of Annex 10 was necessary.
While the need for a continually updated inventory of all hazardous or potentially hazardous substances used, manufactured, processed or imported in the Great Lakes basin still exists, the Commission finds that new technology providing continually updated hazardous material lists by electronic means over the Internet has eliminated the need to publish printed lists as required by the Agreement.