Ottawa, Ontario – Today, as a parliamentary committee begins a detailed clause-by-clause review of the proposed Clean Air Act, Environmental Defence expressed hope that all parties would work together and support a series of amendments submitted by the three opposition parties. 
 “Passing these amendments would help position Canada as a leader on controlling air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “An amended Clean Air Act such as this would be one of the most significant steps forward for the protection of the environment and human health that Canada has seen in many years.”
 
The amendments would establish:
–         a hard-cap for greenhouse gas emissions consistent with Canada’s Kyoto obligations;
–         mandatory vehicle emissions standards based on those in leading jurisdictions; and,
–         mandatory air emission standards, based on global best practices, for toxic air pollutants such as mercury, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter.
 
The House Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development begins its clause-by-clause review of the proposed Clean Air Act today, and has set a deadline of the end of next week to report the bill back to the House of Commons. Environmental Defence is urging the governing Conservatives and the three opposition parties to build on these amendments and to pass an improved bill as soon as possible. 
 
Environmental Defence and the Canadian Environmental Law Association last week released the latest data on toxic air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from large facilities across Canada. The data, analyzed using the PollutionWatch web site (www.PollutionWatch.org), found several categories of pollution are on the rise and require urgent action.
 
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, safe food and thriving ecosystems. Nationwide.
 
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)