May 2013 Bulletin

New database tracks hazardous substances in Toronto’s air

The new ChemTRAC database contains important information on 25 of the most health-threatening substances found in Toronto’s air. It was compiled from information submitted under Toronto's ground-breaking Community Right-to-Know by-law.

ChemTRAC provides the public with information on local toxic substances. It will help communities work towards preventing pollution and reducing toxics in their neighbourhoods.

Other resources, including a community toolkit, have been developed to help the public learn about the carcinogens in their communities. ChemTRAC was developed by the Environmental and Occupational Working Group of the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition of which CELA is a member.

 Environmental groups intervene before Supreme Court

On May 17, the Supreme Court of Canada considered how broadly environmental laws may be interpreted to protect the public and reserved its judgement. The case raising this issue involves a company acquitted in 2010, but convicted on appeal in 2011, for failing to report to the Ontario environment ministry under the province’s Environmental Protection Act (“EPA”). CELA and Lake Ontario Waterkeeper intervened on the company's appeal.

CELA collaborates with First Nations to protect drinking water

CELA and Pays Plat First Nation in Ontario will soon begin work on a community-implemented source protection project. The project will identify, assess and mitigate threats to Pays Plat’s source water. CELA is also set to work on a First Nations Source Protection Toolkit that can be used by communities that want to implement source protection projects. The toolkit will be a scaleable instrument, providing guidance on how projects can be tailored to the goals and implementation capacities of different communities. Funding for these projects was provided by the Law Foundation of Ontario.

CELA’s submission to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

CELA made a 74-page submission to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regarding emergency planning at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station during a hearing about renewing and merging the Pickering A and B operating licences. CELA's submission pointed out the hazards and inadequate quality of Pickering's current emergency plans. The 30 recommendations included in the submission would reduce these dangers and protect the lives of Ontario residents in the event of a nuclear incident.

CELA's new blog

We're proud to announce a new CELA blog! Please read the first blog post by CELA's Rizwan Khan about Ontario's greenhouse gas reduction plan as it pertains to road transportation.