Canada and U.S. move forward to reducing air pollutants



    WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable John Baird,
Canada's Minister of the Environment, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, announced today that Canada and the
U.S. will start negotiations for an annex to the U.S.-Canada Air Quality
Agreement aimed at reducing the cross-border flow of air pollution and its
impact on the health and ecosystems of Canadians and Americans.
    Minister Baird and Administrator Johnson met to discuss common
cross-border and global environment priorities. The officials noted that both
Canada and the U.S. recognize that cooperative action can reduce the
transboundary flow of particulate matter originating on either side of the
border.
    "Canada's New Government is committed to improving the quality of the air
we breathe," said Minister Baird. "This work announced today will complement
the concrete actions this government is taking at home to reduce greenhouse
gases and the pollutants that cause climate change and smog."
    "Pollution, especially air pollution, knows no geographic or political
borders," said Administrator Johnson. "Our nations are committed to becoming
better environmental neighbors, and the negotiation of this annex will
strengthen the successful US-Canadian collaboration helping clean the air for
North American residents for generations."
    The U.S.-Canada Air Quality Agreement, negotiated in 1991, marked a new
era of cooperation aimed at helping to guarantee cleaner air and a healthier
environment for millions of Americans and Canadians. The Particulate Matter
Annex would complement the annex negotiated in 2000 addressing ground-level
ozone, as well as the original annexes on acid rain and scientific
cooperation.
    Particulate matter consists of airborne particles in solid or liquid
form. The pollutant can be emitted directly at the emissions source, for
example, from a smokestack of an electrical power plant or as the result of
reactions between chemicals (precursors) as they are transported through the
atmosphere. Numerous studies have linked particulate matter, especially fine
particulate matter, to cardiac and respiratory diseases such as asthma,
bronchitis and emphysema and to various forms of heart disease.
    Recent scientific analysis has shown that joint strategies are needed to
address these pollutants. This research, conducted over the last three years,
has shown that emissions of particulate matter and its precursors can
significantly affect air quality in both countries. The annex will result in
reductions in particulate matter as well as many of the chemicals that
contribute to other air quality issues of concern such as acid rain, regional
haze and visibility in the communities along the U.S.-Canada border.

    Information on the joint technical and scientific analyses on particulate
    matter can be found at:

    http://www.msc-smc.ec.gc.ca/saib/smog/transboundary/index_e.html
    http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/resource/usaqa-resource.html

    (Egalement offert en français)




For further information:

For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441; Environment Canada Media
Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008; Jennifer Wood, Communications,
Environmental Protection Agency, (202) 564-4355, Wood.Jennifer@epa.gov

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Environment Canada

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U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)

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