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Comments on adding microbeads to Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999 – September 30, 2015

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These are the comments by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Ottawa Riverkeeper, North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper, and Fraser Riverkeeper on the Order adding microbeads to Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999.

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Comments on adding microbeads to Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999 – September 30, 2015

  1. 1. SUBMISSION OF LAKE ONTARIO WATERKEEPER OTTAWA RIVERKEEPER NORTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVERKEEPER FRASER RIVERKEEPER RE: Microbeads Science Summary Report and The Proposed Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, published August 1, 2015 in the Canada Gazette​, Part I, Volume 149, No. 31 Submitted to: The Executive Director Program Development and Engagement Division Department of the Environment Via Email: substances@ec.gc.ca Wednesday, September 30, 2015
  2. 2. OVERVIEW Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Ottawa Riverkeeper, and other environmental nonprofit organizations submitted a request to the Minister of the Environment (the “Minister”) in early 2015. In that submission, the organizations recommended that microbeads be regulated under the ​Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 ​(“​CEPA​”)​,​in order to protect Canadian waters. In June 2015, the Minister indicated that Environment Canada was undertaking actions to regulate microbeads. The Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999​, was published August 1, 2015 (“the Order”) in Part I of the Canada Gazette Volume 149, No. 31. This Order is the first step1 in ending microbead pollution in Canadian waters. It proposes the addition of microbeads to the List of Toxic Substances (“the List”) on the basis of the microbeads science summary, which reviews evidence of microbeads’ toxicity. The sixty-day2 period following this publication allows the public to comment on the Order and accompanying science summary. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Ottawa Riverkeeper, Fraser Riverkeeper and North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper (“the Submitters”) support the addition of microbeads to the List as a first step in the regulation and elimination of microbead pollution. Relying on the science summary and additional research, this submission highlights microbeads’ toxicity and offers recommendations for the development of microbeads regulations. Microbeads should be considered toxic under section 64 of the​Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999​. Although a substance need only meet one of the3 legislated criteria set out in section 64, microbeads should be considered toxic under all three. While the addition of microbeads to the List is a positive first step in stopping the release of microbeads into Canadian waterways, bodily cleansers and exfoliants are not the only sources of microbead pollution. As recognized by the science summary, 1 Order Adding A Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 To The ​Canadian Environmental Protection Act, ​1999. Vol. 149, No. 31, published August 1, 2015 [​Order​]. 2 Microbeads- A Science Summary. Environment Canada. Posted: August 1, 2015. at s. 4.1 [​Science Summary​]. 3 ​Canadian Environmental Protection Act, ​1999 (S.C. 1999, c. 33) [​CEPA​] at s. 64. 1
  3. 3. there are many potentially significant sources of microbead pollutants. This issue should be considered in the subsequent consultation and development period. Additionally, alignment with United States’ legislation has been identified as a goal of Canadian regulations. This is of concern given the breadth and diversity of current U.S. legislation and the potential for Canadian legislation to be lowered to the ‘lowest-common denominator’ of selective American regulations. Finally, the effects of microbead pollution on human health must be subject to greater scientific scrutiny. Microbeads have the potential to greatly affect the health of human populations, and this fact must be reflected in the content of the microbeads regulations. Throughout the consultation period, these considerations as well as further consultation with interested and knowledgeable individuals and organizations, including the Submitters, is necessary to ensure effective regulations. FACTS/BACKGROUND The submitters are charities, participating in this process in the public interest Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (“Waterkeeper”) is a grassroots environmental organization. They use research, education, and legal tools to protect and restore the public’s right to swim, drink, and fish so that communities may prosper. In addition to their national initiatives, Waterkeeper is responsible for protecting and celebrating the Lake Ontario watershed, including the wetlands, streams, rivers, and creeks that flow into the lake. The watershed provides essential ecosystem services to millions of people, including 9 million Americans and Canadians who depend on Lake Ontario for drinking water. Ottawa Riverkeeper is a grassroots charity formed in 2001 to protect, promote and improve the health and future of the Ottawa River and its tributaries. Ottawa Riverkeeper works collaboratively to inspire others to take action, to encourage responsible decision making, to hold polluters accountable and to recommend alternative practices and policies to safeguard our local waterways. They are first responders on the river to investigate spills and harmful pollution that may impact aquatic life and public health. 2
  4. 4. North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper is a local water body preservation group based in Edmonton dedicated to being a united voice of the North Saskatchewan River watershed and community. North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper works to restore, preserve and protect the water quality and biodiversity of the watershed through actions that inform, connect and protect the North Saskatchewan River watershed. Fraser Riverkeeper is dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Fraser River and its watershed. Their encompassing mission is to ensure the right of all citizens to safely swim, drink, and fish in BC waters. Fraser Riverkeeper is committed to working with the community to develop long-term strategies to protect native fish populations and the habitat they depend on. The organization’s goal is to speak for the wild species that depend on the Fraser watershed, and empower citizens to defend our natural right to swimmable, drinkable, fishable waters. Its role is to ensure that our rivers, lakes, streams and beaches exist for generations to come as thriving ecosystems for both humans and wildlife. Microbead pollution has been detected throughout Canadian marine and freshwater environments Plastics are a major contributing pollutant to Canadian waters. Microplastics, defined as plastic debris smaller than 5 mm in size, are characterized based on their originating source. Primary microplastics are those that are intentionally created to be4 microscopic, whereas secondary microplastics are created by the breakdown from macroplastics. Microbeads, a form of primary microplastic found in household5 products like cleansers, are one form of microplastic pollution in Canadian marine and freshwater environments. Microbeads from personal care products are likely entering Canadian waters through three routes. First, microbeads are designed to be flushed down the drain after use, and wastewater treatment plants are not equipped to filter out much of the debris.6 Second, microbeads may also exit wastewater systems during combined sewage 4 Driedger AGJ, Durr HH, Mitchell K, Van Cappellen P. 2015. Plastic debris in the Laurentian Great Lakes: A review. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41: 9-19 at 9 & 10. 5 Eerkes-Medrano D, Thompson RC, Aldridge DC. 2015. Microplastics in freshwater systems: A review of the emerging threats, identification of knowledge gaps and prioritisation of research needs. Water Research 75: 63-82 at 65. 6 Eriksen M, Mason S, Wilson S, Box C, Zellers A, Edwards W, Farley H, Amato S . 2013. Microplastic pollution in the surface waters of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Marine Pollution Bulletin 77: 177–182 at 180. 3
  5. 5. overflow events. Finally, microbeads contained in sewage sludge used as fertilizer,7 can be washed out and into waterways.8 Microbeads have been found in aquatic environments across the globe. While there is a great deal known about the presence of microbead pollution in marine environments, less is known about the concentrations of microbeads in freshwater ecosystems. Despite this, there is sufficient evidence indicating a substantial prevalence in all Canadian waters. Microplastics have been observed in both Canadian marine and freshwater ecosystems. Marine microplastics have been detected off the coast of British9 Columbia and Nova Scotia as well as in ice samples from the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Microplastics have been found in the surface waters of Lakes Superior, Huron,10 and Erie, in concentrations of 450 – 450,000 particles/km. Sampling done by Dr.11 Sherri Mason also confirms the presence of microplastics in Lake Ontario and Lake Michigan. Other freshwater regions that have been found to contain microplastics12 include the St. Lawrence River and Lake St. Clair. Those regions that are proximal to13 more densely populated regions tend to have greater concentrations of microplastic pollution. Undoubtedly, microbead pollution exists nationwide.14 Once released into an aquatic environment, these pollutants cannot be extracted. This makes regulating microbeads imperative: the pollution must be stopped at the source. ISSUES The Submitters looked at three issues: 1. Do Microbeads meet the test for toxicity under ​s.64​of the ​Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999​? 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid. 9 ​Science Summary, supra​note 2. 10 ​Ibid​citing Obbard RW, Sadri S, Wong, YQ, Khitun AA, Baker I, Thompson RC. 2014. Global warming releases microplastic legacy frozen in Arctic Sea ice. Earth's Future ​2​(6): 315-320; and citing ​Desforges, JPW, Galbraith M, Dangerfield, N, Ross PS. (2014). Widespread distribution of microplastics in subsurface seawater in the NE Pacific Ocean. Marine pollution bulletin, 79(1), 94-99; and citing Mathalon A, Hill P. (2014). Microplastic fibers in the intertidal ecosystem surrounding Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia. Marine pollution bulletin, 81(1), 69-79. 11 ​Eriksen, supra​note 6 at 178 & 179. 12 ​Driedger, supra ​note 4 at 11. 13 Castañeda RA, Avlijas S, Simard MA, and Ricciardi A. 2014. Microplastic pollution in St. Lawrence River sediments. ​Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences,71(12), 1767-1771 at 1770; ​Zbyszewski M, Corcoran PL, Hockin A. 2014. Comparison of the distribution and degradation of plastic debris along shorelines of the Great Lakes, North America. J Great Lakes Res 40: 288–299. 14 ​Driedger, supra ​note 4 at 12 & 13. 4
  6. 6. 2. Does the Order adequately protect Canadian waters from microbead pollution? 3. Are there other issues in respect of microbeads not covered by the Order? We concluded that: 1. Yes, microbeads do meet the test for toxicity and should be listed under ​CEPA​. 2. While the Order ​improves​protections for Canadian waters, it will not entirely prevent microbead pollution. These conclusions are discussed in greater detail below. DISCUSSION 1. Microbeads meet the test for toxicity under ​s. 64​of the ​Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999​. Microbeads, entering Canadian waterways through “down-the-drain” releases from household products, are a source of microplastic pollution in Canadian waters. Microbeads meet the statutory requirements to be considered a toxic substance under at least one of the criteria set out in ​s. 64​of ​CEPA​: For the purposes of this Part and Part 6, except where the expression “inherently toxic” appears, a substance is toxic if it is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that (a) have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity; (b) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or (c) constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.15 Given the existing body of scientific evidence, there is a sufficient basis on which to proceed in adding microbeads to the List. Microbeads have had demonstrable impacts on both aquatic environments and the organisms found within them. There is also the potential for negative impacts on human health. 1 (a) Microbeads have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment and its biological diversity 15 ​CEPA, supra​note 3 at s.64. 5
  7. 7. Microbeads are not uniform; their physical properties vary with respect to size, colour, density, shape and chemical composition. This variation affects the ways in which16 microbeads interact with aquatic ecosystems. Different densities, for instance, can affect where microbeads settle in the water column. Denser microbeads will settle17 near the bottom of the water column while those less dense particles will remain near the surface. Density, consequently, will affect which organisms are likely to encounter18 them (​e.g.,​those organisms that feed near the surface will encounter those less dense microbeads that float there). Furthermore, mechanical and chemical processes like19 photodegradation will alter microbeads and their properties. Such variation means20 that microbeads are likely to affect all aspects of an aquatic ecosystem. Organisms coming into contact with microbeads in their environment are likely to suffer a variety of consequences. The science summary acknowledges that there is no way to catalogue every possible interaction between microbeads and the organisms that encounter them. The report, however, demonstrates microbeads’ toxic effects by21 outlining a variety of the possible outcomes.22 Microplastics have been shown to be taken up by a variety of organisms across many taxa including plankton, invertebrates, fish, birds and mammals. Once taken up,23 some organisms are able to excrete a majority of the plastic. Some, however, cannot24 excrete these microplastics through fecal matter, and the microplastics remain in organisms’ guts. This can reduce organisms’ ability to feed and obtain the energy25 required for activities such as reproduction.26 Ingestion of microbeads has further ramifications on organisms ranging from physical damage (​e.g.,​tears, abrasions, etc.) to altered physiological responses (​e.g.,​altered inflammatory response, increased stress response). Microplastics have also been27 16 Napper IE, Bakir A, Rowland SJ, Thompson, RC. 2015. Characterisation, quantity and sorptive properties of microplastics extracted from cosmetics. Marine Pollution Bulletin, ​in press http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.07.029​. 17 ​Driedger, supra ​note 4 at 10. 18 ​Driedger, supra ​note 4 at 10. 19 ​Eerkes-Medrano, supra​note 5 at 68. 20 ​Driedger, supra ​note 4 citing Andrady, A.L., 2011. Microplastics in the marine environment. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 62: 1596–1605. 21 ​Science Summary, supra​note 2 at s. 5. 22 ​Ibid. 23 Ivar do Sul JA, Costa MF. 2014. The present and future of microplastic pollution in the marine environment. Environmental Pollution 185: 352-364. 24 ​Eerkes-Medrano, supra​note 5. 25 ​Ibid. 26 ​Ibid. 27 ​Ibid​at 71 citing Gregory, M.R., 2009. Environmental implications of plastic debris in marine settings - entanglement, ingestion, smothering, hangers-on, hitch-hiking and alien invasions. Philos Trans R Soc B 364: 6
  8. 8. shown to transfer between tissues within an organism such as between the digestive and circulatory systems. Microbead consumption can also lead to genotoxicity and28 altered gene expression.29 Another result of microbead ingestion is the possibility for transference of toxic substances by microbeads acting as vectors. Toxins can be adsorbed by microbeads30 and then transferred into organisms’ tissues. These harmful pollutants include31 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, PBDEs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Microbeads may also contain transferable chemicals that were involved in32 their production. Finally, microbeads may provide an accessible substrate for33 different forms of pathogens that are harmful to aquatic organisms and humans.34 Once these toxic substances have transferred from microplastic vectors to aquatic organisms, there is the potential for bioaccumulation within the food web, especially at the higher trophic levels.35 1 (b) Microbeads constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends Microbeads also have harmful effects on the physical elements of aquatic environments. Microbeads can cause changes to the composition of sediments, which in turn can alter a variety of biogeochemical processes. Concentrations of36 microplastics can also affect the manner and quality of light penetration through the 2013-2025; Browne MA, Niven SJ, Galloway TS, Rowland SJ, Thompson RC. 2013. Microplastic moves pollutants and additives to worms, reducing functions linked to health and biodiversity. Current Biology 23(23): 2388-2392 at 2389. 28 Browne MA, Dissanayake A, Galloway TS, Lowe DM, Thompson RC. 2008. Ingested microscopic plastic translocates to the circulatory system of the mussel Mytilus edulis (L.). Environmental Science & Technology 42: 5026–5031. 29 Rochman CM, Kurobe T, Flores I, Teh, SJ. 2014. Early warning signs of endocrine disruption in adult fish from the ingestion of polyethylene with and without sorbed chemical pollutants from the marine environment. Science of the Total Environment 493: 656-661 at 658. 30 ​Napper, supra​note 16; Rochman CM, Hoh E, Kurobe T, Teh SJ. 2013. Ingested plastic transfers hazardous chemicals to fish and induces hepatic stress. Scientific reports: 3; ​Browne 2013, supra ​note 27 at 2390. 31 ​Ibid. 32 ​Eerkes-Medrano, supra​note 5. 33 ​Eerkes-Medrano, supra​note 5 citing Mato Y, Isobe T, Takada H, Kanehiro H, Ohtake C, Kaminuma T. 2001. Plastic resin pellets as a transport medium for toxic chemicals in the marine environment. Environ. Sci. Technol. 35 (2), 318-324; and citing Rochman CM, Hoh E, Kurobe T, Teh SJ. 2013. Ingested plastic transfers hazardous chemicals to fish and induces hepatic stress. Scientific reports: 3. 34 ​Eerkes-Medrano, supra​note 5 at 76 citing Zettler, E.R., Mincer, T.J., Amaral-Zettler, L.A., 2013. Life in the “Plastisphere”: microbial communities on plastic marine debris Environ Sci Technol. 47: 7137-7146. 35 Eerkes-Medrano, supra​note 5. 36 Ibid​at 75 citing Arthur C., Baker J. (Eds.), 2011. Proceedings of the Second Research Workshop on Microplastic Debris. November 5-6, 2010. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS-OR&R-39. 7
  9. 9. water column. Altered light penetration into aquatic environments has many known37 repercussions to both the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem. Furthermore, a variety of abiotic physical and chemical sediment properties such as grain and pore size as well as sediment-binding capacity can be altered by the presence of microplastics.38 1 (c) Microbeads constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health The presence of microplastics in marine and freshwater environments has the potential to affect the health of humans, an issue that requires further study. The main source of evidence for this effect is the possibility for bioaccumulation of toxins within the food web. In some initial testing, Dr. Rios Mendoza at the University of Wisconsin Superior has found the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), carried by plastic pollutants in Lake Erie. These39 toxins are known to cause birth defects and cancer. If people eat fish affected by40 microbead contamination, they may expose themselves to a variety of contaminants. If microbeads, and the contaminants they carry, are present in the fish people are eating, then it is reasonable to conclude that microbeads may constitute a danger to human health. 1(d) Thus, microbeads meet the statutory requirements to be added to the List of Toxic Substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 Given the summarized evidence of microbeads toxicity in the published science summary report, in addition to other recent data, there is a sufficient basis on which to classify this substance as toxic under ​CEPA​. Not only do microbeads meet the criteria under ​s. 64(a)​, as relied on by the Order, but we would argue that there is sufficient data to suggest that ​ss. 64(b) ​and ​(c) ​would also be met. 37 Ibid​. 38 ​Ibid​, citing Simpson, SL, Batley GE, Chariton AA., Stauber JL, King CK, Chapman JC, Hyne RV, Gale SA, Roach AC, Maher, WA. 2005. Handbook for Sediment Quality Assessment. CSIRO, Bangor, NSW. 39 ​Driedger, supra ​note 4 at 15. 40 ​Ibid​. 8
  10. 10. 2. The Order helps to protect Canadian waters from microbead pollution, but additional concerns remain unaddressed by the Order and accompanying microbeads science summary As a result of the scientific evidence reviewed in the microbeads science summary, the Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999​​proposes that microbeads be added to the List of Toxic Substances. This is a positive step in ending microplastic pollution in Canadian waterways. With the addition of microbeads to the List, regulations can be developed, and the continual release of this pollutant be halted. Consultation with knowledgeable and interested organizations, such as the Submitters, in the development process will help ensure that Canadian waters are effectively protected. The science summary and Order, however, leave several concerns unaddressed. Resolving these concerns is key to protecting Canadian waters from microbead pollution. 2 (a) There are other, potentially substantial, sources of microbead pollution beyond personal care products used to cleanse or exfoliate The Order, based on accompanying information contained within the microbeads science summary, is the first step in the process of regulating microbeads in Canada. At this stage, if there are gaps or limitations in the Order or assembled scientific evidence, the result could be the ineffective control of microplastic pollution in Canadian waters. The proposed regulatory text for the amendment of Schedule 1 (the List of Toxic Substances) under ​CEPA​defines microbeads as “[s]ynthetic polymer particles that, at the time of their manufacture, are greater than 0.1 µm and less than or equal to 5 mm in size.” The science summary report on microbeads outlined the various sources of41 microbeads as including a range of consumer products, from cleansers and exfoliants to deodorant, nail polish and insect repellents.42 In the Notice of the intent to develop microbeads regulations, however, the proposed legislation would only encompass “the manufacture, import, sale and offer for sale of 41 ​Order, supra​note 1. 42 ​Science Summary, supra​note 2 at section 2.3. 9
  11. 11. microbead-containing personal care products that are used to exfoliate or cleanse.”43 This specific focus on cleansers and exfoliants would unjustifiably narrow the scope of the legislation when there are a variety of recognized sources of microbeads in the science.44 It is important to recognize the need for continued governmental assessment in respect of the presence and sources of microbeads in Canadian waters. There are still many gaps in the current scientific understanding, and given the recognized toxicity, any recourse to stop the release of microbeads from all sources should be implemented. 2 (b) Proposed “harmonization” with United States microbeads legislation could be problematic for the adequate protection of Canadian aquatic ecosystems Under the Notice of the intent to develop microbeads regulations, it is recognized that regulatory alignment between the United States and Canada is an important factor for consideration. This is problematic for the effective protection of Canadian waters.45 Although alignment is proposed in order to ensure a “level playing field” for companies and enterprises, there is insufficient cohesion amongst the various pieces of state microbeads legislation for harmonization to be achievable at this point. Given the46 discrepancy between states, any attempted alignment would most likely result in Canadian regulations only meeting the “lowest common denominator” in American legislation. Several states that have passed microbeads regulations contain loopholes that allow manufacturers to continue using certain types of plastic microbeads in their products. Illinois’ legislation, for example, defines a synthetic plastic microbead as “any intentionally added non-biodegradable solid plastic particle measured less than 5 millimeters in size and is used to exfoliate or cleanse in a rinse-off product.” The term47 “biodegradable” is not defined, leaving the legislation open to an interpretation that allows for the continued inclusion of​​microbeads in consumer products. Furthermore,48 the Illinois legislation defines “plastic” as a substance that maintains a “defined shape 43 ​Notice of intent to develop microbeads regulations and publication of a science summary report on microbeads​. Canada Gazette Part I: Notices and Proposed Regulations. Vol. 149 (August 1 2015), No. 31 [​Notice of intent​]. 44 Science Summary, supra ​note 2. 45 ​Notice of intent, supra ​note 43. 46 ​Ibid​. 47 Illinois ​Environmental Protection Act​. 415 ILCS 5. Section 52.5 “Microbead-free waters”. 48 ​Ibid​. 10
  12. 12. during life cycle and after disposal”. This narrowed definition of plastic further49 reduces the types of products captured by the legislation. Wisconsin and Indiana have similar loopholes50 Microbeads are demonstrably toxic under ​CEPA​and once released into the aquatic ecosystem, cannot be removed. The Canadian government has recognized this toxicity and as a result intends to regulate microbeads such that their release into Canadian waters is stopped. Alignment with those states’ regulations that contain such51 loopholes is directly contrary to this goal. While we agree that there should be a “level playing field for Canadian and U.S. companies and enterprises” whenever possible, we note that Canada’s approach should emphasize the protection of Canadian waters and fish, first and foremost. If U.S. standards fail to meet the public’s need for a healthy environment, then protection must trump alignment. By entering into the consultation period with a clear mandate to protect fish and waters, the Government of Canada will bring credibility to the process and help to ensure effective standards across all of North America. 2 (c) Further scientific review must consider the effects of microbeads on human health In the ordinary course of using microbead-containing products, there has been no evidence of harm to human health. This does not, however, mean that there is no way52 in which human health could be affected by microbeads. Preliminary studies have shown, as indicated above, that microbeads can carry toxins known to have severe health consequences. It is the potential for bioaccumulation of such toxins and their53 eventual contact with humans that is of concern, and should be considered by further scientific study. This potential harm should not be ignored in the process of developing microbeads regulations. 49 ​Ibid​; Rochman CM, Kross SM, Armstrong JB, Bogan MT, Darling ES, Green SJ, Smyth AR, Verissimo​​D. 2015. Scientific evidence supports a ban on microbeads. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015, 49, 10759−10761. 50 2015 Wisconsin Act 43. Chapter 299, General Environmental Provisions. S. 299.50: Products containing synthetic plastic microbeads; Indiana Code. House Enrolled Act No. 1185. Chapter 24: Prohibition on Products that Contain Microbeads. 51 ​Order, supra ​note 1; ​Notice of intent, supra​note 43. 52 ​Science Summary, supra​note 2. 53 Driedger, supra ​note 4 at 15. 11
  13. 13. 2 (d) The most environmentally protective definition of microbead should be adopted During the course of stakeholder consultations, there is likely to be discussion about a number of issues. If there is debate with respect to the definition of “microbead” under the proposed regulation (​e.g., ​in respect of size, biodegradability versus non-biodegradability, plastic versus semi-plastic) then the most environmentally protective definition must be adopted. CONCLUSION Lake Ontario, the Ottawa River, Fraser River, the North Saskatchewan River and other Canadian waters, are essential building blocks for prosperous communities. They are an irreplaceable resource for millions of people both domestically and internationally. Plastic has long existed as a prominent form of pollution, affecting both marine and freshwater environments. One particularly insidious form of plastic pollution is microplastics, including microbeads, which are released down the drain and into our waters. Once released, they cannot be removed from aquatic ecosystems. Microbeads must therefore be stopped at the source; they cannot continue to be released into Canadian waters. The first step in achieving this objective is to add microbeads to the List of Toxic Substances as Schedule 1 to ​CEPA​. The Order and accompanying science summary reveal the evident toxicity of microbeads and propose their addition to the List. The development of regulations following this addition must, however, be an effective response to the issue of microbead pollution. In particular, throughout the development of regulations, adequate scientific scrutiny of the sources of microbeads and their possible effects on human health must be addressed. Additionally, while harmonization with American regulations could be appropriate, it should not result in lowering standards of Canadian legislation. 12
  14. 14. TABLE OF AUTHORITIES LEGISLATION Canadian Environmental Protection Act, ​1999 (S.C. 1999, c. 33) [​CEPA​] at s. 64. Illinois ​Environmental Protection Act​. 415 ILCS 5. Section 52.5 “Microbead-free waters”. Indiana Code. House Enrolled Act No. 1185. Chapter 24: Prohibition on Products that Contain Microbeads. 2015 Wisconsin Act 43. Chapter 299, General Environmental Provisions. S. 299.50: Products containing synthetic plastic microbeads. SECONDARY SOURCES Browne MA, Niven SJ, Galloway TS, Rowland SJ, Thompson RC. 2013. Microplastic moves pollutants and additives to worms, reducing functions linked to health and biodiversity. Current Biology 23(23): 2388-2392 at 2389. Browne MA, Dissanayake A, Galloway TS, Lowe DM, Thompson RC. 2008. Ingested microscopic plastic translocates to the circulatory system of the mussel Mytilus edulis (L.). Environmental Science & Technology 42: 5026–5031. Castañeda RA, Avlijas S, Simard MA, and Ricciardi A. 2014. Microplastic pollution in St. Lawrence River sediments. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 71:1–5. Driedger AGJ, Durr HH, Mitchell K, Van Cappellen P. 2015. Plastic debris in the Laurentian Great Lakes: A review. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41: 9-19. Eerkes-Medrano D, Thompson RC, Aldridge DC. 2015. Microplastics in freshwater systems: A review of the emerging threats, identification of knowledge gaps and prioritisation of research needs. Water Research 75: 63-82. Eriksen M, Mason S, Wilson S, Box C, Zellers A, Edwards W, Farley H, Amato S . 2013. Microplastic pollution in the surface waters of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Marine Pollution Bulletin 77: 177–182. Ivar do Sul JA, Costa MF. 2014. The present and future of microplastic pollution in the marine environment. Environmental Pollution 185: 352-364. Microbeads- A Science Summary. Environment Canada. Posted: August 1, 2015. 13
  15. 15. Napper IE, Bakir A, Rowland SJ, Thompson, RC. 2015. Characterisation, quantity and sorptive properties of microplastics extracted from cosmetics. Marine Pollution Bulletin, ​in press​​http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.07.029​. Rochman CM, Kross SM, Armstrong JB, Bogan MT, Darling ES, Green SJ, Smyth AR, Verissimo​​D. 2015. Scientific evidence supports a ban on microbeads. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015, 49, 10759−10761. Rochman CM, Kurobe T, Flores I, Teh, SJ. 2014. Early warning signs of endocrine disruption in adult fish from the ingestion of polyethylene with and without sorbed chemical pollutants from the marine environment. Science of the Total Environment 493: 656-661. Rochman CM, Hoh E, Kurobe T, Teh SJ. 2013. Ingested plastic transfers hazardous chemicals to fish and induces hepatic stress. Scientific reports: 3; ​Browne 2013, supra note 27 at 2390. Zbyszewski M, Corcoran PL, Hockin A. 2014. Comparison of the distribution and degradation of plastic debris along shorelines of the Great Lakes, North America. J Great Lakes Res 40: 288–299. OTHER MATERIALS Notice of intent to develop microbeads regulations and publication of a science summary report on microbeads​. Canada Gazette Part I: Notices and Proposed Regulations. Vol. 149 (August 1 2015), No. 31 Order Adding A Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 To The ​Canadian Environmental Protection Act, ​1999. Vol. 149, No. 31, published August 1, 2015 14
  16. 16. CONTACT INFORMATION Lake Ontario Waterkeeper Mark Mattson 231 Wallace Avenue, 2nd Floor Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6H 1V5 (416) 861-1237 Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown 301-1960 Scott Street Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Z 8L8 (613) 321-1120 Fraser Riverkeeper Joe Daniels 90-425 Carrall Street Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6B 6E3 (604) 674-7444 North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper c/o Krystyn Tully 2- 135 Medland Street Toronto, ON M6P2N4 1-855-506-2013 15

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