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The Government of Canada "Challenge" for chemical substances that are a high priority for action

On December 8, 2006, the Prime Minister, along with the Ministers of the Environment and Health, unveiled Canada's new Chemicals Management Plan. The plan takes immediate action to regulate chemicals that are harmful to human health or the environment.

A key element in the Chemicals Management Plan is the collection of information on the properties and uses of the approximately 200 chemical substances identified through the categorization process as high priorities for action. This information will be used to make decisions regarding the best approach to protect Canadians and their environment from risks these substances might pose. This initiative, known as the "Challenge", was announced in a Notice published in the Canada Gazette entitled: Notice of intent to develop and implement measures to assess and manage the risks posed by certain substances to the health of Canadians and their environment.

Under the Challenge, the approximately 200 substances of highest priority have been divided up into a number of smaller groups of substances, and these groups are being addressed sequentially. In February 2007, the Government began releasing Notices in the Canada Gazette on these groups of substances identified under the Challenge.  The Government is using the mandatory information gathering provisions of section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999) to gather information deemed required for improved decision-making. Industry and interested stakeholders are also being invited to submit additional information that may be used to inform risk assessment and to develop and benchmark best practices for risk management and product stewardship. A new group of substances was released every three months.

In May 2007, the Government of Canada proposed a batch selection strategy for the remaining substances in the Challenge. These substances were identified in a Notice in the Canada Gazette entitled Notice of identification of the third batch and the next proposed batches of the remaining substances in the Challenge, published on May 12, 2007.

Stakeholders and other interested persons had the opportunity to file comments with respect to the substances proposed for these future batches in the Challenge, during a public comment period which ended September 10, 2007. The proposed composition of the remaining upcoming batches of the Challenge (batches 6 through 12) was revised following the expiration of the public comment period.

The substances in Batch 12, the final group of substances in the Challenge component of the Chemicals Management Plan, have now been launched.

Complete information on the Challenge for the substances in these "Batches", including the Canada Gazette Notices, substance profiles, surveys, questionnaires, guidance documents for completing the surveys and questionnaires, timelines, and instructions for obtaining more information can be found on the individual "Batch" pages accessible through the main menu.