Canada-U.s. Air Quality Agreement

The “Ozone” Annex was added to the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement (December 2000) to combat cross-border air pollution, which results in high air quality from ground-level ozone, an important component of smog. The long-term goal of the Ozone Annex is to achieve ozone quality standards in both countries. With regard to the cross-border pollution flows that cause ozone, the Ozone Annex obliges both countries to reduce their emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, precursors to ground-level ozone. As part of the agreement, the IJC calls for a public position every two years and sends a summary of comments to the governments of Canada and the United States to help them implement the agreement. U.S. cross-border air pollution affects air quality in Canada. Prevailing winds can carry air pollutants from the U.S. to Canada, and these pollutants contribute significantly to the formation of acid rain and smog in some parts of Canada. In 1991, Canada and the United States committed to reducing the effects of cross-border air pollution in the United States.

Air quality contract. The agreement was initially negotiated to treat cross-border acid rain and was amended in 2000 to include ground-level ozone, a component of smog. The United States and Canada committed to addressing cross-border air pollution issues in the 1991 International Aviation Agreement (AQA), a bilateral executive agreement. The AQA has set a framework for addressing common concerns about cross-border air pollution and has set targets for each country to reduce emissions that lead to acid deposition in the first annex of the agreement. An additional annex to the agreement focused on scientific cooperation and, in 1997, the parties signed a “commitment to develop a common action plan to combat cross-border air pollution” to jointly address the common problems of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter (PM). While scientific assessment measures were underway to better understand cross-border PM issues, in 2000 the parties established an annex on ground-level ozone control in the eastern border region. This agreement is important to Canada because it provides a formal and flexible mechanism to combat cross-border air pollution that affects Canada`s air quality, human health and environment. It also paved the way for bilateral cooperation in a wide range of air quality-related scientific activities. In 1991, the United States and Canada signed a cross-border air pollution agreement that allows pollutants emitted in one place to travel long distances, affecting air quality at their sources and many kilometres away. The 1991 agreement resulted in a reduction in acid rain in the 1990s and was expanded in 2000 to reduce cross-border smog emissions under the Ozone Annex.

As a Canadian leader, Canada must facilitate emission limitations/reductions; Reporting emissions and monitoring air quality sharing information on monitoring, emissions, emission reduction technologies, atmospheric processes and effects; to assess and report on progress in implementing the agreement. Nothing in this agreement diminishes the rights and obligations of the parties in other international agreements that oppose them, including the rights and obligations contained in the Border Waters Treaty and the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Convention, as amended. whereas cross-border air pollution can cause considerable damage to natural resources of vital ecological, cultural and economic importance and to human health in both countries; whereas emissions of air pollutants from sources within their countries do not lead to significant cross-border pollution; whereas cross-border air pollution can be effectively



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