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Monitoring and Assessing Pollutants

Status: Completed
Operational Plan: 2010

The purpose of this project is to assist the Parties in increasing the comparability, reliability, relevance and availability of data and information on toxic substances in the North American environment. Specifically, it seeks to improve the generation of information needed to identify and assess trends and concerns related to contaminants and stressors that affect environmental and human health. This project will also assist the Parties in meeting shared international objectives concerning the sound management of chemicals.


The project originates in the North American Regional Action Plan (NARAP) on Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (EM&A). This NARAP was created through Council Resolution 02-08 to assist the Sound Management of Chemicals (SMOC) Working Group and its implementation task forces in meeting the environmental monitoring and assessment obligations identified or implied under Resolution 95-05, and in subsequent risk mitigation and chemical management strategies developed pursuant to Council Resolutions.


This project fosters and encourages cooperation and collective action in planning, conducting and reporting scientifically validated information from baseline surveys, monitoring, modeling and research regarding the status, trends and effects of persistent and toxic substances. It supports the sound management of chemicals project by building a comparable and compatible foundation of information from which the Parties can make informed decisions.

Key Activities

Key activities will focus on multiple monitoring initiatives that will be developed and undertaken, including lindane in dairy products, PBDEs in humans, and Mexico’s national monitoring effort (Proname).

Validated data from these projects will support decision makers who need information to promote pertinent policy directions, as well as support the development of baseline and priority maps for persistent toxic substances.

Mexico is also utilizing the CEC sponsored Proname effort to comply with its National Implementation Plan under the recently ratified Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).


  • Monitoring at the two identified Proname index sites in Mexico and initiation of a third site for establishing baseline data for toxic chemicals and implementation of data collection activities (ongoing);
  • A workshop to assess Proname results and develop recommendations for enhanced monitoring;
  • Training in analytical techniques and data interpretation for both POPs and heavy metals in both environmental and human sample matrices;
  • Improvements in laboratory analytical capacity directed at environmental and human biomonitoring with an emphasis on promoting sustainability of such efforts in Mexico.