Have Your Say: Public Consultation on CEC Project to Improve Air Quality for Environmental Justice
‘Black carbon,’ or ‘soot’, is an important air contaminant caused by activities such as agricultural burning, domestic wood combustion, and fossil fuel combustion from transportation and industrial activities. In addition to local effects, these emissions can also spread over long distances due to atmospheric transport.
Last year during its 2021 Regular Session, the CEC Council committed to launch a new large-scale initiative to mitigate black carbon emissions to improve air quality and support environmental justice in a local context.
Now you’re invited to be part of the change!
We want to hear from you!
The CEC Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) is seeking comments and suggestions from people across North America on this new initiative. Based on these comments, JPAC members will provide an Advice to the Council of the CEC, which is composed of the environment ministers of Canada, Mexico and the United States. This Advice will include recommendations for the implementation of the project and suggestions on key organizations for potential collaboration and partnerships in order to maximize the project’s successful implementation.
Hurry! The deadline to submit comments in writing is on May 19, 2022.
What does CEC’s initiative include?
In a few words, we want to identify and partner with interested communities to deploy low-cost air pollution sensors that will allow them to better document, understand, and mitigate sources and exposure levels of black carbon and particulate matter emissions, while increasing transparency and access to air quality information for local populations and decision makers.
What are the project objectives?
- Work with local stakeholders to identify emission sources and monitor air quality, as well as to formulate potential emission mitigation strategies, assess their benefits, and implement them. Improve air quality in local communities.
- Support communities to better document and reduce sources of black carbon and particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions.
- Build partnerships with communities suffering from poor air quality conditions due to high emission levels of black carbon and particulate matter (PM2.5).
- Create awareness among communities that potentially experience disproportionate environmental harm or risk, and/or have environmental justice concerns.
To know more, please click on the following link to review the full project description.
What do we want to know?
In five simple questions, please tell us…
- Is your community interested in this collaborative project, and does it have the capacity to participate in it? Please explain the main air quality concerns or issues within your community. Indicate the name of the community and geographical location (i.e., country and province/state).
- Do you currently see your community, organization, or institution playing any type of role in the activities of this collaborative project, such as offering input, providing low-cost sensors, or acting as technical expert? If so, please tell us more about your potential participation or contribution to project activities.
- Are there other communities, organizations or institutions with which you think we should engage during the implementation of the project?
- Are there any ongoing challenges, issues, or approaches related to community-driven air quality monitoring strategies that we should consider as part of this project?
- Would you like to share with us any additional comments about the project?
About the CEC
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations
The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.