Canada and the United States have identified eight substances in the water of the Great Lakes as chemicals of mutual concern under the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. These chemicals are potentially harmful to human health or the environment or both.
Canada and the United States work together under the agreement to identify chemicals that are in the Great Lakes because of human activities and that cause mutual concerns.
After a comprehensive scientific review process and public consultations, Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the chemicals of greatest concern:
“A safe and secure water supply is critical for human health, the environment and the economy. Our joint designation of these chemicals of mutual concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is yet another example of Canada’s commitment to keep our Great Lakes great through collaboration and sound science,” said McKenna.
McCarthy said, “Designating these chemicals of mutual concern puts us on the road to reducing them to protect the public health and water quality of the Great Lakes region.”
Once a chemical has been designated, the two countries develop and implement strategies to address the chemical, reporting every three years on its status to each other and to the public.
“Together with Canada and the region’s partners,” McCarthy said, “we’re making the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement work hard for the tens of millions of people who live, work and play around these magnificent water bodies.”