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The Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) program provides data and information to track Canada’s performance on key environmental sustainability issues. The human health impacts related to pollution indicators data collection contains datasets that assess human exposure to environmental chemicals and the potential effects this exposure may have on health. This information is provided in a number of formats including: static and interactive maps, charts and graphs, HTML and CSV data tables, and downloadable reports.
This collection of data summarizes the companies and facilities reporting under the Fuels Information Regulations, No. 1. This dataset includes total fuel volumes, sulphur contents and masses, and companies reporting production and/or importation of liquid fuels originating from crude oils, coal or bituminous sand. The information was provided to Environment and Climate Change Canada under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
The Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER), developed under the Fisheries Act, came into force in 2012 to manage wastewater releases by systems that collect an average daily influent volume of 100 cubic metres or more. The WSER also does not apply to any wastewater system located in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and north of the 54th parallel in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. The WSER set national baseline effluent quality standards that are achievable through secondary wastewater treatment. The province of Quebec provided some combined sewer overflow data for 2020, which includes information on whether a discharge occurred at a combined sewer overflow point during the year. The map below shows the number of CSO points with at least one overflow event within each wastewater system. The map is available in both ESRI REST (to use with ARC GIS) and WMS (open source) formats. For more information about the individual reporting wastewater systems, datasets are available in either CSV or XLS formats. More information on the wastewater sector including the regulations, agreements, contacts and resource documents is available at: https://www.canada.ca/wastewater
Black carbon is a short-lived, small aerosol (or airborne) particle linked to both climate warming and adverse health effects. It is emitted from incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels (i.e., fossil fuels, biofuels, wood) in the form of very fine particulate matter. Black carbon is not emitted on its own, but as a component of particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5). As a member of the Arctic Council, Canada has committed to producing an annual inventory of black carbon emissions. This data will serve to inform Canadians about black carbon emissions and provide valuable information for the development of air quality management strategies. The data used to compile the report originate from sections of the Air Pollutant Emission Inventory (APEI) specifically fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions from combustion-related sources.
Acid-Sensitive Lakes Nine hundred and thirty-three lakes located in Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories were sampled to establish current acidification status. Of the 933 lakes, 244 (or 26%) are considered acid sensitive, almost always because of naturally low calcium and magnesium (or "base cation") concentrations. The most acid-sensitive lakes (i.e., those with extremely low base cation concentrations) are located on the Canadian Shield in both Alberta and Saskatchewan and east of the oils sands development area. Fifty-one of the 244 acid-sensitive lakes were sampled twice annually (spring and fall) to identify chemical changes through trend analyses. Results revealed that 55% of these lakes had concentrations of some metals in excess of Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment guidelines. Of the 291 samples taken in the 51 lakes, iron concentrations were greater than guidelines in 36% (105 samples), aluminum in 33% (97 samples), lead in 0.3% (1 sample) and copper in 0.3% (1 sample). The metals in these lakes occur naturally and are expected to be found in a wide range of concentrations given the geology and physiography of the Canadian Shield. It remains to establish the relationship between acid sensitivity, geology and high metal concentrations.
Wild fish community data (species, abundance, diversity, length, weight) for 2013 and 2019 are now available for tributaries of the Athabasca River (rivers Steepbank, Ells, Firebag, High Hills, Dunkirk, Horse, Muskeg, Tar and Calumet) and 2017 data for rivers and creeks adjacent to Christina Lake (Christina River, Sunday Creek, Birch Creek, Sawbones Creek, Jackfish Creek and Unnamed Creek). The composition and diversity of the fish communities in these waterbodies have been evaluated over time to identify changes in the presence and abundance of fish species in these waterbodies adjacent to SAGD oil sands mining activity and at sites that are outside of the Athabasca Oil Sands deposit and not influenced by mining activities. Not all waterbodies are adjacent to mining activities and these provide some information as to the natural variability and stability of these fish communities over time. This involved establishing baseline conditions in fish communities in the fall of 2013, 2017 and 2019. This baseline data has assisted in tracking changes in fish communities of these waterbodies over time. Fish community assessments (non-lethal sampling) were carried out in a reach of river using a Smith-Root 12B backpack, Smith-Root LR-24 backpack and or seine at the sites identified in Section 2.3. Length, weight, species identification, and external assessment were performed on fish collected. Fish were then returned to the water at the site of capture. This fish community assessment work commenced September 17th to 27th, 2013, October 3rd to 8th, 2017 and September 24th to October 2nd, 2019. This monitoring activity compliments and supports the Wild Fish Health program.
Wild fish health data (length, weight, gonad size, etc.) are now available for trout perch collected from the Athabasca and Peace Rivers; white sucker collected from the Athabasca River; longnose sucker collected from the Peace River; slimy sculpin collected from the Steepbank River; lake chub from Alice Creek, the Ells and Dover Rivers; and longnose dace from the Mackay River. Contaminants data available for walleye collected from the Athabasca and Peace Rivers. For each of these data sets, upstream reference areas are provided for comparison to downstream developed sites. Reference data are currently being evaluated for variability between years to develop triggers, and these triggers are essential to eventually quantify potential effects at exposed sites. Using existing critical effect sizes developed in the Environmental Effects Monitoring programs for pulp and paper and metal mining effluents, condition endpoints in white sucker were increased within the deposit. Slimy sculpin condition and reproductive endpoints are also exceeding effect sizes downstream of development sites. This data is now being used to predict future fish health endpoints within sites, between sites and relative to reference variability to help assess change in fish health.
Oil Sands Sediment Exposures of Embryo-larval Fathead Minnows Dataset contains laboratory-studied fathead minnow egg and larval survival rates when exposed to sediments collected from 18 sites in the Athabasca watershed (2010-2014). A controlled laboratory study examined the impacts on fathead minnow eggs and larval development when exposed to collected sediments at concentrations of 1, 5 and/or 25 g/L. Sediments and water were renewed daily, and eggs were assessed as they hatched (in about 5 days), and as the larval fish grew to 8-9 days post hatch (dph), and 15-16 dph. The data in the file present the mean survival (and standard deviation). Two sediment sites caused decreased survival of fathead minnow fry: The Ells River lower site, and the Steepbank River Lower site. These data show that sediment from these sites can affect larval fish survival in the lab. The next steps are to compare these findings to the health data from wild fish collected from these same tributary sites. Toxicity Testing of Groundwater near the Oil Sands Development Dataset contains toxicity studies of groundwaters collected near the Athabasca and Ells rivers. Groundwaters were collected in the summer of 2013 from 4 sites below the riverbeds at depths of 0.5 to 1 metre. Sites were chosen to represent groundwaters close to oil sands tailings ponds and further from tailings ponds and mining activities. Under controlled laboratory conditions, fathead minnow eggs were exposed for 5 days (until hatch) to the groundwaters at standard dilution concentrations of 6, 12, 25, 50, and 100% of the groundwater sample to compare egg and larval fish survival. The data presents the average survival until hatch of 3 repeated exposures (and standard deviation) and 9 repeated exposures for controls. Some groundwater is toxic to minnows and some is not. No correlations were found between toxicity and proximity to a tailings pond. Assessing Toxicity of Oil Sands Related Substances Laboratory fish were exposed to melted snow from sites located close to oil sands mining and upgrading facilities and from sites far away from mining activities to assess the toxicity of substances found in the snow. In addition, river waters, bed sediments, suspended sediments, groundwater and atmospheric depositional samples (pre-melt snow collections) were also tested for toxicity. Fish exposed to undiluted snowmelt showed biological effects. Fish exposed to river water from the region collected during snowmelt conditions showed no effects.
In the face of increasing economic opportunities in Canada's northern regions, the need to improve our state of preparedness for oil spill related emergencies in particular is critical. While significant efforts have been put towards documenting baseline coastal information across Canada’s southern regions, there is a large information gap regarding Arctic shorelines. Baseline coastal information such as shoreline form, substrate and vegetation type, is required for operational prioritization, coordination of on-site spill response activities (i.e., SCAT: Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique), as well as providing valuable information for wildlife and ecosystem management. A standardized methodology was developed to map shoreline characteristics at six study sites across the Canadian Arctic: James Bay, Resolute Bay, Hudson Bay, Labrador Coast, Victoria Strait, and Beaufort Sea. Geo-referenced high definition videography was collected during the summers of 2010 to 2012 along coastlines within the study sites. Detailed information (i.e. shoreline type, substrate, form, height, slope, fetch, access type, exposure, etc.) describing the upper intertidal, supratidal, and backshore zones was extracted from the video and entered into a geospatial database using a data collection form. This information was used to delimit and map alongshore segments in the upper intertidal zone. The result is a vector dataset containing thousands of linear shoreline segments ranging in length from 200 m and 2 km long. In total, almost seven thousand kilometers of northern shorelines were mapped, including twenty five different shoreline types based on the upper intertidal zone. This information will feed into a larger ongoing project focused on Arctic coastal ecosystems as well as serve as valuable information for oil spill response planning should the need arise. This database also provides valuable information for habitat management, local shoreline planning, can feed into environmental assessments or be used to aid research site selection.
The Emergencies Science Division of ESTC provides Spills Technology Databases including Brochures, Oil Properties, Chemical Synonyms, PPA Instruments and Tanker Spills. This database contains information on the properties of various types of oils, a chemical thesaurus where one can look up synonymous chemical names, and information on over 700 tanker spills