News Release Archive

                                 WITH NEW ENGLAND GOVERNORS
On Sept. 25 and 26, 1996, Quebec hosted a meeting of environment
commissioners of the New England states, environment ministers of
the eastern Canadian provinces and other officials from the
environment departments. This ministerial-level meeting of the
Environment Committee, co-chaired by the Quebec minister of
Environment and Wildlife, David Cliche, and by the commissioner
of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Sidney
Holbrook, was held under the auspices of the Conference of the
New England Governors and the Eastern Canadian Premiers.

The objective of the conference was to establish a partnership
between the New England States and Eastern Canadian provinces to
improve knowledge and to direct American and Canadian national
strategies towards greater protection of ecosystems and human

At the close of the meeting, participants expressed great
satisfaction at the quality of discussions during work sessions,
which greatly contributed to the attainment of their objectives.
Quebec Environment minister David Cliche declared the meeting
profitable, "since the consensus reached will result in joint
actions that are concrete and realistic."

With the aim to boost cooperation, the participants agreed to
increase data exchange on clearly identified problems: acid
precipitation, tropospheric ozone and contamination by toxic
substances such as mercury, cadmium and particulate matter. The
contaminants that raised the concern of participants are those
likely to be transported across the borders of respective

Aware of the adverse environmental effects of deregulation in the
electrical power sector, delegates discussed current and possible
future actions. They promoted the adoption of measures to curb
the impacts of acid precipitation and ground level ozone smog.
Even though acid precipitation has been a growing concern since
the late 1970's and programs to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions
have been implemented, forests and lakes will continue to be
affected by acidic deposition if additional action is not taken.
Ozone has a direct effect on health, crops, vegetation and

As part of the discussions, the members of the committee were
made aware of the plight of the northern right whale, the most
threatened marine mammal species worldwide. In fact, only 300 of
these whales are left roaming the waters of the northwestern
Atlantic Ocean, from Florida to Iceland. The members agreed, in a
joint resolution, to request that their respective governments
implement measures aimed at protecting and restoring the northern
right whale and its habitat.

The provincial and state committee members agreed to undertake
joint action including the following:

*  exchanging and sharing information on the impacts of acid rain
   on forest health and productivity;

*  monitoring the environmental effects on the northeast region
   of the deregulation of the electric power industry in the
   United States and considering appropriate actions for the
   states and provinces;

*  sharing data, research and strategies on dealing with the
   effects of such pollutants as ground-level ozone, acid rain,
   and mercury;

*  harmonizing monitoring systems and data collection on
   transboundary pollution within the region.

The members have agreed to meet in early 1997, prior to the next
meeting of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian
Premiers. "You will all agree that there is still much to do,"
said Mr. Cliche at the close of the meeting. Mr. Holbrook said,
"This meeting will have enabled us to take stock of the situation
and develop common strategies that will guide our actions
throughout the coming year."


Contact: Kim Thomson  902-424-5905

trp                    Sept. 27, 1996 - 1:30 p.m.