Thank you, Minister, Jonathan, and others for being here today. We really appreciate your taking the time to answer our questions.
As you mentioned earlier, we are just finishing up a study on the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and, as you also know, I have raised this issue before. Since Darren doesn't bother you, I'm sure I don't. I spent almost 20 years fighting the spread of toxic chemicals in our water as a result of landfills, in particular in my own home community, with the impact of that at home and in the neighbouring community. The key problem is that our drinking water standards are not good enough.
The drinking water standards are federally made and then they are adopted in part or in whole by the provinces or in some cases not at all. One of those chemicals is 1,4-dioxane. It is a chemical for which the U.S. EPA and many of the states in the U.S. have established a one to three microgram standard, but here in Canada the federal level is 50 micrograms, so it's very outdated.
As a result of that, when we find these toxic chemicals in our environment, as we have in this particular instance, the company that is responsible for contaminating residential wells doesn't have to do anything about it. Because there are no drinking water standards, there is no health impact. It doesn't matter that there are thousands of chemicals that exist in leachate and that are found in residential wells, if the drinking water standards don't reflect the toxicity that exists—and 1,4-dioxane is a known toxic carcinogen—that doesn't happen.
What I'd like to know is this. As we move forward around this issue and around CMP, the chemicals management plan, in particular, are we dedicating the financial resources to add personnel around the assessment of chemicals and setting drinking water or even air quality standards right now, today?