NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

U.S. Polluting Less, Canada More

October 9, 1998

One of the first detailed studies of environmental pollution in North America reveals that pollution by U.S. industries is declining, while Canadian industries are polluting more. The study, conducted by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, did not include figures for Mexico because usable information still is not widely collected there.

  • Overall, the amount of pollution across North America declined by 1.5 percent from 1994 to 1995.
  • Pollution originating in the U.S. declined 2.1 percent, while it increased 3.9 percent in Canada.
  • The report indicates that while the U.S. has far more industrial sites, Canadian plants on average emit almost twice as much pollution.
  • Experts say that the findings have shattered the myth that Canadian performance is as strong as that of the U.S.

The commission is comprised of representatives from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico and was established pursuant to the NAFTA treaty.

Source: Anthony DePalma, "Slight Drop Found in North America's Pollution," New York Times, October 9, 1998.


Browse more articles on Environment Issues