The Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP) is proposing four new initiatives. According to the MECP these initiatives include:
- Providing better tools and creating clear and consistent guidelines for municipalities that they may use to make land-use planning decisions that will reduce noise and odour impacts from industry.
- Proposing guidance on how industrial facilities, development proponents, and other members of the regulated community can anticipate, prevent, and address odour issues.
- Updating the ministry’s environmental compliance policy to prioritize high-risk incidents and better hold polluters accountable.
- Expanding administrative monetary penalties to cover approximately 150,000 regulated entities, including individuals, small businesses and large corporations as well as public entities like municipalities and crown corporations.
The MECP provides the following explanation for the four proposals. Note that this taken directly from Environmental Registry of Ontario.
Land use compatibility guideline (D-Series) (ERO 019-2785)
Ontario is proposing a new land use compatibility guideline as an update to a number of existing D-series guidelines for municipalities to use when making land use planning decisions.
The proposed guideline will help ensure certain land uses can co-exist and thrive for the long-term within a community, including major industrial facilities and more sensitive residential land uses.
It would help to prevent impacts from noise, dust, odour and other potential sources of adverse effects to sensitive land uses from industries, as well as clarify when compatibility studies related to the assessment of potential noise, odour, dust and other impacts are needed. Preventing the impacts of incompatible land uses and noise and odour issues is a key commitment in the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.
Ontario is protecting the health of communities and our environment by taking a proactive, preventative approach to managing the impacts of odour emissions.
We are proposing guidance on how industrial facilities, development proponents and other members of the regulated community can anticipate, prevent, and address odour issues to better protect the environment and hold polluters accountable.
Our proposed odour guideline clarifies requirements for potentially odorous facilities that are applying for an Environmental Compliance Approval or preparing an odour study as a requirement of a Renewable Energy Approval, includes resources for addressing odour issues, and supports the proposed land use compatibility guideline to better prevent and manage odour issues in Ontario.
Our proactive approach will provide more regulatory certainty for facilities, better coordination with land planning decisions, and more effective remediation of issues caused by odour mixtures.
Ontario is committed to protecting its air, land and water through a comprehensive framework of environmental legislation, policies and standards that ensure protection of our environment and support healthier, prosperous communities.
We are updating Ontario’s decade-old environmental compliance policy and practices to prioritize high-risk incidents and better hold polluters accountable.
Our proposed changes include updated tools and resources for environmental officers to help determine the level of intervention needed and apply more stringent tools in cases where organizations and individuals have repeatedly broken environmental laws.
Administrative monetary penalties (General ERO – See Below)
We’re expanding our ability to issue administrative monetary penalties for a broader range of contraventions and providing our front-line staff with stronger tools to seek compliance and enforce Ontario’s environmental laws.
Funds collected from the penalties will be made available for environmental restoration and remediation projects as well as projects that build resilient communities and provide local solutions to environmental issues.
Ontario will consult with stakeholders through virtual stakeholder engagement sessions in 2021 on the implementation of this new administrative monetary penalties framework. We will develop regulations based on what we hear in these sessions and post them on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for consultation prior to implementation.
Comments from Law Firms
According to an article in Martindale by the Dentons Law Firm, the Administrative Monetary Penalties initiative “…is posted in the general ERO bulletin and is not assigned its own number. MECP is expanding its ability to issue administrative monetary penalties for environmental violations in response to more violations and more entities (including individuals, small businesses and large corporations, as well as public entities). The MECP is holding engagement sessions to present the proposed approaches and details of the new administrative monetary penalty framework for environmental violations.”
Also with respect to the Administrative Monetary Penalties, an article by McMillan Law Firm states, “At this point, the MECP has released few details of this plan but intends to provide consultations through virtual stakeholder engagement sessions in 2021 after which it will develop corresponding regulations.”
Feedback from stakeholders on the four initiatives was originally requested by July 3, 2021 but this was extended to August 6, 2021.
If these proposals potentially affect you, we encourage you to read the details on the ERO announcement using the links above.
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