More Environmental Regulatory Changes in Ontario

Posted by on Jan 9, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

In our December 20, 2019, blog we discussed some of the changes to the (Ontario) Environmental Protection Act.  Most notably, we provided information with respect to excess soils management; however, the government of Ontario revealed other changes at the end of 2019.

In the Backgrounder titled, “Regulations and Statues in Force as of January 1, 2020,” a list of changes (across several ministries) were shared.

With respect to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP), there were several updates.  Below are some of these changes.

MECP Changes

“Regulatory changes under the Toxics Reduction Act and Environmental Protection Act will align Ontario with other jurisdictions by removing the requirement for facilities to report annual acetone releases and reducing burden for business without reducing protection for human health and the environment.”

Continued TRA Reporting Obligations

Note that on December 31, 2021, the Toxics Reduction Act (TRA) will be repealed.  For those facilities that have been required to report under the TRA, you are required to continue reporting until the TRA is repealed.  See our May 1, 2019, blog (Changes in Ontario: Environmental Commissioner’s Office and TRA Eliminated) for more information about TRA and other changes that occurred last spring.

Dry Cleaners

The announcement also states that regulatory changes under the Environmental Protection Act will “Reduce burden for dry cleaning businesses, which already follow strict federal inspection and compliance requirements, by removing unnecessary provincial training requirements.”

There are more legislative changes in Ontario, include environmental regulatory changes.

Well Contractors

Regulatory changes under the Ontario Water Resources Act will “Provide more clarity and flexibility to well contractors in the choice of materials used for casings, as well as modify insurance requirements to match what is available in the market.”

Water Taking Moratorium

“Extend the moratorium on new or increasing water takings from groundwater sources by water bottling companies for nine months, to October 1, 2020, so that we can continue our review and analysis and give people confidence that Ontario’s water resources are protected now and into the future by good policy that is based on solid science and evidence.”

We provided just a few excerpts from the document.  If any of these changes potentially affect you, you will want to get more details from the MECP.  You may also want to take a look at the Backgrounder as it covers updates from other Ministries.

If you have any questions or need assistance with an environmental issue, please feel free to contact me at 519-979-7300, Ext 137.  We look forward to working with you in 2020!