If you are among those who have expressed your displeasure about Ontario’s Hazardous Waste Information System, or HWIN, this may be good news. The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) is proposing to change this with a new “digital reporting service.”
Hazardous Waste Reporting in Ontario
The MECP has issued (June 19, 2020) a discussion paper, Modernizing Hazardous Waste Reporting in Ontario. In this document, they state, “We have heard that the current reporting service (HWIN) is difficult to use, resulting in most reports being submitted using paper. This needs to change.”
Accordingly, the MECP has proposed a new digital reporting service that will make reporting simpler, faster, and more cost effective. This proposed change service would align with Ontario’s Digital Service mandate by eliminating outdated approaches to processes. As well, the MECP states it is supportive of the goal “to hold polluters accountable.”
40,000 Businesses in Ontario
Developing a new digital reporting service for businesses that will eliminate time consuming and outdated paper submittals is a significant and far-reaching endeavor. In fact, this change will affect approximately 40,000 businesses in Ontario that are classified as generators of hazardous waste, carriers of hazardous waste, or receivers of hazardous waste.
In order to make these changes, there were some regulatory changes that were necessary. The MECP states, “We recently made changes to the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act (RRCEA), and the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) to allow the Resource Productivity & Recovery Authority (RPRA) to provide digital reporting services, fee setting and collection for a wider range of waste and resource recovery programs.”
This change means RPRA would be responsible for operating the digital reporting service to ensure reports are complete and related fees are collected. However, all non-compliance with the reporting service requirements will be forwarded to the MECP.
MECP Considers Other Changes
The discussion paper also states the ministry is considering some further regulatory, guidance, and reporting service changes. These include the following:
- Registration and Payment (Registration and Renewal, Delegating Authority, Registering Under the New Digital Service, Confidential Business Information, Maintaining Current Fee Exemptions, Maintaining Full Cost Recovery for the Hazardous Waste Program, and Location and Business Information)
- Tracking & Reporting (Subject Waste Activity Reporting, Improving Data Quality, Manifest Corrections, Managing Paper-Based Manifests, Managing Electronic Manifests, Short-Term Storage and On-Site Waste Management Activities, and Mobile Application and Off-Line Entry Capability)
- Transition Planning (Proposed Transition Timing, Launch Readiness, Encouraging Early Adoption of Electronic Reporting, and Impacts to Business)
The new reporting service is anticipated to begin “onboarding users” in 2021 with an official launch on January 1, 2022.
If you would care to comment on this proposed change, you can do so until August 18, 2020.
We are hopeful this change will provide meaningful improvement to the current hazardous waste reporting in Ontario. If you have any questions or need assistance with an environmental issue, you can reach me at 519-979-7300.
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