The Ministry of the Environment is moving into the second phase of its long-awaited comprehensive approval reforms. The first part of the new approvals framework became operational on October 31, 2011.Two more parts of this initiative are now open for public consultation. The first is
EBR Notice – Guide to Applying for an Environmental Compliance Approval – EBR #011-5022
The Ministry is developing a risk-based approach to environmental approvals that focuses on environmental protection and outcomes while providing enhanced services for business.
Comment period: 90 days: Submissions may be made between January 11, 2012 and April 10, 2012
The second is a proposed set of rules for registration (permit by rule) in four new lower-risk sectors:
Waste Collection and Transportation (not disposal)
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing
Lithographic, Screen and Digital Printing
Concrete Product Manufacturing
The Ministry calls this process an Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) that allows businesses to register certain activities with the Ministry. The EASR is a public, web-based system where people engaging in selected activities will be required to register the activity and to meet eligibility and operating requirements set out in regulation rather than seeking an approval through the normal application submission and review process. These requirements could be comprised of, but not limited to, design requirements, pollution control measures and best management practices.
Once the new rules come into effect, individual environmental compliance approvals (formerly called certificates of approval) would no longer be necessary for these activities. Instead, each person operating one of these activities will eventually be required to register and comply with the new standard rules. For more details on each Technical Report on Proposed Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) Requirements, see EBR Notice – Environmental Activity and Sector Registry Group 2 Activities and Sectors Technical Discussion Papers – EBR #011-4926 Comment period: 45 days: Submissions may be made between January 11, 2012 and February 25, 2012.
The MOE also published some administrative amendments to various guidance documents incorporated by reference in regulations made under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990 (EPA) and Ontario Water Resources Act, 1990 (OWRA). The revisions to these guidance documents reflect amendments to the EPA and the OWRA as a result of the amendments made to those Acts pursuant to Schedule 7 to the Open for Business Act, 2010 that came into effect on October 31, 2011. See EBR Notice – Administrative amendments to guidance documents incorporated by reference in regulations to reflect amendments made pursuant to Schedule 7 to the Open for Business Act, 2010 – EBR #011-4493