Bill 68, the Open for Business Act, has received Royal Assent.
Schedule 7 of the Act makes major changes to a range of Ministry of
the Environment statutes. Most will be phased in over time.
For example, the Environmental Protection Act has
received major amendments. A new Permit by Rule approval system
should eventually slash delays in obtaining routine approvals for
routine activities with known environmental risks.
Sections 9 and 27 of the Act are amended to replace air and
waste certificate of approval requirements with a new
"environmental compliance approval". For lower-risk
activities, to be prescribed, self-registration will eventually
take the place of an environmental compliance approval.
A new Part II.1 of the Act sets new rules for environmental
compliance approvals. Sections 20.2 and 20.3 set out rules with
respect to applications for approval to engage in the activities
mentioned in sections 9 and 27 of the Act and section 53 of the
Ontario Water Resources Act. Sections 20.4 and 20.5
establish the process for periodic reviews of environmental
compliance approvals. The Part also establishes the powers and
duties of the Director and other rules relating to the issue,
amendment, suspension and revocation of environmental compliance
approvals and hearings respecting decisions made by the Director on
applications under the Part (see sections 20.6 to 20.18).
Part II.2 of the Act establishes the Environmental Activity and
Sector Registry. Instead of the current permit system, people and
businesses will be able to self-register their intention to carry
out low risk activities. Once the Director confirms that the
registration is filed, the people and businesses will be able to
carry on, provided they follow prescribed rules for the particular
activity. The Part sets out requirements relating to registrations,
including how a registration is required to be maintained and
updated and how a registration may be suspended or removed from the
Registry (see sections 20.22 to 20.24).
New section 157.4 allows a provincial officer to give a notice
to a person who is engaging in an activity prescribed by the
regulations for the purposes of subsection 20.21 (1), stating that
the provincial officer reasonably believes that the person is
contravening or has contravened the regulations made for the
purposes of Part II.2. The provincial officer may require the
person to carry out specified measures within a specified time
New section 182.3 allows for a provincial officer or the
Director to issue an order requiring a person to pay an
administrative penalty for failure to comply with specified
requirements under Parts II.1 and II.2 or a notice under section
Various consequential amendments are made to the Act to reflect
the addition of Parts II.1 and II.2. Various regulation making
powers relating to Parts II.1 and II.2 are also added.
Ontario Water Resources Act
Section 53 of the Act is amended to eliminate the requirement to
obtain an approval under that section and to instead require a
person engaging in an activity mentioned in that section to ob-
tain an environmental compliance approval under the
Environmental Protection Act. Subject to specified
exceptions, this requirement to obtain an environmental compliance
approval does not apply if the activity has been prescribed by the
regulations as an activity in respect of which a registration under
Part II.2 of the Environmental Protection Act is required.
Various consequential amendments are also made to the Act.
Waste Management Act, 1992
The Act is repealed.
Waterfront Regeneration Trust Agency Act,
The Act is repealed. Any property held by the Agency that has
not been disposed of on the day the provision repealing the Act
comes into force vests in the Crown.
Consequential amendments are made to various Acts to reflect the
addition of Parts II.1 and II.2 to the Environmental Protection
The Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental
Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act
are amended to provide that any document may be incorporated by
reference in regulations made under those Acts.
New provisions are added to the Environmental Protection
Act (see section 157.0.1) and the Ontario Water Resources
Act (see section 15.0.1) to provide that a provincial officer
may, for the purposes of determining compliance of a person with
the Act or the regulations, require the person to respond to
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