Canada: Environment @ Gowlings – July 2006

Last Updated: August 29 2006

Edited by Katheine M. van Rensburg


Federal News

  • Notice with Respect to Reporting of Greenhouse Gases

Provincial News

  • Ontario Proposes a Reduction in the Regulatory Controls Governing the Recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment ("WEEE")
  • Ontario Relaxes its Waste Management Regulations to Facilitate the Manufacture of Biodiesel
  • Ontario Proposes to Lighten the Regulatory Burden for the Use of Woodwaste as an Alternative Fuel


Notice with Respect to Reporting of Greenhouse Gases

On July 15, 2006 the Government of Canada published a Notice in the Canada Gazette pursuant to subsection 46(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 requiring operators of facilities that emit 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent or more in the 2006 calendar year to provide the Minister of the Environment with information concerning such emissions by June 1, 2007.

The notice can be found at:

Ontario Proposes a Reduction in the Regulatory Controls Governing theRecycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment ("WEEE")

Ontario has proposed amendments to its Waste Management Regulation under the Environmental Protection Act to ease the regulatory burden on waste electrical and electronic equipment ("WEEE") recycling.

The government proposes to exempt operations which collect, store and transfer WEEE from the Environmental Protection Act's requirements for waste management approvals currently applicable to WEEE recycling.

Several significant changes are proposed. Printed circuit boards destined for a smelter to be used as feedstock in ongoing metal recovery operations would be entirely exempt from the waste management controls under the Environmental Protect Act and the Waste Management Regulation. Similarly, recycling facilities which exclusively manage waste electrical and electronic equipment or printed circuit boards would not be subject to the Environmental Protect Act's approval requirements if the waste is destined for a metals recovery site.

As a consequence, Certificates of Approval would not be required for operators of systems which collect, store and transport WEEE, generator registration would not be required, and the site at which the waste is processed would not be required to be approved as a waste disposal site under the Environmental Protection Act.

Notice of the proposed regulation now appears on the Ontario Environmental Registry at The regulation is open to comment by way of written submissions until September 18, 2006.

Ontario Relaxes its Waste Management Regulations to Facilitate the Manufacture of Biodiesel

Proposed amendments to Ontario's Waste Management Regulation are designed to ease the regulatory burden on the use of waste biomass for the production of ethanol and biodiesel.

The draft amendments to the Regulation would exempt from Ontario's waste regulation "waste biomass transferred by a generator for direct transportation to a site at which it is to be used as a feedstock in the production of ethanol or biodiesel." Biodiesel is defined to mean a liquid fuel or product that meets the ASTM International Standard D6751, "Standard Specification for Biodiesel Fuel Blend Stock (B100) for Middle Distillate Fuels".

Waste biomass is also a defined term. For the purpose of the regulation it is defined to mean organic matter that is derived from a plant or animal, available on a renewable basis. The definition includes waste from harvesting or processing agricultural products or forestry products; agricultural waste; waste fats and oils resulting from the rendering of animals or animal by-products; solid or liquid material resulting from the treatment of wastewater generated by manufacturers of pulp, paper, recycled paper or paper products; waste from food processing and preparation operations, including restaurants; and woodwaste.

The effect of the Regulation would be to render inapplicable the entire part of Ontario's Environmental Protection Act which regulates waste, and its Waste Management Regulation, to waste biomass used as a feedstock in the production of ethanol or biodiesel. However, an important caveat applies: the exemption is only available if the material is shipped by the generator directly to the ethanol or biodiesel production site; intermediate transfer, storage, consolidation or processing of the waste biomass would not be permissible under the exemption. That is not to say that intermediate operations are not permissible, however if such operations are performed then the entire operation must be in compliance with the waste provisions of the Environmental Protection Act and the Waste Management Regulation.

Notice of the proposed Regulation now appears on Ontario's Environmental Registry at A sixty-one day comment period is in effect, allowing written submissions to be made to September 18, 2006.

Ontario Proposes to Lighten the Regulatory Burden for the Use of Woodwaste as an Alternative Fuel

Amendments to Ontario's Waste Management Regulation have been proposed for the purpose of easing the regulatory burden on the use of woodwaste as an alternative fuel.

The proposed amendments would not entirely eliminate environmental regulation for woodwaste combustion, but they would enlarge the scope of the current exemption of woodwaste combustor sites from the requirement of the Environmental Protection Act to obtain a Certificate of Approval as a waste disposal site.

The current Waste Management Regulation exempts woodwaste combustor sites from the Environmental Protection Act's requirement to obtain a Certificate of Approval if three conditions are met:

  1. not more than 500 cubic meters of woodwaste is stored at the site at any time;
  2. not more than 500 tonnes of woodwaste is combusted at the site on any day; and
  3. none of the woodwaste stored at the site is stored there for more than six months.

The proposed revision to the Regulation would allow woodwaste combustor sites to combust any quantity of woodwaste as a fuel or fuel supplement without the need for a Certificate of Approval. However, the 500 cubic meter limit on the storage of the woodwaste, and the six month limit on the duration of storage, would remain. As well, all other provisions of the Environmental Protection Act and its permitting requirements, including those provisions relating to air emissions, would continue to apply.

Woodwaste combustor sites which burn woodwaste to produce electricity would continue to be subject to the Electricity Projects Regulation under Ontario's Environmental Assessment Act. Generally speaking, the Electricity Projects Regulation provides for the application of the Environmental Assessment Act to electricity generating facilities that use waste biomass, including woodwaste, as their primary source of power, if they have a name plate capacity of 10 megawatts or more.

Notice of the proposed Regulation now appears on Ontario's Environmental Registry at A sixty-one day comment period is in effect, allowing written submissions to be made to September 18, 2006.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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