Several important postings have been made to the Ontario Government's Environmental Registry (EBR) recently, including regulatory decisions on the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) and Cap and Trade Program, in addition to the release of the Air Contaminants Benchmarks (ACB) List.
On September 26, 2016, the ministry posted a proposal for a regulation on the Environmental and Regulatory Registries that would require all but high risk and more complex activities with air and noise emissions to register in the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR).
On January 4, 2017, the regulatory decision was posted to the EBR (Registry # 012-8646) to prescribe the activities noted above for the purposes of subsection 20.21 (1) of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). The new EASR regulation made under EPA is: O. Reg. 1/17: Registrations Under Part II.2 of the Act –Activities Requiring Assessment of Air Emissions.
It is anticipated that a French version of the regulation will be available to the public in 2017. In the interim for all inquiries in French please contact Doris Dumais at (416) 327-9466 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key elements of O. Reg. 1/17 include:
- A list of sectors, defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and activities that have been deemed higher-risk or more complex and therefore are not prescribed by this EASR regulation. These higher risk sectors and activities include, for example: chemical manufacturing, cement manufacturing, mining, land disposal of waste, processing of metals outdoors etc.The requirement that assessments of discharges of contaminants from a facility to air, including noise and odour emissions, be prepared prior to registration and prior to making any modifications to confirm compliance with environmental standards and regulation requirements. These reports must be signed and sealed by a licensed engineering practitioner.
- Operation and maintenance procedures, complaints reporting/recording requirements and record-keeping requirements.
- The requirement for prescribed activities currently operating under an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) to register under the Air Emissions EASR by January 31, 2027 or before making modifications to the facility or operation of the facility.The EASR publication incorporated by reference into the regulation that outlines limits and other mandatory requirements for facilities governed by the Air Emissions EASR regulation.
In general, the requirements set out in the Air Emissions EASR regulation are similar to the current environmental standards that have, to date, been implemented through the ECA process. The new EASR regulation will help provide more certainty for businesses and encourage growth, while protecting the environment and human health.
The ministry is also currently consulting on proposed amendments to O. Reg. 524/98 that would expand the current list of exemptions from section 9 of the EPA for low-risk activities/facilities (EBR # 012-8764).
All supporting documents and additional information can be found on the EBR post for Registry #012-8646.
On December 28, 2016, the regulatory decision to proceed with amendments to the greenhouse gas cap and trade program was posted to the EBR (Registry # 012-8953). The amendments include changes to the:
- Cap and Trade Program Regulation (O. Reg. 144/16)
- Methodology for Distribution of Ontario Emission Allowances Free of Charge
- Quantification, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulation (O. Reg. 143/16)
- Guideline for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting
To review the full list of amendments and associated documentation, please refer to the full EBR post for Registry #012-8953.
On January 4, 2017, a notice was posted (Registry #012-9165) that the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has prepared a document that compiles standards, guideline values and screening levels used to assess contaminants released to air. It serves as a single reference window and replaces the following documents:
- Summary of Standards and Guidelines sorted by Chemical Abstracts Service (PIBS # 6569e01)
- Summary of Standards and Guidelines sorted by Chemical Name (PIBS # 6569e01)
- Jurisdictional Screening Level (JSL) List - A Screening Tool for Ontario Regulation 419 (PIBS #: 6547e)
The ACB List is intended for use primarily by an emitter who is required to prepare an Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling (ESDM) report in accordance with Ontario’s Regulation 419/05 Air Pollution – Local Air Quality (“the Local Air Quality Regulation” or “the Regulation”) made under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA).
The ACB List includes the following benchmarks:
- Benchmark 1 (B1) Values: Standards and guideline values
- Benchmark 2 (B2) Values: Screening levels
Exceedence of a B1 value triggers specific actions under the Regulation. Exceedence of a B2 value triggers a toxicological assessment to determine the potential for an adverse effect.
The introduction of the ACB List is not a new policy. The ACB List consolidates existing standards, guidelines and JSLs into one location. Guidance on how to use the ACB List and the list itself are available through the ministry website at the link provided here.