Proposed amendments to Ontario Regulation 244/97 and the Aggregate Resources of Ontario Provincial Standards under the Aggregate Resources Act

ERO number
019-1303
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Aggregate Resources Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
February 12, 2020 - May 15, 2020 (93 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
February 12, 2020
to May 15, 2020

Decision summary

The ARA Regulation and the Aggregate Resources of Ontario Provincial Standards have been amended to change the way in which aggregates are managed in Ontario.

Decision details

Ontario Regulation 244/97 under the ARA and the Aggregate Resources of Ontario Provincial Standards have been amended to support the growth of communities, reduce burdens to the aggregate industry while managing community impacts, and maintaining strong environmental protections.

Among other things, the regulation and standards outline requirements for new pit and quarry applications and specify operating and reporting requirements that apply to all sites authorized under the ARA.

Changes made will modernize the way aggregate resources are managed, including:

  • new and updated technical reports and information requirements for applications to establish a new pit or quarry including enhanced water study requirements
  • updated site plan requirements for new pit and quarry applications
  • enhanced notification and consultation requirements for new pit and quarry applications
  • updated conditions that will apply to newly issued licences and permits
  • new application requirements for existing pit or quarry operators wishing to make an amendment to extract below the water table or to expand into an adjacent road allowance
  • new rules requiring custom plans to be prepared for applications seeking to extract from land under water
  • exemptions from needing a licence for some small excavations on private land if rules set in regulation are followed
  • new rules to allow self-filling of some minor routine site plan amendments (e.g. re-location of some structures or fencing as long as setbacks are respected) 
  • updated operating requirements that apply to all pits and quarries authorized under the ARA
  • updated annual compliance reporting requirements, including a streamlined report for inactive sites

Comments received

Through the registry

198

By email

47

By mail

2
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

Proposed changes to Ontario Regulation 244/97 under the ARA and the Aggregate Resources of Ontario Provincial Standards were posted on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for 93 days from February 12, 2020 to May 15, 2020.

Members of the public, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, and a range of other stakeholders (including industry, agricultural, environmental, community and professional) submitted feedback on the proposals.

Technical sessions were also held for Indigenous communities and organizations, municipal organizations, industry stakeholders, environmental and community-based stakeholders, agricultural organizations and professional organizations.

Comments received reflected a wide array of perspectives. Many commenters expressed general support for updating and modernizing the way that aggregates are managed. In many cases, there were differing views about what updates were needed.

There were a few proposals that were widely supported – for example:

  • many commenters generally agreed that updates to technical reports that new applicants are required to prepare were needed, however, there were differing views about the focus of such updates
  • there was support for modernizing how applications are submitted, including site plans, to make better use of digital tools and new technology
  • with some exceptions, there was support for better aligning applications requirements between private and Crown land
  • all commenters were supportive of enhancing the rehabilitation information required to be reported as part of annual compliance reporting

In response to feedback, a number of proposals did not move forward. These include:

  • a proposal to provide more flexibility in how licence boundaries are marked. (Note: existing requirements will continue, i.e. licensees will continue to be required to fence boundaries)
  • a proposal for a more streamlined process which would allow an applicant to ask for more time extending the licence application process beyond two years
  • proposals to remove conditions related to other regulators’ approvals, change what activities are captured under hours of operations and specify trees and stumps cannot be buried
  • a proposed requirement for Class A licence applicants to notify residents located within 150 m / 500 m of a proposed pit or quarry. (Note: applicants will continue to be required to notify landowners within 120 m of the proposed site)
  • a proposed requirement for all sites to mitigate dust and have a dust plan. (Note: existing requirements will continue, i.e. new sites will continue to be required to mitigate dust)
  • a proposed requirement to require some existing quarries to undertake blast monitoring. (Note: existing requirements will continue, i.e. new quarries will continue to be required to monitor blasts)

Also in response to feedback, some proposals were modified. Key modifications include:

  • the proposal to provide more flexibility for how some things are identified on a site plan was modified to remove temporary processing equipment and portable asphalt/concrete plants
  • crown land applicants will be required to undertake additional notification activities similar to what is required on private land (e.g., news source postings)
  • changes were made to clarify that information sessions for new applications intended to share information with the public can be held in person, by teleconference or electronically
  • applicants will be directed to obtain landowner contact information needed to undertake notification and consultation from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, instead of from municipalities as originally proposed
  • new licences and permits will not need to include recycled aggregate in their tonnage limits as was originally proposed, however, they will still need to report annually on the amount of recycled material removed
  • farm businesses eligible to register for a permit by rule exemption will be able to excavate up to 3000 cubic metres of aggregate, instead of the 1000 cubic metres originally proposed
  • the list of amendments proposed to be eligible for ‘self-filing’ was modified and the following will not be included at this time: those related to recycling, portable processing equipment, portable asphalt/concrete plants and entrances/exits
  • information on rehabilitation progress will be required from inactive sites submitting a streamlined annual compliance assessment report
  • an assessment of potential impacts to the natural environment will be required for amendment applications to expand an operation to allow extraction below the water table

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

MNRF - Natural Resources Conservation Policy Branch - Resource Development Section
Address

300 Water Street
2nd Floor, South tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Connect with us

Contact

Resource Development Coordinator

Email address
Office
MNRF - Natural Resources Conservation Policy Branch - Resource Development Section
Address

300 Water Street
2nd Floor, South tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-1303
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Aggregate Resources Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Proposal posted

Comment period

February 12, 2020 - May 15, 2020 (93 days)

Proposal details

Aggregate Resources Act

Ontario’s aggregate resources are primarily regulated under the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA). These non-renewable aggregate resources include stone, sand, and gravel.

Ontario requires a continued supply of aggregate resources. Approximately 160 million tonnes of aggregate are needed in Ontario each year. Yet, it is equally important to manage and minimize the impact extraction operations may have on the environment and on the communities that surround them. These operations are located across our diverse province, and the regulatory framework that manages them must be fair and predictable and flexible enough to be effective. Most of the aggregate produced in Ontario comes from private land in the southern region of the province where most demand exists.

Background

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has gathered perspectives from industry, municipalities, members of the public, Indigenous communities and other stakeholders for making changes to the way in which extraction of aggregate resources is regulated in Ontario.

Amendments to the Aggregate Resources Act were made on December 10, 2019, as part of Bill 132, the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act.

To build on those changes, we are consulting on proposed regulatory changes and are looking for your feedback.

The details of the proposed changes can be found in the supporting material document titled: Proposals to amend Ontario Regulation 244/97 and the Aggregate Resources of Ontario Provincial Standards under the Aggregate Resources Act

Proposed regulatory changes

For new pits and quarries:

  • enhancing the information required to be included in summary statements and technical reports at the time of application
  • improving flexibility in how some standard site plan requirements can be implemented and modernizing how site plans are created
  • creating better consistency of site plan requirements between private and Crown land and better alignment with other policy frameworks
  • updating the list of qualified professionals who can prepare Class A site plans
  • updating the required conditions that must be attached to a newly issued licence or permit
  • adjusting notification and consultation timeframes for new pit and quarry applications
  • changing and clarifying some aspects of the required notification process for new applications
  • updating the objection process to clarify the process
  • updating which agencies are to be circulated new pit and quarry applications for comment

For existing pits and quarries:

  • making some requirements related to dust and blasting apply to all existing and new pits and quarries (requirements which were previously only applied to new applications)
  • updating and enhancing some operating requirements that apply to all pits and quarries, including new requirements related to dust management and storage of recycled aggregate materials
  • providing consistency on compliance reporting requirements, while reducing burdens for inactive sites
  • enhancing reporting on rehabilitation by requiring more context and detail on where, when and how rehabilitation is or has been undertaken
  • clarifying application requirements for site plan amendments
  • outlining requirements for amendment applications to expand an existing site into an adjacent road allowance
  • outlining requirements for amendment applications to expand an existing site into the water table
  • setting out eligibility criteria and requirements to allow operators to self-file changes to existing site plans for some routine activities without requiring approval from the ministry (subject to conditions set out in regulation)

Allowing minor extraction for personal or farm use:

  • outlining eligibility and operating requirements in order for some excavation activities to be exempted from needing a licence (i.e., if rules set in regulation are followed). This would be for personal use (max. of 300 cubic meters) or farm use (max. 1,000 cubic meters)

While no changes to aggregates fees are being proposed at this time, we are committed to reviewing and consulting further on any proposed changes to aggregate fees and royalties.

Regulatory impact analysis

The anticipated environmental consequences of the regulatory proposal are positive as the proposed changes reflect necessary updates to both application requirements for new sites (e.g. technical reports) and existing operational standards and prescribed conditions (e.g. dust mitigation and blast monitoring) that protect the environment and minimize community impacts.

The anticipated social consequences of the proposal are positive. Proposals include modernizing and clarifying timelines, processes and requirements for notification and consultation for both private and Crown land applications. This will ensure proper processes are followed for community engagement and consultation on proposals.

The anticipated economic consequences of the proposal are neutral to positive. While many of the proposed changes are intended to reduce burden, streamline approvals and add flexibility for new applicants and existing operators, some of the proposals may add additional requirements and costs depending upon the unique applicant or operator circumstances and the combinations of applicability of the proposals to a particular application type and existing operation.

For more information on the estimated potential cost savings or increases, please refer to Section 5 of the document.

These are estimated costs/savings. Comments are welcome from those incurring the costs to better help the Ministry understand the real costs or savings associated with these proposals.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

MNRF - Natural Resources Conservation Policy Branch - Resource Development Section
Address

300 Water Street
2nd Floor, South tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from February 12, 2020
to May 15, 2020

Connect with us

Contact

Resource Development Coordinator

Email address
Office
MNRF - Natural Resources Conservation Policy Branch - Resource Development Section
Address

300 Water Street
2nd Floor, South tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada