Amendments to Ontario Regulation 455/09 and creation of a new services documents regulation under the Toxics Reduction Act

ERO number
012-8583
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Toxics Reduction Act, 2009
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
July 28, 2017 - September 26, 2017 (60 days) Closed

This consultation was open from:
July 28, 2017
to September 26, 2017

Decision summary

We have changed when facilities have to review their toxic reduction plans. This will help to align the first two plan reviews with federal timelines and ensure facilities plan and report on current and relevant toxic substances. We also made a new regulation to provide more options to serve documents making it consistent with other regulations.

Decision details

We have amended Ontario Regulation 455/09 and introduced a new service of documents regulation under the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 that provides more options to serve documents. The amendments were modified as a result of public consultation and will come into effect on April 23, 2018.

The amendments to Ontario Regulation 455/09 has:

  • Changed how often facilities have to review their toxic reduction plans:
    • The first plan review cycle is now extended to six years, with plan reviews due on December 31, 2019.
    • The second plan review cycle is now four years later, with plan reviews due on December 31, 2023.
    • After 2023, facilities will return to the original timing to review their toxic reduction plans every five years.
  • Simplified the information facilities are required to include in their plans:
    • Facilities are no longer required to include all the previous years' accounting records since the current plan was created. These records will continue to still be available.
    • Only the previous year's accounting records are required.
  • Better aligned the Toxic Reduction Program with the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) reporting extensions and administrative data updates i.e. North American Industry Classification System codes, spatial coordinates, and emails.
  • Clarified language and corrected minor errors.

We have extended the first plan review cycle by one year to ensure alignment with the NPRI Gazette Notice cycle. This also provides facilities with more time to explore opportunities to reduce toxic substances and develop a meaningful plan for the second planning cycle.

The following four year plan review cycle continues to align with the NPRI Gazette Notice cycle while making toxics reduction a more regular consideration in facilities' business planning processes.

After 2023, facilities will review their toxic reduction plans on the original schedule, which is every five years. The ministry will continue to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the plan review timing.

No changes were made to the proposed service of documents regulation.

We heard through the Environmental Registry posting that stakeholders are looking for broader changes to the Toxics Reduction Program. We are looking forward to working closely with stakeholders on future continuous improvements.

Comments received

Through the registry

3

By email

8

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

We reviewed and considered the comments received on the proposed amendments to Ontario Regulation 455/09. We received a total of 11 comments, including 26 individual issues from the following stakeholder groups:

  • Industry (3 comments: 2 of these comments were exact duplicates)
  • Industry Associations (7 comments)
  • Environmental Non-Governmental Agencies (1 comment)

No comments were received on the new service of documents regulation.

There was support from Industry and Industry Associations for the minor amendments to Ontario Regulation 455/09. However, all stakeholders indicated through the Environmental Registry posting that they want to see broader changes to the Toxics Reduction Program.

Additional amendments

Based on the comments received, the ministry is proceeding with the following additional amendments to Ontario Regulation 455/09:

Protecting personal privacy

Industry indicated that providing certifications to the public that include signatures has made them vulnerable to identity theft.

The amendment originally proposed in the July 28, 2017 notice has been changed to allow regulated facilities to make certified plan summaries and annual reports available to the public without the signatures visible.

Signed certifications of the plan and annual report will still be required to be kept at the facility.

Clarifying language and intent of the regulation

Industry Associations said there are logistical concerns with the timing of posting the plan summary and annual report to the public and notifying their employees on the same day.

The amendment originally proposed in the July 28, 2017 notice has been changed to allow regulated facilities to notify employees within five days of the plan summary or annual report being made available to the public.

Additional considerations

Overall, all stakeholders would like to see significant legislative and/or regulatory amendments to the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 and Ontario Regulation 455/09, which is out of scope for the current regulatory amendment.

For example, some of the recommendations provided by stakeholders requested changes to substances, equivalency of environmental management systems, and the enactment of the unproclaimed sections of the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009. The ministry encourages the public to use the living list process to nominate changes to the prescribed list of substances. Some stakeholders requested changes to the Single Window system to help ease reporting burden. These recommendations will be reviewed and may be considered for inclusion in future updates to Single Window. Recommendations that were not incorporated in this amendment were logged to be considered in future initiatives.

The ministry is committed to protecting our environment while reducing the regulatory administrative burden for facilities. We look forward to working closely with stakeholders on future continuous improvements for the Toxics Reduction Program.

Supporting materials

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You can view supporting materials in person. Some are not available online because of ownership rights or for accessibility reasons.

Get in touch with the contact person listed below to find out what materials are available.

You can view them in person at these locations:

Toxics Reduction Program
Address

40 St Clair Avenue West
Floor 5
Toronto ON M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number

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Original proposal

ERO number
012-8583
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Toxics Reduction Act, 2009
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Proposal posted

Comment period

July 28, 2017 - September 26, 2017 (60 days)

Proposal details

Description of regulation

The Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 (TRA) and Ontario Regulation 455/09 (O. Reg. 455/09) came into force on January 1, 2010. The purposes of the Act are to prevent pollution and protect human health and the environment by reducing the use and creation of toxic substances and to inform Ontarians about toxic substances.

As part of its response to the Red Tape Challenge, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is proposing a number of minor amendments to O. Reg. 455/09 aimed to reduce reporting burden, simplify the toxic substance reduction planning process, adjust the schedule and timing of the plan review process, protect business confidentiality, clarify language and intent, better align with the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) where appropriate, and correct minor errors. In addition, MOECC is proposing a new service of documents regulation under the TRA to modernize the way that documents are served. The proposed amendments are not anticipated to substantially impact policy direction or intent of the TRA, O. Reg. 455/09, or the Toxics Reduction Program.

The proposed amendments to O. Reg. 455/09 and the proposed new service of documents regulation are described below.

Proposed Amendments to O. Reg. 455/09

MOECC is proposing that O. Reg. 455/09 be amended with respect to:

  1. Reducing a reporting requirement from the annual report for the regulated community;
  2. Modifying the planning process to focus on technically feasible options;
  3. Simplifying the toxic substance plan review process;
  4. Adjusting the schedule and timing of the plan review process;
  5. Protecting confidential business information;
  6. Aligning with changes made to the NPRI reporting requirements;
  7. Clarifying language and intent of the regulation;
  8. Correcting minor errors; and
  9. Removing spent items.
  1. Reducing a reporting requirement from the annual report for the regulated community

    Require facilities to report on the estimated amounts of toxic substance reductions from the implementation of more than one option in aggregate rather than per option, as is currently the case.

  2. Modifying the planning process to focus on technically feasible options

    Modify the toxic substance reduction planning process so that estimates of reduction in the use, creation, and discharge of a toxic substance included in the plan would only be required for those reduction options determined to be technically feasible.

  3. Simplifying the toxic substance plan review process

    When creating a new version of a plan as a result of a review of the plan, a facility:

    1. Would be required to provide a new statement of intention to reduce a toxic substance or, alternately, the reasons for not making such a statement. A rationale explaining the changes from the previous plan would no longer be required.
    2. Would be required to update the objectives, but would not be required to provide a rationale explaining the changes from the previous plan.
    3. Would no longer be required to include all the previous years’ records since the current plan was created. Only the previous year’s accounting records would be required to be included. Facilities are already required to retain all documents and records created or acquired for preparing, amending and reviewing plans, and for tracking and quantifying substances for a minimum of seven years.
  4. Adjust the schedule and timing of the plan review process

    Change the date by which facilities must review and prepare a new version of their toxic substance reduction plans from December 31, 2018 to December 31, 2019, and require subsequent reviews of plans take place every sixth year instead of every fifth year.

  5. Protecting business confidentiality

    For the purpose of reporting to the public, require year-over-year comparisons for the use, creation and contained in product to be expressed in percentages only, and not in actual units of measurement as well, as is currently the case.

  6. Aligning with changes made to the NPRI reporting requirements
    1. Automatically provide facilities with an extension to the due date for submitting, annual reports, exit records and exemption records if NPRI reporting deadlines are extended.
    2. Provide the Director with the discretion to extend the due date for submitting plan summaries if there are technical difficulties with submitting them through the online reporting interface (i.e., Single Window).
    3. Align administrative information required by the Toxics Reduction Program with that required by NPRI. The changes focus on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, spatial coordinates, and email addresses.
  7. Clarifying language and intent of the regulation
    1. Automatically provide facilities with an extension to the due date for submitting, annual reports, exit records and exemption records if NPRI reporting deadlines are extended.
    2. Provide the Director with the discretion to extend the due date for submitting plan summaries if there are technical difficulties with submitting them through the online reporting interface (i.e., Single Window).
    3. Align administrative information required by the Toxics Reduction Program with that required by NPRI. The changes focus on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, spatial coordinates, and email addresses.
  8. Administrative/housekeeping changes
  9. Removing provisions that no longer apply

Proposed New Service of Documents Regulation under the Toxics Reduction Act

  1. Make a new service of documents regulation under the TRA to modernize how certain documents are served. This would be similar to service of documents regulations found under the Environmental Protection, Safe Drinking Water, Pesticides, Nutrient Management, Clean Water, and Ontario Water Resources Acts.

Purpose of regulation

Proposed Amendments to O. Reg. 455/09

The purposes of the proposed regulatory amendments to O. Reg. 455/09 are to make relatively minor administrative and timing changes to the regulation that do not impact any significant policy direction or intent of the TRA, O. Reg. 455/09, or the Toxics Reduction Program. Specifically, the purposes for the proposed amendments include:

  1. Reducing a reporting requirement from the annual report for the regulated community

    Ontario's Business Growth Initiative aims to invest in innovation, help businesses scale up, and modernize the province's regulatory environment by cutting red tape. The proposed regulatory amendment described above is intended to reduce a small amount of burden of the current regulatory reporting requirements.

  2. Modifying the planning process to focus on technically feasible options

    The regulation currently requires that facilities follow the following toxic substance reduction planning process: (1) identify at least one option for each of the specified seven categories of reduction; (2) provide estimates of the amount by which the use, creation, and discharge of the substance at the facility would be reduced; (3) determine which of the identified options are technically feasible; (4) of those that are technically feasible, undertake an economic feasibility analysis of those options; and (5) provide a list of the options that are both technically and economically feasible. By modifying the process so that estimates of reduction would only apply to technically feasible options, it focuses the efforts on options that facilities would be more likely to implement.

  3. Simplifying the toxic substance plan review process

    Several of the proposed regulatory amendments will make the toxic substance reduction plan review and update process less burdensome for facilities by removing redundancies and clarifying legal requirements.

  4. Adjust the schedule and timing of the plan review process

    Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is currently consulting on a number of items for the 2018-19 NPRI Notice related to the list of prescribed substances and their thresholds and reporting rules. Toxic substances for the purposes of the TRA are those (in addition to acetone) included in the list of substances captured in a NPRI Notice for a particular year. If ECCC adopts its proposed changes, a significant number of facilities subject to the TRA could see their plan review processes impacted. MOECC’s proposal seeks to postpone the plan review year until 2019 which would better align with the timing of the 2018-19 NPRI Notice. This could reduce the plan review burden on facilities affected by the NPRI changes. Additionally, changing the plan review timeline to a six-year review cycle would provide for better alignment with the NPRI Notice in the future and avoid the current situation where proposed changes to the NPRI Notice could substantially impact the plan review process.

  5. Protect confidential business information

    The regulation currently requires the public posting of calculations that can potentially be used to determine confidential business and proprietary information. The proposed regulatory amendment would remove this requirement for public posting in order to protect the regulated community’s business interests. This information would still be required to be reported to MOECC.

  6. Aligning with changes made to the NPRI reporting requirements

    The Toxics Reduction Program, through O. Reg. 455/09 adopts the reporting requirements of the NPRI Notice, published biennially by ECCC. Since O. Reg. 455/09 was made, several administrative changes have been made by ECCC through the NPRI Notice that these proposed amendments seek to address. They focus on the reporting requirements with respect to the NAICS codes, spatial coordinates, and email addresses of prescribed facility contacts.

    Additionally, the proposed amendments to the regulation align reporting and submission dates with those required under NPRI, and provide a way for regulated facilities to be granted extensions that align with those granted by ECCC or for specific technical issues related to the online reporting interface (i.e., Single Window).

  7. Clarifying language and intent of the regulation

    The proposed amendments clarify how and when annual report information is required to be made available to the public on the internet, and clarify what is meant with respect to what notices are to be submitted to the Director.

  8. Correcting minor errors

    The proposed amendments correct minor errors made in the drafting of s. 18.1 (b) (i) and in s. 27 (5).

  9. Removing provisions that no longer apply

    As O. Reg. 455/09 was phased-in over two years, the regulation contains references to dates and requirements that are no longer relevant, and it is proposed that they be removed.

Proposed New Service of Documents Regulation under the Toxics Reduction Act

A service of documents regulation under the TRA would give the regulated community certainty and clarity with regard to how documents can be served under the Act. It would help to modernize how documents are given or served and would be similar to those service of documents regulations found under the Environmental Protection, Safe Drinking Water, Pesticides, Nutrient Management, Clean Water, and Ontario Water Resources Acts.

Public consultation

This proposal was posted for a 60 day public review and comment period starting July 28, 2017. Comments were to be received by September 26, 2017.

All comments received during the comment period are being considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry.

Please Note: All comments and submissions received have become part of the public record.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

You can view supporting materials in person. Some are not available online because of ownership rights or for accessibility reasons.

Get in touch with the contact person listed below to find out what materials are available.

You can view them in person at these locations:

Toxics Reduction Program
Address

40 St Clair Avenue West
Floor 5
Toronto ON M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from July 28, 2017
to September 26, 2017

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