Planning and reporting changes under the toxics reduction program and Ontario Regulation 455/09

ERO number
013-4235
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Toxics Reduction Act, 2009
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
December 6, 2018 - January 20, 2019 (45 days) Closed

This consultation was open from:
December 6, 2018
to January 20, 2019

Decision summary

We are making changes to address duplication and overlap with the federal government’s requirements for toxic substances to reduce burden for facilities. Facilities with existing toxics reduction plans will no longer be required to review those plans. In addition, all facilities in Ontario will no longer have new planning or reporting required.

Decision details

Changes to the regulation

Ontario has consulted on proposed changes to Ontario Regulation 455/09 (the regulation) under the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009. The proposed changes address duplication and overlap with the federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan program under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. This federal program also requires facilities to take action on toxic substances.

To avoid this unnecessary duplication, for the 2018 calendar year and onwards, all Ontario facilities will no longer need to:

  • prepare new plans
  • review existing plans
  • report on new substances.

Facilities with existing plans will just be required to annually report on substances their existing plans relate to.

In Ontario, facilities can choose whether or not they implement toxics reduction plans, whereas the federal government can request facilities implement both voluntary and mandatory actions, when necessary.

Facilities will continue to be able to amend their plans and are encouraged to continue implementing their toxics reduction options. To support this, we will now allow a facility to change their tracking and quantification methods immediately after implementing a significant process change, instead of having to wait a year.

Toxics reduction in Ontario

The Toxics Reduction Program has not achieved meaningful reductions. Preliminary results indicate an overall reduction of 0.04% of substances used, created and released for all regulated facilities.

We can use other existing compliance tools to address concerns with toxic substances. We have also released the proposed Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, which will help to protect and conserve our air, land and water.

We are maintaining the right balance between a healthy environment and a healthy economy.

Comments received

Through the registry

149

By email

34

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

What we heard

We considered all feedback received during the comment period for this posting. We received comments from a wide range of interested parties, including:

  • individual members of the public
  • industry
  • industry associations
  • non-governmental organizations
  • one toxic substance reduction planner

Industry and one toxic substance reduction planner (toxic substance reduction planners are licensed professionals who are required to recommend improvements to and certify facilities’ toxic reduction plans) were generally supportive of the proposed amendments to the regulation.

The public and non-governmental organizations were not supportive of the amendments.

Below is a summary of the comments received and how we considered them in amending the final regulation.

Comments are grouped into the following four themes:

  1. Impact to the environment, human health, and worker safety
  2. Focus on cutting red tape and promoting corporate interests at the expense of public interests
  3. Right to know about toxic substances in the community
  4. Commented on the proposal to repeal the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 in 2021.

1. Impact to the environment, human health and worker safety

Commenters were concerned that changes to planning requirements under the toxics reduction program could have negative impacts on environmental and human health, and on the safety of those working at facilities.

Response

We are not expecting a negative impact on the environment, human health, and worker safety as a result of the regulatory changes. Implementation of Toxic Reduction Plans was voluntary. We can use other existing compliance tools to address concerns with toxic substances. In addition, we have released the proposed Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, which will help to protect and conserve our air, land and water.

The federal government has a comprehensive program in place to manage toxic substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, which has similar objectives as the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 to prevent pollution and protect the environment and human health.

The federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan program under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, which takes a comprehensive science based approach, requires facilities to take action on toxic substances. Actions can include identifying options to reduce their use. We are confident in the federal Chemicals Management Plan’s approach to manage substances.

Facilities are still able to amend their existing toxic substance reduction plans. We encourage all facilities to continue to consider the implementation of reduction options identified in their current plan.

We also recognize that many facilities develop and maintain their own comprehensive environmental, health and safety management systems. These management systems are developed to ensure a clean environment, healthy communities, worker safety, and to assist first responders in emergencies.

2. Focus on cutting red tape and promoting corporate interests at the expense of public interests

Commenters were concerned that these changes would make it easier for facilities to use toxic substances and pollute. Commenters stated that businesses need oversight to protect public interests, including the environment and human health.

Response

We are committed to protecting the environment and human health while ensuring that Ontario is open for business. This is why we recently released our proposed Made–in-Ontario Environment Plan, which balances a healthy environment with a healthy economy. Ontario has other regulatory
instruments in place to address substances, such as under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990.

3. Right to know about toxic substances in the community

Commenters were concerned that the regulatory changes could negatively impact the public’s right to know about toxic substances in the community.

Response

The purposes of the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 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.

Our proposed regulatory changes will continue to inform Ontarians about toxic substances. Facilities with current toxics substance reduction plans will still be required to annually report on amounts used, created and amounts contained in products for those substances.

Annual reports and toxic reduction plan summaries from existing facilities will continue to be available to the public on ontario.ca as an open data set and through the toxics reduction environment map. Facilities are also required to make their annual reports and plan summaries available to the public on their websites.

Information regarding releases is also available online through the National Pollutant Release Inventory.

4. Commented on the proposal to repeal the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 in 2021

Some commenters submitted feedback on the Ministry’s proposal to repeal the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 in 2021 through the regulatory proposal notice instead of commenting directly on the Act proposal notice. For example, comments were received supporting the proposed repeal of the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009, while other comments recommended strengthening the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009.

Response

Feedback relevant to the Ministry’s proposal to repeal the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 in 2021 will be considered as part of the analysis to that proposal.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Toxics Reduction Program
Address

40 St. Clair Avenue West
4th floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number

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Original proposal

ERO number
013-4235
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Toxics Reduction Act, 2009
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Proposal posted

Comment period

December 6, 2018 - January 20, 2019 (45 days)

Proposal details

Description of regulation

We propose to:

  1. No longer require facilities with existing toxics reduction plans to conduct reviews of those plans;
  2. Exempt certain facilities from all future planning and reporting obligations for certain substances; and
  3. Maintain annual reporting obligations for facilities with existing plans.

1. No longer require facilities with existing toxics reduction plans to conduct reviews of those plans

Facilities with existing toxic substance reduction plans would not be required to review these plans. Facilities would still be able to amend their plans and choose to implement toxic substance reduction options.

2. Exempt certain facilities from all future planning and reporting obligations for certain substances

These exemptions would impact:

  • Facilities that have never planned or reported under the program, but now meet the reporting threshold for one or more toxic substances; or
  • Facilities that have been out of the program for three or more years for a toxic substance, but are coming back into the program because they meet a reporting threshold again; or
  • Facilities that are currently planning and reporting under the program, and now meet the reporting thresholds for a new toxic substance at the facility.

We propose that the exemptions for the substances mentioned above would apply to the following obligations:

  • Creating a toxic reduction plan;
  • Tracking and quantifying toxic substances;
  • Annual Reporting on planned reductions; and
  • Reviewing the toxic reduction plan.

3. Maintain annual reporting obligations for facilities with existing plans

Only facilities with current plans for substances that meet reporting thresholds would continue to annually report on the amounts of those substances under the Toxics Reduction Program.

Purpose of regulation

The purpose of the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009, is to:

  • Prevent pollution by reducing the use and creation of toxic substances; and
  • Inform Ontarians about those substances.

Industry is required to develop toxic reduction plans and report publicly each year. Implementation of plans is voluntary.

This proposal cuts red tape and reduces regulatory burden for businesses.

Other program changes

We are also proposing to repeal the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 and defer to the federal Chemicals Management Plan in 2021 as part of the government’s Open for Business Plan to address duplication and overlap, and reduce regulatory burden.

Read about and comment on the proposal.

Reducing red tape

Read more about Ontario’s proposal to reduce regulatory burden.

Regulatory impact statement

The amendment would apply to facilities in the manufacturing and mineral processing sectors that report under the Toxics Reduction Program.

There would no longer be new or reviewed plans for toxics substance reduction planners to provide recommendations on and certify. Planners would only be required if a facility chooses to voluntarily amend their plans.

A costing analysis was carried out by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and it was found that the annual average net savings of this proposal will far exceed the annual average administrative costs.

This proposal will cost current facilities an annual average administrative cost of $818,000 to learn about the changes to the regulations and to continue reporting on existing toxics substances until 2021. These costs are offset by the total annual average administrative net savings of approximately $4 million for all facilities to stop planning and for the program to end in 2021 (when the federal government has completed its chemical assessments and taken action on many toxic substances). All cost analysis was calculated as Average Annual Present Value costs discounted at 2.5% over 10 years.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Toxics Reduction Program
Address

40 St. Clair Avenue West
4th floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from December 6, 2018
to January 20, 2019

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