Changing the Mandate of the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority

ERO number
019-0671
Notice type
Act
Act
Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
October 28, 2019 - November 27, 2019 (30 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
October 28, 2019
to November 27, 2019

Decision summary

We have decided to change the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority’s mandate to include digital reporting services through its registry for a wider range of waste and resource recovery programs. Combining these services will save businesses time and money as a larger group of users will share costs and benefit from a modern registry.

Decision details

As part of the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act we consulted on changing the mandate of the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA).

Following these consultations, we have decided to change RPRA’s mandate to include digital reporting services through its registry for a wider range of waste and resource recovery programs. We also adjusted the proposal in response to a recommendation from our regulated community. Including digital reporting services for a wider range of waste and resource recovery programs will make reporting easier and faster for regulated communities. To change RPRA’s mandate, we have amended the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act (RRCEA), the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and the Waste Diversion Transition Act (WDTA).

Reasons for changing the mandate of RPRA

We are modernizing government, so that it works more efficiently and effectively for the people and businesses of Ontario. Our plan is to use secure digital methods to bring more government services online and remove out-of-date processes.

Changing RPRA’s mandate:

  • Helps meet Ontario’s Environment Plan commitment of ensuring waste is properly stored, transported, recycled, recovered and disposed. We will benefit from RPRA’s existing assets and knowledge.
  • Supports burden reduction by providing efficient digital services for businesses.
  • Enables more efficient compliance monitoring and timely enforcement actions, which will provide assurance for Ontarians that polluters are held accountable.
  • Increases the number of RPRA stakeholders, creating a larger group of users to share common program costs.

Comments received

Through the registry

33

By email

19

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
  • businesses
  • industry and industry associations
  • not-for-profits
  • municipalities and their boards

Businesses, industry and municipalities were primarily supportive of the proposal to change the mandate of RPRA to include digital reporting services through its registry for a wider range of waste and resource recovery programs. Industry and municipalities were supportive of submitting information electronically through a modern registry because this will reduce administrative burden.

The public was also generally supportive of the proposal because of the benefits from moving to electronic, modern reporting services.

Industry had concerns regarding program fees for the reporting services that will transition to RPRA. Industry also had concerns with expanding RPRA’s mandate, and that we could assign future duties and powers to RPRA, including new programs, through regulation.

We also received recommendations for how the Hazardous Waste program reporting service should be designed and what features should be included in the service. These recommendations will be considered when we begin working on the design of the new reporting service in 2020.

We have made one change from our original proposal under the theme of protecting commercially sensitive information, because of what we heard through our consultation. Below is a summary of the comments received and how we considered them in our decision. The comments are grouped into five themes:

  1. Concerns with expanding the scope of RPRA 
  2. Concerns with how we transition programs to RPRA
  3. Concerns with costs and fees
  4. Protecting commercially sensitive information
  5. Administrative burden

1. Concerns with expanding the scope of RPRA

Our original proposal recommended we change the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority’s mandate to include digital reporting services through its registry for a wider range of waste and resource recovery programs. We heard concerns from industry about allowing RPRA to take on additional programs. Industry recommended the resource recovery programs already assigned to RPRA be up and running before transitioning additional programs.

Our response

A modern digital reporting service with mobile capability provided by RPRA will make it easier and faster for the regulated community to meet their reporting requirements, reducing administrative burden. RPRA currently has a registry in operation (the Used Tires program registry); they have the ability and expertise to build and run a registry with online registration and payment functionality.

Allowing RPRA to offer digital reporting services for additional waste and resource recovery programs will save businesses time and money. Combining digital services will see a larger group of users sharing common costs and benefiting from a streamlined digital service.

2. Concerns with how we transition programs to RPRA

Our original proposal recommended we transition digital reporting services for new or existing programs to RPRA through a Minister’s letter or regulation that would provide direction to RPRA on the program being transitioned. We heard concerns from industry that transitioning programs should proceed through the legislature to ensure the merits of transitioning proposed programs are well understood through debate. Industry would like programs transitioned to RPRA to be mentioned directly in the RRCEA (e.g. directly in the legislation).

Our response

Using a Minister’s directive letter or regulation ensures we can efficiently transition program reporting services to RPRA. This method also provides flexibility for the ministry to resume the delivery of registry services if issues were to arise. Amending the RRCEA can be a lengthy process in comparison to drafting a Minister’s directive letter or regulation.

Stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide input regarding regulations that transition reporting services to RPRA, during the public consultation of these new regulations. For instance, we will consult on specific regulatory changes related to Hazardous Waste in 2020.

3. Cost and fee concerns

In our proposal we mentioned making changes to allow RPRA to be able to set and collect fees for the digital reporting services they will be providing for any new programs they take on. We also mentioned that these fees will include costs incurred by the ministry for program oversight, policy and program development, compliance and enforcement. We heard concerns from industry about the costs we intend to recover from RPRA. Industry felt some of these costs, including policy and program development, should not be recovered by the ministry.

We also heard concerns from industry around the increasing costs of RPRA and RPRA’s value for money.

Our response

RPRA is required to consult on their fees, which helps ensure that fee setting is transparent for industry.

Changing RPRA’s mandate allows RPRA to take on additional waste and resource recovery programs. Increasing the number of RPRA stakeholders will lead to a larger group of users sharing common costs, which is expected to reduce fees and save businesses money. While common costs of the registry platform will be shared, fees for each program will remain separate and distinct, ensuring producers only pay their relevant share (e.g. only tire producers would continue to pay for tire specific registry costs). 

The Hazardous Waste program has been a full cost recovery program since 2017. We are intending that it will remain a full cost recovery program even when digital reporting services are transitioned to RPRA. The fees will include costs for both RPRA and the ministry to deliver, manage, oversee, and continuously improve the program. Stakeholders will have an opportunity during future regulatory consultations to provide input on costs and fees.

4. Protecting commercially sensitive information

We heard from industry that there are concerns with data privacy, given that a third-party authority outside of government will be collecting and managing data.

Our response

We have made changes in response to this concern. We have made an additional amendment to the RRCEA to clarify that commercially sensitive information that is submitted through the registry cannot be publicly released by RPRA. If needed, commercially sensitive information can be defined through a future regulation.

This change will provide greater fairness and protection to business by building on the existing privacy requirements already in place. RPRA’s ability to release confidential business information is already limited under the RRCEA. Also, RPRA has publicly available bylaws and policies in place to protect sensitive confidential information.

5. Administrative burden

Industry, individual members of the public and non-governmental organizations were supportive of the transition to a modernized, digital reporting system with anticipated reduced administrative burden as a result of this transition. There were some concerns that the reporting service would not be user friendly and may cause increased burden.

Regarding hazardous waste program reporting, we also received recommendations from industry to harmonize with federal and municipal hazardous waste reporting systems to reduce overlap and duplication, as well as recommendations to build a system that meets user needs.

Our response

Modernized digital reporting services will be designed with user needs and stakeholder feedback in mind. We will work with RPRA to engage stakeholders throughout the implementation of all new digital reporting services to ensure services are user friendly and easy to navigate to report information.

We intend on working with other jurisdictions to find reporting solutions that minimize the effort required to report by stakeholders.

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.

Program Management Branch
Address

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

Office phone number

Connect with us

Contact

Jamie Haldenby

Phone number
Office
Program Management Branch - Program Oversight
Address

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

Sign up for notifications

We will send you email notifications with any updates related to this consultation. You can change your notification preferences anytime by visiting settings in your profile page.

Follow this notice

Original proposal

ERO number
019-0671
Notice type
Act
Act
Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Proposal posted

Comment period

October 28, 2019 - November 27, 2019 (30 days)

Proposal details

This proposal notice is part of the proposal for the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act.

We are proposing to make reporting easier and faster for regulated communities by changing the mandate of the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA). To do this, we need to amend the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act (RRCEA), the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and the Waste Diversion Transition Act (WDTA). This would allow RPRA to offer digital reporting services for a wider range of waste and resource recovery programs.

The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority

RPRA is a non-Crown and not-for-profit responsible for:

  • administering producer responsibility through resource recovery and waste reduction programs
  • operating a public digital registry to receive and share data
  • providing oversight, compliance and enforcement functions under the RRCEA and WDTA

Changing RPRA’s mandate would leverage their existing assets and knowledge.

This proposal is consistent with the Reducing Litter and Waste in Our Communities discussion paper that proposes using RPRA to collect waste information.

Proposed changes

1. Change RPRA’s mandate to include digital reporting services, fee setting, and cost recovery for other programs beyond producer responsibility

Currently RPRA only collects information related to resource recovery and waste reduction programs. We are proposing to have RPRA collect information for other programs beyond resource recovery and waste reduction. This would include having RPRA carry out registration of programs and overseeing reporting, data management and fee collection for duties related to waste, beyond waste reduction, or resource recovery. This would save all businesses money as a larger group of system users would be sharing common costs.

RPRA currently sets and collects fees to recover the costs for administering programs under the RRCEA. We are proposing changes to allow RPRA to set and collect fees for the digital reporting services they would be providing for any new programs they take on. The fees would include costs incurred by the ministry for program oversight, compliance and enforcement.

2. Maintain government oversight for the programs that will transition to RPRA

We are proposing to allow the ministry to set guidance on fee structures for the programs that RPRA will be providing digital reporting services.

Compliance and enforcement for future programs taken on by RPRA will remain the responsibility of the ministry. RPRA would be responsible for operating the digital reporting service to ensure reports are complete and related fees are collected.

We are not proposing any changes to the existing ministry oversight of RPRA.

3. Make other associated changes

Currently, the ministry recovers its program costs through an Order in Council. We are proposing to recover all ministry costs more efficiently through a Minister’s Order.

The WDTA sets out RPRA’s responsibilities, including its responsibility to oversee the transition of waste diversion programs operated by industry funding organizations (IFOs), to the new extended producer responsibility framework under the RRCEA. We propose to amend the WDTA to allow the transfer of residual surplus funds left at the end of transition, from an IFO to RPRA. While most funds are spent during program transition, some funds may still remain at the end of the transition. This change would allow those residual funds to go to RPRA, where they would be used to reduce fees and financially benefit the regulated community related to the program being transitioned.

We are also proposing to permit future regulations that could assign additional duties and powers to RPRA. The ministry would consult on any future regulations.

Rationale for proposed changes

We are building a modern government to be simpler, faster and more cost-effective, while ensuring we have the right rules and regulations, which are supported by effective enforcement. This proposal:

  • Helps meet Ontario’s Environment Plan commitment of ensuring waste is properly stored, transported, recycled, recovered and disposed. We will benefit from RPRA’s existing assets and knowledge.
  • Supports burden reduction by providing efficient digital services for businesses.
  • Enables more efficient compliance monitoring and timely enforcement actions, which would provide assurance for Ontarians that polluters are held accountable.
  • Increases the number of RPRA stakeholders, creating a larger group of users to share common program costs.

Proposed program to transition to RPRA

The first digital reporting service we are proposing to transition to RPRA is for the Hazardous Waste program. In 2020, we will be consulting on specific regulatory changes related to Hazardous Waste.

Currently the Hazardous Waste program’s digital reporting service is difficult to use resulting in the majority of reports being submitted on paper (e.g. manifests). To make reporting easier, we are proposing to have RPRA develop and deliver a digital reporting service for this program.

Analysis of regulatory impact

The proposed amendments to change the mandate of the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority to include digital reporting services for other programs will help business achieve efficiencies and cost savings in the future. We will post an analysis of regulatory impact for consultation when we return with regulations to support this initiative in the future.

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from October 28, 2019
to November 27, 2019

Connect with us

Contact

Jamie Haldenby

Phone number
Office
Program Management Branch - Program Oversight
Address

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