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We have updated this bulletin to include two additional COVID-19 related decisions posted to the registry on June 19, 2020. These decisions were made while Ontario Regulation 115/20 was in effect.
June 19, 2020
Why consultation isn't required
On April 1, 2020, the Ontario Government made a temporary regulation to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Ontario Regulation 115/20 exempts all proposals for policies, acts, regulations and instruments from posting requirements under the EBR until 30 days after the declared emergency is terminated. This Bulletin has been posted for public transparency and awareness.
The health and well-being of Ontarians is the government’s number one priority. During this unprecedented time, the government has taken decisive action to keep individuals and families safe and stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
On March 17, 2020, the Government of Ontario made an order declaring an emergency (the Emergency Declaration) under section 7.0.1 (1) the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to respond to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
On April 1, 2020, O. Reg. 115/20 (the Temporary Regulation) under the EBR came into effect, and on April 3, 2020, an Information Bulletin was posted on the Environmental Registry of Ontario to notify the public of the decision to make the Temporary Regulation. The Temporary Regulation would have been in effect until 30 days after the termination of the Emergency Declaration, had it not been revoked.
In early April, 2020, the Ontario Government acted quickly by temporarily exempting ministries from the requirement to post proposals for acts, regulations, policies and instruments to the Environmental Registry. This allowed the government to respond to the time-sensitive needs of regulated businesses that were experiencing impacts due to COVID-19, so they could continue operations and ensure goods and services could be delivered.
To maintain public transparency on environmental decision-making during this temporary measure, ministries posted Bulletins on the Environmental Registry for urgent COVID-19-related measures. During this time, ministries were expected to continue to post regular proposal notices, with public consultation, for matters that did not require the same urgent action.
Since the Temporary Regulation was made, the government has posted the following Bulletins for urgent COVID-19 related decisions:
- Delayed commencement of the new Excess Soil Regulation and exemption from Record of Site Condition for temporary hospitals and residences
- Amendments to the Petrochemical - Industry Standard under the Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Reg. 419/05)
- Amendments to the Petroleum Refining - Industry Standards under the Local Air Quality Regulation (O. Reg. 419/05)
- Suspension of Time-Of-Use (TOU) Electricity Rates during COVID-19 Outbreak
- Amendments to 2019 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Requirements in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Extending Certificates and Licences under O. Reg. 267/03 of the Nutrient Management Act, 2002
- Bill 189, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020 amendments to the Planning Act and Ontario Regulation 149/20 Special Rules Relating to Declared Emergency
- Instrument Decision Bulletin - Stericycle, ULC
- Instrument Decision Bulletin - Clean Harbors Canada, Inc.
This regulation was meant to be temporary, to allow for the government’s quick responses to time-sensitive needs of Ontario residents and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. As Ontario continues to take a safe, stage-by-stage approach to reopening the economy, it now has a better understanding of the COVID-19 impact and can better manage its effect on the regulated community to ensure continuity of operations. For this reason, we have revoked the Temporary Regulation that exempted ministries from the requirement to post proposals for acts, regulations, policies and instruments to the Environmental Registry and to consider Statement of Environmental Values.
The revocation of the Temporary Regulation fully restored the requirements in Part II of the EBR to post acts, policies, regulations and instruments on the ERO and to consider SEVs when making decisions that could significantly affect the environment.
This is one step towards resuming normal business operations, while ensuring strong environmental oversight.
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