The Ministry has recognized that there are challenges facing the current Certificate of Approvals process in Ontario and, as a result, is considering a possible framework for modernization. The attached document provides details on a proposed approach to amend the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA) that would continue to protect the environment and improve service to business. Should the proposed framework be adopted and legislation passed, additional regulatory and policy decisions would also be required.
Over the years, the government has introduced incremental changes to the process to keep the Certificates of Approval system efficient, effective and to improve delivery. Over time, businesses and the government have identified that the approvals process requires broader changes. The most notable aspects of the proposed modernized approvals process are:
- Introducing a new, simplified process for activities that could be categorized as either lower-risk, less-complex or that have standard requirements, while continuing to be protective of the environment and human health
- Creating provisions for single-site, multi-media permits or single, multi-site approvals
- Providing service delivery standards and on-line tools to support government to business interaction for approvals related processes
- Improving public transparency through improved reporting and an on-line public information website to access approvals related information