The Ministry of the Environment has recently implemented an Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) that allows businesses to register certain activities with the Ministry. The EASR is a public, web-based system where people engaging in selected activities will be required to register the activity and to meet eligibility and operating requirements set out in regulation, rather than seeking an approval through the normal application submission and review process. These requirements could be comprised of, but not limited to, design requirements, pollution control measures and best management practices. The Ministry will enforce compliance with the EASR regulation according to our compliance strategy, as we do for all our approvals today.
To date, activities relating to the following have been added to the registry: automotive refinishing (autobody shop spray booths), comfort heating systems and stand-by power systems. Registry requirements for these activities/sectors are described in Ontario Regulation 245/11 under the Environmental Protection Act (see link on the right hand side of this notice, under Additional Information).
As part of the Ministry’s ongoing work to implement a new environmental approvals program, additional activities and sectors are being evaluated for their potential inclusion on the EASR. This work involves comprehensive technical analysis and two periods of public consultation to ensure registry activities are developed in a transparent and science-based manner and that the resulting registry rules are protective of the environment.
To encourage localized generation from smaller, cleaner sources of electricity and community-based renewable energy facilities, the Ministry is proposing to allow specific small scale renewable energy projects to register on the EASR. The proposed EASR eligibility criteria for small scale renewable energy facilities are designed to eliminate potential impacts to the environment through facility design and siting restrictions.
Process for Developing Registry Regulations
When developing a regulation to include a new activity/sector on the EASR, the Ministry undertakes a comprehensive technical analysis and consultation process. This process contains the following steps:
- Detailed scoping and technical assessment of activity/sector
- Engineering analysis
- Risk evaluation and modelling
- Jurisdictional review
- Evaluation of local concerns/complaints and past administrative non-compliance with requirement to obtain an approval
- Development of draft registry requirements
- Public consultation on a technical report describing draft requirements (the reports included in this posting)
- Development of a draft regulation
- Public consultation on a draft regulation
- Finalizing of regulation and implementation
It is important to note that, while Steps 3 and 5 specifically provide for broad public input through comment on postings on the Environmental and Regulatory Registries, the Ministry is also engaging at various levels with relevant interested groups (industry, associations, Aboriginal organizations/communities and technical specialists).
The attached technical reports summarize the proposed rationale for moving specific activities and sectors from the Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) process to the registration process.
- Technical Report on Proposed Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) Requirements: Small Ground-Mounted Solar
- Technical Report on Proposed Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) Requirements: On-Farm Anaerobic Digestion
- Technical Report on Proposed Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) Requirements: Landfill Gas Electricity Generation
This proposal was posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting April 02, 2012. Comments were to be received by May 17, 2012.
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.
The Ministry received public input as part of the Ministry of Energy and Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-In Tariff Program Review. The Ministry also received public input as part the legislative process developing the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) and has established a variety of ongoing consultation mechanisms.
The Ministry has established a stakeholder roundtable, which includes representation from a cross-section of environmental non-government and industry organizations. The roundtable has and will continue to meet at key intervals as the Ministry continues to evaluate proposed sectors and activities for the EASR.
Knowledge groups and organizations continue to be consulted through technical workshops on various aspects of program development. In addition, the Ministry continues to meet regularly with organizations on a one-on-one and informal basis, as requested.