Through the Business Growth Initiative, the government has continually reviewed regulations to ensure they are appropriate and do not impose unnecessary burdens on business. A smarter regulatory system will enable Ontario to lower business costs and encourage more growth, while protecting environmental standards. The Ministry aims to create a regulatory framework that produces the best protections at the lowest possible compliance costs informed by the best practices from around the world.
Focused on environmental outcomes, the Ministry has undertaken a risk-based assessment of a number of sectors that have air and noise emissions where approvals are required by section 9 of the EPA. Using a risk-based approach to assess production process and facilities with air and noise emissions, the analysis indicated that certain facilities may eligible for a self- registration process rather than a ministry review and approval process, while maintaining or enhancing environmental protection through prescribed rules all facilities must follow. Higher risk and/or more complex facilities will continue to require an ECA.
Registration in the EASR can provide economic benefits to business by reducing the time and costs of receiving approval to operate. Decreased administrative burdens and predictable timelines associated with registrations will result in time and cost savings for the regulated community as well as ensure more immediate environmental protection. Activities need to meet both the eligibility and the operational requirements which ensure environmental measures are in place. The Ministry will enforce compliance with the EASR regulation according to its compliance strategy, as it does for all our approvals today.
The EASR is part of Ontario’s Business growth Initiative to reduce unnecessary regulatory requirements, eliminate duplication and improve the delivery of government services. Ministry resources will now be able to focus on high risk or complex environmental approvals. Changes to the regulatory review process and requirements for air and noise emissions will allow more certainty for businesses and support the adoption of innovative industrial technologies and the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution under Ontario’s cap and trade program.
As with other activities registered in EASR, eligible facilities would also be included on the ministry’s Access Environment website which would provide increased transparency and information to the public about the operations registered in their community. This information will also inform the Ministry across various program areas including: air standard setting, air contaminants without limits and cumulative effects.