The Toxics Reduction Act, 2009 (TRA) and Ontario Regulation 455/09 (O. Reg. 455/09) came into force on January 1, 2010. The purposes of the Act are to prevent pollution and protect human health and the environment by reducing the use and creation of toxic substances and to inform Ontarians about toxic substances.
As part of its response to the Red Tape Challenge, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is proposing a number of minor amendments to O. Reg. 455/09 aimed to reduce reporting burden, simplify the toxic substance reduction planning process, adjust the schedule and timing of the plan review process, protect business confidentiality, clarify language and intent, better align with the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) where appropriate, and correct minor errors. In addition, MOECC is proposing a new service of documents regulation under the TRA to modernize the way that documents are served. The proposed amendments are not anticipated to substantially impact policy direction or intent of the TRA, O. Reg. 455/09, or the Toxics Reduction Program.
The proposed amendments to O. Reg. 455/09 and the proposed new service of documents regulation are described below.
Proposed Amendments to O. Reg. 455/09:
MOECC is proposing that O. Reg. 455/09 be amended with respect to:
1. Reducing a reporting requirement from the annual report for the regulated community;
2. Modifying the planning process to focus on technically feasible options;
3. Simplifying the toxic substance plan review process;
4. Adjusting the schedule and timing of the plan review process;
5. Protecting confidential business information;
6. Aligning with changes made to the NPRI reporting requirements;
7. Clarifying language and intent of the regulation;
8. Correcting minor errors; and
9. Removing spent items.
1. Reducing a reporting requirement from the annual report for the regulated community
Require facilities to report on the estimated amounts of toxic substance reductions from the implementation of more than one option in aggregate rather than per option, as is currently the case.
2. Modifying the planning process to focus on technically feasible options
Modify the toxic substance reduction planning process so that estimates of reduction in the use, creation, and discharge of a toxic substance included in the plan would only be required for those reduction options determined to be technically feasible.
3. Simplifying the toxic substance plan review process
When creating a new version of a plan as a result of a review of the plan, a facility:
a. Would be required to provide a new statement of intention to reduce a toxic substance or, alternately, the reasons for not making such a statement. A rationale explaining the changes from the previous plan would no longer be required.
b. Would be required to update the objectives, but would not be required to provide a rationale explaining the changes from the previous plan.
c. Would no longer be required to include all the previous years’ records since the current plan was created. Only the previous year’s accounting records would be required to be included. Facilities are already required to retain all documents and records created or acquired for preparing, amending and reviewing plans, and for tracking and quantifying substances for a minimum of seven years.
4. Adjust the schedule and timing of the plan review process
Change the date by which facilities must review and prepare a new version of their toxic substance reduction plans from December 31, 2018 to December 31, 2019, and require subsequent reviews of plans take place every sixth year instead of every fifth year.
5. Protecting business confidentiality
For the purpose of reporting to the public, require year-over-year comparisons for the use, creation and contained in product to be expressed in percentages only, and not in actual units of measurement as well, as is currently the case.
6. Aligning with changes made to the NPRI reporting requirements
a. Automatically provide facilities with an extension to the due date for submitting, annual reports, exit records and exemption records if NPRI reporting deadlines are extended.
b. Provide the Director with the discretion to extend the due date for submitting plan summaries if there are technical difficulties with submitting them through the online reporting interface (i.e., Single Window).
c. Align administrative information required by the Toxics Reduction Program with that required by NPRI. The changes focus on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, spatial coordinates, and email addresses.
7. Clarifying language and intent of the regulation
a. Add a requirement that the annual report information required to be made available to the public on the internet be done so on or before December 31st in the calendar year in which the report was given to the Director and remain available for the duration it is current.
b. Add a requirement that a plan summary be made available on the internet for the duration it is current.
c. Clarify that only certain documents, such as annual reports or plan summaries that are submitted to the Director are the documents that must be submitted in an electronic form approved by the Director.
8. Administrative/housekeeping changes
9. Removing provisions that no longer apply
Proposed New Service of Documents Regulation under the Toxics Reduction Act:
1. Make a new service of documents regulation under the TRA to modernize how certain documents are served. This would be similar to service of documents regulations found under the Environmental Protection, Safe Drinking Water, Pesticides, Nutrient Management, Clean Water, and Ontario Water Resources Acts.