The ministry is currently considering a range of policy approaches regarding hauled sewage in Ontario, including a province-wide approach to deal with the land application of untreated hauled sewage, and geographically based restrictions, where there may be demonstrated hauled sewage treatment capacity at local municipal sewage treatment plants or other facilities capable of treating hauled sewage. These considerations are still preliminary and no decisions have been made.
The ministry is committed to ensuring that transparency, public consultation and engagement are central to this review. In addition to continuing to engage key stakeholders, such as municipalities, septic haulers, associations, land owners and community groups, as well as First Nations and Métis, the ministry is establishing a multi-sectoral working group to support the policy and program review.All Ontarians will also have an opportunity to provide comments on the policy and program review being undertaken through the Environmental Registry.
The ministry is committed to making informed evidence based decisions. We are in the process of collecting data and information about how hauled sewage is currently managed within the province through engagement sessions and sector specific surveys. This work will help the ministry estimate:
- annual volumes of hauled sewage generated across Ontario;
- volumes of hauled sewage treated and disposed of without treatment;
- current local hauled sewage treatment capacities across Ontario; and
- potential cost to develop adequate local capacities to treat hauled sewage.
The ministry is also in the process of evaluating the best available science regarding environmental impacts and treatment technologies, and reviewing how other jurisdictions regulate and manage hauled sewage. This data gathering step will support the ministry’s efforts in developing new rules and guidance for treatment and land application of hauled sewage, based on the policy approach that is taken.