We received submissions on the proposed amendments from a range of interested parties, including source protection authorities, Conservation Ontario, municipalities, associations, and non-profit organizations. In addition, we received verbal comments from municipalities, source protection committee chairs and project managers, during online and in-person sessions (January 19 and January 26, 2018). First Nation communities were also invited to participate in the online and in-person discussions or to request in-person meetings. We also met with pipeline owners and regulating bodies.
Feedback from consultation was positive overall, indicating support for ensuring consistency in the source water protection program of consideration of pipelines and improvements in updating the plans.
Most of the matters raised through consultation focused on:
- the need for clarification of what an ‘editorial change’ in the provincial Tables of Drinking Water Threats would be,
- how liquid hydrocarbon pipelines are assessed under the Clean Water Act, and
- the need for guidance material to support municipalities and source protection committees and authorities with implementation of the proposed changes.
As a result of comments received during consultation on these proposed amendments as well as the proposed regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, we made the following modifications to the original proposal to address concerns and provide clarification:
- To provide more clarity around the roles and responsibilities of the drinking water system owners and source protection authorities, an additional amendment was made to the General regulation under the Clean Water Act to ensure that source protection plans are revised in a timely manner:
- Where an amendment is proposed to ensure sources of drinking water are protected when municipalities add new or alter their existing drinking water system, the source protection authority will give the owner of the drinking water system a notice when it is satisfied the necessary vulnerable area mapping is complete. The notice will outline the amendments required to the source protection plan and the timing to carry these out.
- Changes were made to the Tables of Drinking Water Threats to ensure pipelines were captured appropriately.
We will also develop guidance material to support stakeholders of the source protection program with implementing the changes.