Through the Business Growth Initiative, the government has continually reviewed regulations to ensure they are appropriate and do not impose unnecessary burdens on businesses. In support of the ministry’s continued implementation of a risk-based environmental approvals program, the ministry undertook an assessment of a number of activities and sectors with air and noise emissions, including an analysis of potential exemptions for low risk activities.
This analysis indicated it would be appropriate to shift a number of the activities with air and noise emissions to a registration process that reduces administrative burden and lowers business costs while maintaining environmental protection. As a result, the ministry has proposed a new EASR regulation for activities with air and noise emissions (012-8646). The proposed exemptions with compliance requirements outlined in this posting are part of the ministry’s overall proposal to modernize air and noise approvals and will help support the implementation of the new Air and Noise Emissions EASR.
The proposed exemptions with compliance requirements include specific criteria such as: specified fuel types, limits on capacity, and operational parameters depending on the activity. These were included to reduce or eliminate any negative environmental impacts associated with the activities that are proposed to be exempt from requiring approval under section 9 of the EPA. In addition, activities that are exempt from requiring section 9 approvals are still required to meet all other regulatory requirements – including O.Reg. 419/05 and Building Code.
The proposed exemptions would reduce the regulatory burden on less complex activities whose emissions do not pose a significant risk to human health or the environment. The facilities/activities proposed for exemption from section 9 are typically found in residential, retail or educational facilities such as office buildings, apartment buildings and primary and secondary schools. Removing these applications from the ECA process will allow ministry staff to focus their efforts on higher risk and more complex applications.