On July 3, 2007, the Clean Water Act, 2006 was proclaimed in force and the first set of regulations under this act were filed and finalized. These first regulations establish or set out the requirements for: source protection areas and regions, source protection committees, terms of reference, time limits for various requirements under the act, and certain miscellaneous matters.
The Clean Water Act, 2006 requires municipalities and conservation authorities to work together to map the sources of municipal drinking water supplies and to take measures to protect these supplies - i.e. to develop source protection plans. This first set of regulations starts the process of developing source protection plans:
- The Source Protection Areas and Regions regulation, Ontario Regulation 284/07, lists the name of each source protection area, the name of the corresponding conservation authority for the area, and the names of all of the participating municipalities within the area. This regulation also lists the source protection areas which have been consolidated into source protection regions. There are 40 source protection areas and 11 source protection regions across Ontario.
- The Source Protection Committees regulation, Ontario Regulation 288/07, lists the number of members that will sit on the source protection committee for each area or region, which ranges from 10 to 22 based on the geographic size, number of member municipalities and certain local circumstances of the area or region. Generally, one-third of the members on the source protection committees must be chosen to reflect the interests of the municipalities, one-third to reflect the interests of the agricultural, commercial or industrial sectors in the area or region, and one-third to reflect the interest of the general public or others.
- The Terms of Reference regulation, Ontario Regulation 287/07, sets out the contents of the terms of reference, which will need to include a map of the boundaries of the area or region and the municipalities, a work plan identifying all of the major tasks that need to be completed in preparing a source protection plan, as well as an estimate of the timeline and costs involved in the planning process.
- The Time Limits regulation, Ontario Regulation 285/07, sets out the timelines for the preparation of terms of reference, assessment reports, and source protection plans. Pursuant to these timelines, final source protection plans should be developed by 2012.
Source protection authorities have until late fall to establish source protection committees, which will then begin the process of developing terms of reference, preparing an assessment report, and, ultimately, developing a source protection plan.
For a summary of the general scheme of the Clean Water Act, 2006, please see our initial article on the act which is available at http://www.mccarthy.ca/pubs/publication.asp?pub_code=2168.
Our Environment, Health and Safety Group is available to provide detailed information on the Clean Water Act, 2006, including the specific requirements of this first set of regulations under the act.
- The Amended Clean Water Act: Key Changes (Nov.14, 2006)
- Bill 43, the Clean Water Act, 2006, Receives Third Reading (Oct.20, 2006)
- New Proposed Source Water Protection Legislation – The Clean Water Act, 2005 (Dec. 21, 2005)
- The Final Report of the Implementation Committee on Source Water Protection (Feb.4, 2005)