On December 1, 2008, the second phase of the Environmental Penalties regulations made under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA) will take effect. In the first phase (which came into force on August 1, 2007), the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) was able to issue environmental penalty (EP) orders, generally, only in relation to unlawful discharges into water or onto land. In the second phase, EP orders will also be able to be issued in relation to contraventions of certain operating, sampling, reporting and recordkeeping requirements under the EPA and OWRA. In general, EP orders may be issued to persons who own or occupy, or who are “in charge, management or control” of a plant that (1) is listed in Table 1 of the EP Regulations; (2) is a metal-mining plant, as defined in O. Reg. 560/94; or (3) discharges contaminated or potentially contaminated effluent to a surface water course or privately owned sewage works and is in one of the eight Municipal Industrial Strategy for Abatement (MISA) sectors other than metal mining.  

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