June 30, 2011 marks the phase one deadline for certain Toronto business using substances including benzene, formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds, such as, some solvents used in dry cleaning, to submit an electronic report on their usage to the City of Toronto.

On January 1, 2010 City of Toronto By-law No. 1293-2008, Environmental Reporting and Disclosure, came into effect. Originally passed on December 1, 2008, the By-law requires businesses to track and report annually their use and release of 25 priority substances affecting air quality in Toronto. June 30, 2011 is the deadline to submit reports for the 2010 calendar year.

This reporting period is the first in a three phase roll out under the By-law, which will ultimately cover almost all facilities and businesses in the City. In phase one, only those operating in the chemical manufacturing, food and beverage manufacturing and tobacco products, power generation, printing and publishing, water and wastewater treatment and wood industries sectors, must report on their usage and release of the priority substances. The types of businesses required to report will grow again in both phase two and phase three.

The threshold quantity which will trigger reporting requirements under the By-law is low and, as such, includes uses and releases too small to require reporting under the Federal National Pollutant Release Inventory. Reports are submitted electronically and are available to the public, upon request, under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The City of Toronto Guide to Reporting under the By-law can be accessed here.