The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) recently published a discussion paper titled “Creating Ontario’s Toxics Reduction Strategy.” Once the strategy is fully developed, it will involve introducing new legislation that, among other things, would

  • set requirements for the use of toxic substances, including requirements for facilities to undertake an accounting of on-site toxic materials, develop a toxics reduction plan, report to the MOE or another designated body on their use of toxic substances and publicly disclose information about their toxic reduction plans and materials accounting reports; 
  • establish a list of toxic substances and sectors that would be regulated; and 
  • authorize the MOE to regulate the manufacture, distribution and sale of toxic substances and consumer products containing toxic substances.

If this legislation is brought into force, it would require facilities to complete their materials accounting in 2010. Currently, the discussion paper suggests that most large industrial sectors would be subject to the legislative requirements. Beyond this legislative initiative, the Toxics Reduction Strategy would also see the provincial government providing technical assistance to help certain facilities find alternatives to the use of toxic substances.

The MOE is accepting comments on the discussion paper until October 11, 2008.

For further information, please see www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEBExternal/ displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTA0MzAy&statusId=MTU1ODkz&langu age=en.