The Government of Ontario intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would enable the implementation of a modernized environmental approval system in Ontario. The Ministry of the Environment expects to begin introducing changes to the environmental approvals system by September 2012.

The discussion document has now been posted on the Environmental Registry. It identifies the challenges facing the current environmental approvals process in Ontario and outlines a possible framework for modernization.

Key objectives of the new approvals process are:

  • A simplified process for lower-risk activities;
  • A focus of resources on the facilities that pose a potentially higher-risk to the environment and human health;
  • Provision of on-line service delivery; and
  • Improvement of public transparency.

Other notable aspects of the proposed approvals process include provisions for single site, multi-media permits or single, multi-site approvals.

The proposal was posted on March 2, 2010, for a 30 day public review and comment period.

For more information see: EBR Registry No. 010-9143 at www.ebr.gov.on.ca.