As Davis first discussed in detail here, the Open for Business Act, 2010 made several changes to the Environmental Protection Act, Ontario Water Resources Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, including introducing changes to the environmental approvals regime. After some delay, the new approval system will come into force October 31, 2011.
First, a new and hopefully more streamlined environmental approvals process which will replace 'certificates of approval' and other forms of required permits and licenses with the singular 'environmental compliance approval' which is required to undertake otherwise prohibited activities under the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Water Resources Act.
Furthermore, the registration system which allows certain types of businesses to bypass the environmental compliance approval process in favour of conforming to pre-established operational and self-reporting guidelines will also come into effect. This program effects certain activities in the automotive refinishing, heating systems and standby power systems sectors.