On July 1, 2012, amendments to O. Reg. 359/09 − the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) regulation − came into force. The amendments establish a new process for renewable energy project proponents to make changes to their projects after providing notice of their second public meeting, after submitting their REA application or after obtaining a REA. In considering project change proposals, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has been granted the authority to require a proponent to update project documentation, provide additional notifications and conduct additional public meetings regarding the changes. The amendments also remove the requirement to make publicly available final comments from the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport prior to the second public meeting, requiring instead that those comments be submitted with the REA application. For further information on these and other amendments, please see Environmental Registry #011-5932.
On July 20, 2012, the MOE proposed additional amendments to the REA regulation that would, among other things, limit the ability of the Environmental Review Tribunal to adjourn a REA appeal proceeding and clarify the process by which a project can crystallize the noise receptors that are deemed to be located in the project area. The MOE is accepting comments on these additional amendments until September 3, 2012. To comment on the July 20, 2012, proposed amendments, please see Environmental Registry #011- 6509.