On November 6, 2008, the City of Toronto proposed a new by-law to reduce the use of hazardous substances by city operations and by commercial, institutional and industrial facilities in Toronto. The proposed by-law would phase in an environmental reporting, disclosure and innovation program over four years, beginning on January 1, 2010 for certain facilities. These facilities would have to report annually to the city if they used or released, in quantities above certain specified thresholds, any of 25 priority substances, including benzene, lead, particulate matter with a mass median diameter less than 2.5 microns, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and trichloroethylene. In particular, reporting would be required by any facility that released, manufactured, processed or otherwise used more than a certain amount (typically 100 kg or more per year) of any of the designated substances if the concentration by weight of the substance was equal to or greater than the specified concentration threshold for the substance. Certain facilities within exempted sectors (e.g., facilities engaged solely in retail sales) would be exempted from these requirements. All data collected under the program would be made publicly available.

For further information, please see www.toronto.ca/health/hphe/enviro_info.htm