On April 7, 2009, the Ontario government introduced Bill 167, the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009, into the legislature for first reading. If enacted, the bill would authorize regulations (not yet published) that would in turn prescribe a list of toxic substances. The Ontario government has indicated that the list of toxic substances would be the same as that used for the federal government’s National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI), although the bill would also authorize the collection of information regarding an additional 19 “substances of concern” that are not currently tracked through NPRI. Requirements to manage toxic substances would apply to all facilities in Ontario that (i) use or create more than a prescribed amount of such substances; (ii) employ more than a minimum number of employees, and the number will be specified in the regulations; and (iii) belong to a sector prescribed by regulations. The application thresholds for (i) to (iii) are expected to be the same as those under the NPRI.  

Facilities subject to the regulations would be required, among other things, to (i) track and quantify the toxic substances used and created at the facility; (ii) prepare a toxic substance reduction plan for such substances; (iii) make summaries of these plans available to the public; and (iv) report to the Ministry of the Environment on the facility’s progress in reducing toxic substances.  

The MOE is accepting comments on the bill until May 7, 2009.

For further information, please see www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEBExternal/ displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTA2MTQ5&statusId=MTU5MTk4&language=en.