On October 6, 2008, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) published, for public comment, proposed amendments to O. Reg. 153/04 (Records of Site Condition - Part XV.1 of the [Environmental Protection] Act). According to the MOE, these amendments would facilitate the return of brownfields into productive land uses and would support the implementation of legislative reforms made to the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act in 2007. The proposed amendments include the following:
- Additional requirements to improve the quality of Records of Site Conditions (RSCs), including more requirements for conducting the Phase I and/or II Environmental Site Assessments necessary to file an RSC, changes to this RSC filing process and new conflict of interest restrictions for “qualified persons” who supervise or conduct the RSC process;
- Certain detailed requirements necessary to benefit from optional liability protection from certain MOE orders regarding the migration of contamination from a property for which an RSC has been filed;
- Revised generic soil and groundwater standards for several contaminants (which are more stringent in many cases), and new standards for other contaminants;
- A modified generic risk assessment process, which would provide another approach for a property owner that wishes to file an RSC but whose property does not meet the MOE’s generic site condition standards; and
- Various other regulatory reforms, including those regarding the quality of soil that may be brought to an RSC property for filling and grading as part of remediation activities.
If approved, these regulatory amendments would come into effect one year after the amending regulation is filed and, in some cases, potentially later. The MOE is accepting comments on the proposals until February 3, 2009.
For further information, please see www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEBExternal/ displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTA0NTcw&statusId=MTU2NjE4&language=en.