The new Environmental Reporting and Disclosure By-law (the By-law) requires that certain industries annually report their chemical use and emissions. Facilities that use, release or transfer any of the twenty-five chemicals specified in the By-law may be required to submit a report to the Medical Officer of Health. Data gathered in the report will be made publicly available through the City's electronic tracking system ChemTRAC.
Click here for 'Who and when' table
Exemptions - Industries
The following industries are exempted from the By-law:
- Facilities engaged solely in retail sales
- Medical or dental offices
- Construction and building-maintenance sites
- Food and accommodation services
- Facilities that distribute, store or sell fuels
- Facilities that maintain and repair vehicles
Exemptions - Sources
Source exemptions include chemicals that are:
- Present in manufactured articles, such as tools
- Used as structural components of a facility, such as floors
- Present in products used by persons at a facility, such as hand sanitizer
- Present in personal items used by persons at a facility, such as hairspray
- Present in emissions from vehicles
- Present in intake water or air, such as compressed air
- Present in road dust
- Present in emissions from building heating systems or hot water heaters, not including emissions from process equipment
- Present in materials used for the purpose of maintaining motor vehicles operated by that facility, such as lubrication materials
Reporting under the By-law will not overlap with reporting under existing programs. The federal National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) program and Ontario's Toxic Reduction Strategy focus primarily on large businesses, leaving a gap in the reporting and disclosure of information for small-to-medium-sized businesses. The By-law is expected to close this gap.
Despite the reporting obligations mandated by the By-law, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act stipulates that such obligations are subject to various exemptions, such as refusing disclosure on the basis of economic interests.
Every person who contravenes the By-law and every director or officer of a corporation who knowingly concurs in a contravention of the By-law is guilty of an office and is liable to a fine. The fine for a first offence is $5,000, $25,000 for a second offence, and $100,000 for a third or subsequent offence.
The new By-law can be accessed at www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_423.pdf