Ontario has proposed a new regulation and amendments to five existing regulations to establish a new environmental approval process for renewable energy projects under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009, which came into force last month. The new regulation would be made under the Environmental Protection Act, and the amendments to regulations would be made under the Environmental Assessment Act and the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993. In general, the changes would exempt renewable energy projects from the need to obtain certain environmental approvals and to undergo the environmental assessment process for electricity projects set out in O. Reg. 116/01 (Electricity Projects). Renewable energy projects would, instead, be required to obtain a renewable energy project approval.

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is accepting comments on the new regulations until July 24, 2009.

For further information about the proposals, please see http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTA2NDQ5&statusId=MTU5NjQ1&language=en.