The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has posted a draft amend to the Renewable Energy Approvals Regulation (O. Reg. 359/09) to provide clarity with respect to the regulatory requirements that proposed renewable energy projects must satisfy. The proposal notice and a draft of the regulation can viewed on the Environmental Registry.

Perhaps the most notable amendments include changes to the definition of noise receptors and clarification of the noise receptor setback prohibitions for wind facilities. Uncertainty over the proper interpretation of the current requirements has been a concern of the developers of these facilities. Other changes of note include stronger requirements for mandatory consultations with the public, Aboriginal communities, municipalities and the Niagara Escarpment Commission, and changes to the assessment of protected properties, protected properties, archaeological and heritage resources, and natural heritage assessment and water assessment.