Toxics Reduction Act, 2009
Bill or Act:
Bill 167 - Toxics Reduction Act, 2009
Summary of Proposal:
The purpose of the Bill is to prevent pollution and protect human health and the environment by reducing the use and creation of toxic substances, and to inform Ontarians about toxic substances.
The Bill would apply to all Ontario facilities where a toxic substance appearing on a prescribed list of substances is used or created, the amount of the prescribed toxic substance used or created exceeds a specified threshold, more than a prescribed minimum number of persons is employed, and the facility belongs to a prescribed sector. If the Bill is passed and regulations are made, they would provide detail on these amounts, numbers and thresholds.
The Bill would require facilities that are subject to the Bill to:
- track and quantify the toxic substances used and created at the facility;
- prepare a toxic substance reduction plan (plan) for each toxic substance used or created at the facility and have the plan certified both by the highest ranking employee at the facility with management responsibilities and by a proposed toxics reduction planner;
- prepare summaries of their plans and make them available to the public in accordance with regulations;
report to the Ministry of the Environment (Ministry) on their progress in reducing toxic substances and make certain information available to the public in accordance with regulations; and,
- report to the Ministry on any substances of concern used or created at the facility (likely to be a one-time information gathering exercise).
The Bill describes the minimum components of the plan, plan summary, report and reports on substances of concern and includes regulation-making authority to detail additional components. The implementation of toxic substance reduction plans would be voluntary.
In order to inform Ontarians, the plan summary and certain information contained in the report would be made available to the public. Regulations made under the Bill would detail which components of the report would be made available to the public. It is important to note that any regulations made under this Bill would be informed by consultation with stakeholders and the public.
In addition to new legislation, the Ministry of the Environment is proposing a broader Toxics Reduction Strategy that would include the following components:
Support to Industry and a Green Economy:
- Provide compliance assistance, technical assistance and financial incentives to encourage toxics reduction, with a focus on small businesses, and position Ontario for the new green economy.
- Train and accredit toxics reduction planners. If passed, regulations made under the proposed legislation would provide detail on these planners.
- Increased public transparency by providing the public with access to place-based information on facilities’ use of toxics and progress in achieving toxics reductions.
- Public awareness activities to support increased toxics literacy and to provide Ontarians with the necessary knowledge to make informed choices and support a domestic market shift to greener products.
April 9, 2009
Comments Due Date:
May 7, 2009