A regulation establishing a moratorium on the issuance of new or increasing permits to take water for
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Summary of Decision:
On October 17, 2016, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change posted a proposal for a regulation to establish a moratorium until January 1, 2019 prohibiting the issuance of permits to take water that would authorize new takings of groundwater by water bottling facilities or permits that would increase the amount of groundwater existing water bottling facilities are authorized to take under their respective permits. A decision has been made to proceed with a regulation, consistent with the proposal.
October 17, 2016
Summary of Proposal:
The proposed regulation would establish a moratorium on the issuance of new or increasing permits for water bottling by prohibiting a person from using groundwater for the purpose of manufacturing bottled water or manufacturing water as a product that is sold in other types of portable containers.
The moratorium would apply in all of Ontario and would be in effect from the date the regulation is filed (anticipated to be before the end of 2016) until January 1, 2019.
During this period, the regulation would also prohibit the Director from issuing permits to take water for pumping tests, where the objective of the pumping test is to provide data on the feasibility of the water source for a future new or expanding water bottling operation.
The moratorium would not apply to water bottling facilities that obtain their water from a municipal drinking water system. Such facilities do not require a permit since they do not take water directly from a ground or surface water source. Municipalities provide treated water to its residential, industrial, commercial, and institutional customers and are required to undertake an environmental assessment of proposed water supply projects (i.e., a study that assesses the potential environmental effects of a proposal).
The regulation would prohibit the Director from increasing the amounts of groundwater a water bottling facility is authorized to take under an existing permit while the moratorium is in effect. Any renewals of existing permits would be subject to new stringent rules and restricted to the same or a
lesser amount of groundwater and from the same location.
As an immediate step, the Ministry will be implementing new operational practices when considering applications for renewals of permits for existing water bottling facilities. Renewal applications will be posted on the Environmental Registry for a minimum 60-day public commenting period. Any
application would require scientific studies, as necessary, to justify proposed takings. Proponents would be required to make these studies publicly available. After public comment and if approved, any renewal of an existing permit, would be issued for a maximum of five years (from the current ten years) and would include rules on mandatory reductions in times of drought, increased public
transparency and reporting, and requiring additional ongoing scientific studies and monitoring, as necessary, to support the water taking.
Please refer to the Environmental Registry posting for more information.
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Climate Change and Environmental Policy Division
Land and Water Policy Branch
40 St. Clair Avenue West
Phone: (416) 314-4708
Fax: (416) 326-0461
December 16, 2016