Amendments to Ontario Regulation 287/07 "General" under the Clean Water Act, 2006
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Clean Water Act
Summary of Decision:
On December 22, 2017, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change posted proposed changes under the Clean Water Act for a 60-day public comment period.
The ministry has decided to make the proposed changes to the General Regulation and the Tables of Drinking Water Threats with some changes to address input we received during the comment period. The amendments will come into effect on July 1, 2018.
Key updates to the regulation include:
• Requiring a source protection authority to identify the necessary updates to a source protection plan to ensure sources of drinking water are protected when municipalities propose to add new or alter their existing drinking water systems.
• Improving the ability to update plans by adding two new types of minor administrative amendments:
o updating source protection plans to remove wells or intakes that are no longer used to provide drinking water to the public,
o making revisions in source protection plans to be consistent with changes the province has made to terminology used in the Tables of Drinking Water Threats;
• Improving notification of administrative amendments to source protection plans, increasing transparency by ensuring that organizations responsible for implementing source protection plan policies are aware of the amendments.
• To ensure consistency across plans, adding liquid hydrocarbon pipelines to the list of prescribed drinking water threats.
• Removing the need to develop policies in source protection plans where a given drinking water threat does not exist and cannot happen in the future, and requiring information to be properly documented in this situation.
These updates improve the source protection framework in Ontario which helps protect drinking water.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The changes to the regulation will not result in added administrative costs to business. Additionally, they enable municipalities and source protection authorities to make administrative updates to their source protection plans to remove the burden of policy implementation where it is no longer required.
December 22, 2017
Summary of Proposal:
The Clean Water Act (Act), 2006 and O. Reg. 287/07 set out requirements for amendments to source protection plans. To help ensure plans remain relevant, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is proposing amendments to O. Reg.287/07 that address implementation challenges and increase transparency for additional types of minor amendments and improve the legislative framework by adding liquid hydrocarbon pipelines to the list of prescribed threats in the regulation.
Section 51 of the regulation allows for typographical and other minor amendments to be made to plans, including the related assessment reports, as outlined in the Act. Two types of changes are proposed to this section:
1. Adding minor changes to the list of permissible amendments in subsection 51(1):
a. Where wells or intakes have ceased to operate and have been properly decommissioned and protection zones need to be removed from the plan.
b. Updates to plans to reflect changes made to the terminology used in the Tables of Drinking Water Threats. These changes would not affect new landowners and would have already been consulted on through the Environmental Registry.
2. To improve stakeholder awareness, it is proposed that 51(2) be amended to require notice be provided to the Director of the Source Protection Programs Branch (SPPB) as well as any body responsible for implementing policies in the plan that could be affected by an amendment. In addition, to ensure that changes are reflected in provincial mapping, a copy of the digital data, including vulnerable area mapping, shall be provided to the director in a digital format.
Subsection 1.1(1) of O. Reg. 287/07 lists activities that are prescribed for the purpose of the definition of drinking water threat in the Act. It is proposed that the establishment and operation of a liquid hydrocarbon pipeline be added to this list. Amendments to the Tables of Drinking Water Threats are also proposed to define where pipelines would be significant, moderate or low drinking water threats. The ministry is also proposing to focus the need for policies to areas where pipelines occur. Six source protection plans already include pipelines as a local threat. The policies included in the local plans address the risk through requirements for mapping, emergency planning and spills prevention, integrity testing, and consideration of drinking water sources during planning for future pipelines. These policies are only legally binding on public bodies.
Senior Drinking Water Program Advisor
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Policy and Program Division
Source Protection Programs Branch
40 St Clair Avenue West
Phone: (519) 860-7851
July 1, 2018