Exploring changes to streamline the permit-by-rule framework

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Environmental Protection Act
Summary of Proposal:
Ontario is continuing to modernize its environmental permissions to reduce unnecessary burden and costs for critical infrastructure projects.

The ministry is exploring changes to its permit-by-rule framework that would reduce delays on projects that matter most to Ontario communities such as new housing and job-creating businesses while continuing to provide strong environmental oversight.

Ontario's current permit-by-rule framework allows proponents to self-register activities on the ministry's online Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) and start work immediately instead of waiting up to a year for a ministry review. As part of the continuing modernization of environmental permissions, Ontario is exploring how best to improve its permit-by-rule framework to:

• streamline permit-by-rule requirements to make them easier to understand
• move more activities to permit-by-rule faster
• develop an online registration system that is easier to use, efficient and effective
• ensure the improved permit-by-rule framework is protective of the environment

Ontario is proposing to explore the following changes to improve the province's permit by rule framework:
1. develop a single permit-by-rule regulation
2. move more activities to permit-by-rule if they can show that established environmental outcomes can be met
3. move more activities to permit-by-rule based on prescribed rules
4. move prescribed rules governing activities into "codes of practice" outside of regulation
5. allow a single registration for a facility

In parallel, Ontario is proposing new self-registration regulations or exemptions for activities such as certain stormwater management systems, water takings, and waste transportation systems (see Related Postings section below).

We will use the feedback on the proposed concept for changes to the permit-by-rule framework to inform a more detailed plan for improvements. Once a detailed plan is developed, we will consult again with stakeholders and Indigenous communities on a more detailed proposal with the goal of continuing to modernize our permissions programs.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The ministry is currently conducting an analysis of the regulatory impact of this proposal and will provide a fulsome analysis once a more detailed proposal on changes to the permit-by-rule framework is submitted for consultation.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
August 31, 2023
Comments Due Date:
October 30, 2023