New regulation - Exception to the Time Limit for Standard Locate Requests
O. Reg. 1/24
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012
Summary of Proposal:
Ontario One Call (One Call) is mandated under the Act to serve as a single point of contact for all underground infrastructure locate requests. Locates are written information and markings on the ground which identify underground infrastructure (e.g., gas, electric, telecommunications, water and sewer lines, owned or operated by infrastructure owners).
In June 2023, MPBSD consulted with stakeholders (i.e., excavators, underground infrastructure owners and industry associations) to seek input on ways to enhance the locate delivery system in Ontario.
In response to stakeholder feedback that not all locates can be completed within the required 5 business days, MPBSD has developed a regulatory approach to provide more flexibility to underground infrastructure owners/operators when completing locates for large projects, while also limiting cost impacts for locates.
The regulatory approach would be implemented in phases. The first phase will be in effect for the next dig season in May 2024 and the second phase would potentially come into effect in early 2025.
The new regulation is the first phase and will establish a longer locate timeframe for large projects. The regulation will be in effect May 1, 2024.
The Act requires standard locate requests to be responded to in 5 business days and locate requests fulfilled by a dedicated locator to be responded to in 10 business days (subject to the parties agreeing to a different time limit).
The new Minister's regulation will establish longer time limits for completing locates related to specified excavation projects. The approach aligns with One Call's existing web portal and would facilitate operational implementation by the 2024 dig season.
It is proposed that a member who receives a standard locate request for a large project, as described below, shall do the things required by subsection 6(1) of the Act within 10 business days (instead of 5 business days) after the day the member receives notification about the locate request.
The 10-day time limit will apply to a large excavation or dig site, which means an excavation or dig site comprised of:
• at least two properties or parts of properties, each having its own municipal address, or
• one or more properties or parts of properties, at least one of which has no municipal address.
(Please note: On the One Call system portal, this is currently referred to as a 'project work' locate request)
The Ministry has also made consequential changes to One Call's administrative penalty regulation to align the timing of both regulations coming into force (i.e., May 1, 2024).
The regulations were Minister approved and signed on December 20, 2023, and filed on January 2, 2024. The regulations will take effect on May 1, 2024.
The Ministry is considering feedback regarding the proposed "Phase 2" changes to enhance locate delivery. In the potential second phase of regulatory changes, it is proposed that associated process obligations for excavators would be established with respect to the submission of locate requests.
It is anticipated that the regulatory proposals for Phase 2 will be developed later in 2024 and come into effect early 2025. The Ministry will post a Regulatory Registry posting with these details to seek feedback in 2024.
All future legislative or regulatory proposals will be posted for public review and comment.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
Feedback from this posting will further inform the analysis of regulatory impact. The Ministry will continue to engage key partners to further explore potential regulatory impacts associated with this proposal.
January 4, 2024
Comments Due Date:
November 17, 2023
Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery
Public Safety and Operations Policy Branch
56 Wellesley St. West, 6th floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1C1