Amendments to O. Reg. 222/07: Environmental Penalties
O. Reg. 222/07: Environmental Penalties
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990
Summary of Decision:
As a result of the serious compliance concerns arising in the landfill sector, MECP has expanded the existing environmental penalties (EPs) framework to open and closed landfilling sites with an approved capacity of 40,000 cubic metres or more.
Expanding environmental penalties to landfill sites will enable the ministry to take stronger action against illegal activity at landfill sites by giving enforcement officials the ability to issue monetary penalties. Without this type of penalty available, the ministry must pursue prosecution through the courts - a lengthy and costly process, which can take time to get results.
Penalty amounts reflect the seriousness of the contravention. EPs range from $1,000 per day for less serious violations to $100,000 per day for the most serious violations. A person would be able to seek a reduction of a penalty amount if they can demonstrate that they took steps to prevent or mitigate the contravention.
Revenue from the EPs are deposited into the Ontario Community Environment Fund. Through this program, these funds are reinvested in projects that improve the environment in the region(s) where the violation or environmental impact happened, for example, a shoreline cleanup or tree planting. These activities take place in addition to other actions that companies may have been ordered to do to repair harm caused by a violation of environmental laws, such as taking steps to prevent discharges of contaminants, including odour, that cause an adverse effect.
The overall framework for EPs remains unchanged. The amendments will maintain the existing process for issuing penalties (e.g., giving a notice of intention, the ability to request a review of the notice and seek reductions), the calculation of penalty amounts, and the rules governing reductions of penalties. The ministry already successfully uses EPs to support compliance and enforcement efforts at facilities that emit pollution or discharge effluent directly to land and surface waters, and petroleum facilities that discharge sulphur dioxide to the air.
By expanding EPs, which are a form of administrative monetary penalty (AMP), MECP has taken this interim step towards implementing its broader AMPs proposal from Winter 2022 and will continue to review and respond to stakeholder concerns on the AMPs proposal.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
In accordance with Ontario's Regulatory Impact Assessment and Offsetting Practical Guide, the analysis of direct compliance costs to business assumes that businesses are in compliance with the Environmental Protection Act and its regulations, therefore the regulatory amendments are assumed to not result in compliance costs.
Costs to businesses (i.e., landfill owners/operators) are only incurred if they contravene provisions in the Environmental Protection Act and its regulations. Consequently, the regulatory impact assessment analysis concluded that there would be no new costs to businesses.
The annual incremental direct compliance costs to businesses are expected to be $0. The annual incremental administrative costs to businesses are expected to be $0.
There are no direct compliance cost implications to other parties as a result of the proposed regulatory amendment, including consumers, the government and municipalities.
Since there are not expected to be any annual incremental administrative costs, no regulatory offsets are required.
Summary of Proposal:
We have made amendments to Ontario Regulation 222/07 under the Environmental Protection Act. As discussed in the update to our proposal notice, posted under ERO 019-4108, amendments to this regulation include the ability to issue environmental penalties at specific landfilling sites (e.g., with an approved capacity of 40,000 cubic metres or more).
November 9, 2023