Amendments to Ontario Regulation 153/04, Brownfields Records of Site Condition

Regulation Number(s):
Ontario Regulation 153/04
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990
Summary of Proposal:
Brownfields are underdeveloped or previously developed properties that may be contaminated. They are often, but not always, former industrial or commercial properties.

The Ontario legislative framework for brownfields was established in 2001 through the Brownfields Statute Law Amendment Act, 2001. Legislative and regulatory amendments were made to a number of Acts, including the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) to facilitate brownfields redevelopment. Under the EPA and Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 153/04 (Records of Site Condition, Part XV.1 of the Act) a Record of Site Condition (RSC) must be filed whenever property use changes to a more sensitive use (e.g. industrial to residential).

In the 2007 Budget, the government announced a comprehensive reform package that would address identified barriers to brownfield redevelopment.

On December 29, 2009, extensive amendments to O. Reg. 153/04 were filed as part of O. Reg. 511/09. Most of the regulatory amendments come into effect July 1, 2011. Amendments to O. Reg. 153/04 implement the legislative reforms passed in 2007.
The amendments filed in December 2009 addressed the following areas:
1. Enhanced Record of Site Condition (RSC) Integrity: Provide a more transparent, timely and efficient Record of Site Condition submission and filing process; New environmental site assessment (ESA) requirements set clear rules on minimum requirements for Phase One and Phase Two ESAs
2. Streamlined Risk Assessment: Enhance environmental protection through clear site assessment requirements and updated standards
3. Strengthened Standards: Introduce a new streamlined risk assessment process
4. Implementation and Transition: Provide a smooth transition for redevelopment projects
5. Provide other Technical Improvements

Through ongoing consultation, and the development of education and guideline material to support the July 1, 2011 implementation date, the Ministry of the Environment has identified a few specific sections in the regulation and the referenced documents which it is proposing be further amended to help facilitate a smooth and efficient implementation of the regulation.

The amendments now proposed are technical and are consistent with the policy intent of the existing O. Reg 153/04, as amended in December 2009. The proposed amendments clarify the intent and scope of certain provisions, correct for minor errors and incorporate new data, all in support of the safe and efficient redevelopment of brownfield sites.
The proposed amendments include:
• Improvements to the standards: Addition of new Petroleum Hydrocarbons (PHC) background numbers; improvements to address aquatic protection for sodium; correction of errors in the approved model, which impact standards:
• Improvements to Modified Generic Risk Assessment (MGRA) model that do not impact standards.
• Other policy clarifications, including clarifying which wells are to be captured in Section 35 of O. Reg. 153/04; clarifying what standards are applicable to arena-type uses to ensure they meet appropriate site condition standards given children often use these facilities for active recreational activities, for prolonged periods of time; changes to the Potentially Contaminating Activities list to clarify description of activities; and amendments to clarify sampling requirements in the regulation.
• The Ministry is also proposing to amend the laboratory “Protocol for Analytical Methods"
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
March 2, 2011
Comments Due Date:
April 11, 2011