Amendments to the Altered Standards process for air standards set out in Ontario Regulation 419/05 made under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990.
O. Reg. 419/05
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Environmental Protection Act
Summary of Decision:
On April 13, 2011, a notice describing proposed Amendments to the altered standards process for air standards set out in Ontario Regulation 419/05 made under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990(EBR# 011-3088) was posted to the Environmental Registry (EBR) for public comment.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has amended Ontario Regulation 419/05: Air Pollution, Local Air Quality (O. Reg. 419/05), in response to requests to improve regulatory certainty for business in Ontario as it relates to the site-specific altered standards process. The amendments are as follows:
- Terminology: Changing the Term Altered Standard to Site-specific Standard The term altered standard has been replaced with site-specific standard.
- Minimum Duration of a Site-specific Standard: The amendments allow facilities a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 10 years for approval of a site-specific standard.
- Renewal without a public meeting MOE has simplified the site-specific standard renewal process by allowing facilities that have already received an approval for a site-specific standard (and are making a subsequent request) to waive the requirement for hosting a public meeting.
The Ministry of the Environment has made minor administrative amendments to Ontario Regulation 419/05 regarding the commencement date for the recent amendments to Schedules 6, 7 and 8 and the definition section. The new commencement date is July 29, 2011. Please see the link to e-Laws below for the administrative amendments. The remainder of the notice has not been altered.
Further information may be obtained by consulting the Decision Notice on the Environmental Registy using the link provided below.
June 23, 2011
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry is proposing to amend Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 419/05 as follows:
1) Change the term altered standard to site-specific standard. For the sake of clarity, any additional reference to this type of standard in the posting, will be referred to as a site-specific standard;
2) Allow facilities a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 10 years for approval of a site-specific standard and remove the reference to "extenuating circumstances"; and,
3) Remove the requirement for a public meeting when facilities are requesting renewal of a site-specific standard if there are no significant changes to the information that supported their original request.
Changing the term Altered Standard to Site-specific Standard:
The ministry is proposing to amend O. Reg. 419/05 to replace the term altered standard with site-specific standard. In general, the regulatory term altered standard causes confusion with stakeholders and does not fairly represent its purpose. The term site-specific standard more accurately reflects the basis of the standard and facilitates communication to stakeholders. Air standards are generally set based on estimated exposure that may occur every day over a lifetime. Site-specific standards are set based on best available technology (and economic considerations if requested). A site-specific standard is designed to reduce risks to people who live near a facility through planning and implementation of measures to reduce emissions and overall exposure.
Minimum Duration of a Site-specific Standard:
Currently O. Reg. 419/05 allows the Director to approve an altered standard for:
a) a period of no more than five years; or
b) a period of no more than ten years, if the Director is satisfied that there are extenuating circumstances (extenuating circumstances are not defined in the regulation). The period of the approval of an altered standard would begin after the phase-in period of the standard which is generally five years; therefore industry would have 10 years(and possibly up to 15 years) to work towards continuous improvement. There is also the possibility of renewal of an altered standard. The ministry is proposing to allow facilities a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 10 years for approval of a site-specific standard and remove the reference to extenuating circumstances. The period of approval of a site-specific standard would begin after the phase-in period of the standard which is generally five years.
To date the ministry has approved site-specific standards from four to eight years in duration. This time frame is considered reasonable to implement technology enhancements while also considering cost-effective technologies. This process is similar to other competing jurisdictions like the US where technology standards are reviewed every eight to 10 years. Technology improves over time.
The ministry is proposing to amend O. Reg. 419/05 to allow facilities, who have already received an approval for a site-specific standard (and are requesting a renewal as noted above) to proceed to provide notice on the Environmental Registry (as currently required) without hosting a public meeting if there are no significant changes to the information that supports their existing site-specific standard. Currently, O. Reg. 419/05 requires this public meeting.
It is possible for site-specific standards to be renewed.
Stakeholder Relations Officer
Ministry of the Environment
Environmental Sciences and
Standards Development Branch
Issues Management and Project
40 St.Clair Avenue West
Phone: (416) 327-5772
July 1, 2011