Ontario Regulation 98/12 Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) Application Form Relating to the Construction, Alteration, Extension or Replacement of Vertical Closed Loop Geothermal Systems and Instructions on How to Apply for the ECA
O. Reg. 98/12
Bill or Act:
Environmental Protection Act
Summary of Decision:
The purpose of this Information Notice is to share with the public the Application Form relating to the construction, alteration, extension or replacement of vertical closed loop geothermal systems and Instructions to help the industry apply for an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA).
The instructions will assist applicants on how to apply for an ECA for installing new vertical closed loop geothermal systems and for systems that are altered, extended or replaced. The instructions elaborate on the requirements of Regulation 98/12 and does not create new policy.
Summary of Proposal:
On May 18, 2012, the government strengthened the regulation of vertical closed loop drilling for geothermal systems to protect public safety and the environment by making Ontario Regulation 98/12 (Ground Source Heat Pumps) under the Environmental Protection Act. The new regulation requires anyone constructing new or altering, replacing or extending existing vertical closed loop geothermal systems that extend or will extend more than 5 metres below the level of the original ground surface to obtain an Environmental Compliance Approval from the Ministry of the Environment.
As part of an application for an Ontario Regulation 98/12 Environmental Compliance Approval, the applicant (i.e., installer or driller) would be required to submit a work plan prepared by a licensed engineering practitioner or a professional geoscientist, which would include measures to be taken to prevent an adverse effect if hazardous gas is encountered while constructing, altering, extending or replacing the system.
To assist applicants, the Ministry has published instructions titled,'Environmental Compliance Approval Requirements for Vertical Closed Loop Ground Heat Source Pumps'. The instructions are intended to explain to applicants what the Ministry takes into account when evaluating an ECA application relating to the construction, alteration, extension or replacement of vertical closed loop geothermal systems.
Ministry of the Environment
Environmental Approvals Access and Service Integration Branch
2 St. Clair Ave. West, Floor 12A
June 12, 2012