Solar facilities and waste management systems will be covered under new regulations through the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) as of November 18, 2012.
As a result, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is reminding relevant businesses to register before the deadline.
According to the MOE, there was concern about the administrative burden posed by the Waste Management Systems EASR regulation.
“In response, the documentation requirements in the regulation were harmonized with other EASR activities to establish a consistent approach,” the ministry says on the EASR website.
The ministry says it has developed the online EASR registration form to register activities in respect of a waste management system in consideration of this comment.
“Information required to be submitted at the time of registration is not expected to present undue administrative burden but will still provide information necessary for the ministry to effectively enforce compliance with EASR regulation’s requirements,” the EASR website states.
The MOE says it will publish supporting documents after November 18, 2012 to explain how existing approvals would be transitioned to the registration process.
At the same time, the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) released a statement noting that the MOE has moved forward with fees for service for the EASR. OWMA says it will “focus on the need to ensure there is value for charges paid, accountability and transparency.”
OWMA adds: “The hope is the EASR process will prove to provide faster, more efficient service delivery while continuing to meet Ontario's environmental standards.”
As well, OWMA is reminding that on March 18, 2013, the driver of a waste transportation vehicle used for the transportation of municipal waste, liquid industrial waste or hazardous waste shall be trained in the following:
- the operation of the vehicle and waste management equipment
- relevant waste management Acts, regulations and guidelines
- major environmental concerns pertaining to the waste to be handled
- occupational health and safety concerns pertaining to the waste to be handled
- emergency management procedures for the waste to be handled.
OWMA says it will be working with its Safety and Transportation Committee to evaluate what information or program might be needed to help the sector meet these changes over the next year.
In relation to solar facilities, the MOE conducted additional technical analysis and a jurisdictional review. As a result, the MOE says:
- the solar photovoltaic collector panel setback to the facility’s property boundary was reduced from 30 metres to 15 metres
- the regulation includes an option for facilities to be designed such that they either meet the noise setbacks set out in the regulation or specific sound level requirements at the property boundary of noise receptors.
In addition, the regulation specifies that the notification, required to be distributed prior to registering a solar facility or increasing the name plate capacity of an already registered facility, must be distributed in a form approved by the director. This ensures that businesses are providing consistent and appropriate information as part of the notification.
See also WorkSafeNB's new guideline to help protect waste collectors in the November 2012 edition of EcoLog’s EHScompliance.ca newsletter