Federal HazWaste and recyclable material regs
The revised Federal Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations come into force on November 1, 2005. The Regulations replace the previous Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes Regulations, which had been in effect since 1992. The revised regulations are intended to streamline the process for permit applications, and to allow the government to refuse to issue a permit if the waste or recyclable material is not managed in a manner that protects the environment and human health.
A new manifest system harmonizes waste manifest systems used by the provinces. The regulations now refer to manifests as “movement documents,” as opposed to “manifests.” Waste reduction plans for export of hazardous wastes destined for disposal will be required, and different controls are imposed for hazardous wastes versus recyclable materials, with some low risk recyclable materials excluded from the regulations. All hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials must be disposed of or recycled within one year after acceptance at destination facilities.
The government also hopes to encourage recycling as an option by relaxing liability insurance requirements for recyclable materials under the new regulations. Essentially, the $5-million minimum insurance requirement has decreased to $1 million for the export and import of hazardous recyclable materials as compared to hazardous wastes.
Revisions to Ontario Regulation 347
Revisions to Ontario’s General Waste Management Regulation, Regulation 347, under the Environmental Protection Act have come into force. The revisions prohibit the land disposal of untreated hazardous waste, including hazardous waste from other jurisdictions. These changes have the effect of harmonizing pre-treatment requirements for hazardous waste in Ontario with those in the United States, thereby eliminating the financial incentive for generators in the United States to select Ontario for the land disposal of hazardous wastes.
The revisions to Regulation 347 are being phased-in. The schedule involves a deadline of March 31, 2006 with respect to storage, mixing and on-site processing approval requirements; January 1, 2007 for new generator registration requirements; and deadlines running from between August 31, 2007 to December 31, 2009 for land disposal restrictions on different types of wastes. The phase-in is intended to allow companies an opportunity to ensure compliance, and to provide the waste management industry with time to respond to the expected increased demand for treatment options.
The new requirements are expected to impact approximately 1,950 hazardous waste generators, and the estimated annual cost to generators to treat hazardous waste under the revised Regulation is between $30 to $50 million.
PEI C&D disposal site recommendations
The Prince Edward Island Environmental Advisory Council was asked by the provincial government to review the existing Waste Resource Management Regulations, which govern construction and demolition debris disposal sites. The purpose of the review was to determine whether construction and demolition disposal sites provide adequately for the protection of the environment and to consider future requirements for the province. PEI had placed a moratorium on any approvals for such sites pending the review.
The Advisory Council has made several recommendations that involve major changes to the manner in which construction and demolition debris is managed in the province. In particular, the Advisory Council has recommended a publicly-run system that would place control of these disposal sites in the hands of the Island Waste Management Corporation. The Advisory Council also recommended: banning certain materials that are currently accepted at such sites (such as wood, asphalt and brick); encouraging reuse and recycling of debris; reducing the total number of disposal sites in the province from six to two (with a system of province-wide sorting and transfer stations); and, increasing set-back requirements.
Watertight storage requirement for Quebec manure management
The Regulation to Amend the Agricultural Operations Regulation under Quebec’s Environment Quality Act was published for comment and addresses livestock waste storage and the spreading of fertilizer, and creates restrictions for swine production and crop cultivation in certain municipalities. The major change to the existing regulation is that all sites with solid manure management systems will be subject to the watertight storage requirement once the regulation comes into force. While the existing regulation requires watertight storage for all liquid manure management systems, it currently only applies to solid manure management systems with annual phosphorus production over 1,600 kg.
Ontario blue box program for newspaper associations
Ontario has approved changes to the Blue Box Program Plan that permit municipalities to use in-kind contributions for a broader range of services. The Waste Diversion Act, 2002 allows stewards’ fees to be reduced or eliminated if the steward makes voluntary contributions of money, goods or services. Examples of “in-kind” contributions, in the case of newspapers, could be advertising space. Other revisions to the program include financial protection against decreases in the price of old newspapers whereby members of the Canadian Newspaper Association and Ontario Community Newspapers’ Association are to provide cash payments when the price of old newspapers falls below 50 per cent of the 2004 value.
Rosalind Cooper, LL.B. is a partner with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, with offices across Canada. Ms. Cooper is based in Toronto, Ontario. E-mail Rosalind at email@example.com