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Now that the Toxics Reduction Act is in force, Ontario companies are starting to collect data for their first annual report on the first 47 groups of "toxic" substances. The report is not due until Jun 1, 2011, but it must be based on data to be collected on substances "used" or "created" January to December of this year. To meet federal NPRI requirements, most organizations regulated by this Act already know the quantities of toxic substances that enter and leave their plants. The Act and Regulation 455/09 require each regulated organization to quantify its substances at each step of a "process".
Enviromation 534 OSC’s advisory committees and other experts, and is report is not due until June 1, 2011, but it must be based on expected to be followed by relevant reporting issuers data to be collected on substances ‘‘used’’ or ‘‘created’’ when preparing their 2010 annual continuous disclosure January to December of this year. documents. Ministry of the Environment staff have wrapped up Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commis- their cross-province compliance seminars, but here are sion has recently released its own guidance on climate some key issues that remain unclear: change disclosure (see ‘‘U.S. SEC Guidance on Climate 1. What is ‘‘used’’? Do the new rules apply to unin- Change Disclosure’’, below). tended and undisclosed contaminants of raw materials? How would an organization know? MOE Bracing for Renewable Energy 2. What is ‘‘created’’? Anyone with a combustion process will ‘‘create’’ short-lived intermediates that Approvals never escape the furnace, and which cannot practi- This article was written by Dianne Saxe, of Dianne cally be measured. In practice, these intermediates Saxe Professional Corporation, Barristers and Solicitors. will probably have to be ignored. Reprinted with permission from the Saxe EnviroNews blog 3. What is ‘‘approximately equal’’? Organizations will at http://envirolaw.ca. © Dianne Saxe, Ph.D. in Law, Certi- be required to redo their mass balance accounting fied Specialist in Environmental Law. until their toxic substance inputs are ‘‘approxi- The Ministry of Environment is bracing for the 500 to mately equal to’’ their outputs, in the hope of iden- 800 renewable energy approval applications that they tifying all significant material flows. Does that mean expect to receive once the Ontario Power Authority issues 80% equal? 90%? 95%? 99.99%? The costs to busi- its Feed In Tariff contract offers, starting in March. An ness may vary dramatically depending on how this approvals team has been assembled. Amid extensive requirement is interpreted. The ministry is prom- internal consultations and 150 pre-submission meetings, ising to provide ‘‘guidance’’ later, ‘‘in the spring’’, the necessary forms are being released; technical guidance but organizations need to collect data now. documents will be published soon. The first REA applica- 4. An even tougher question is: What is a ‘‘process’’? tion has already been filed. To meet federal NPRI requirements, most organiza- Ministry staff are warning stakeholders to watch the tions regulated by this Act already know the quanti- Environmental Registry for additional consultations in the ties of toxic substances that enter and leave their coming year. Outstanding policy issues include: plants. The MOE wants organizations to generate 1 The numerous approvals issues associated with the same information at every step of their internal transmission; operations, divided into numerous, finely grained 2 The fees to be paid for renewable energy approval ‘‘processes’’; the MOE gives examples of a new applications; ‘‘process’’ every time a different piece of equip- ment is used. However, it is far from clear that this is 3 Much more detail on the requirements for offshore what the law requires. wind; and The Act and Regulation 455/09 require each regulated 4 The related need for approvals reform so that other organization to quantify its substances at each step of a types of approvals aren’t choked off.
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