Toxics Reduction Act Rolling Out by ProQuest

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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".

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									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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