New water taking regulations to provide a quicker and more streamlined process

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The Ontario government has passed regulatory changes, effective March 29, for short-term water taking activities that were previously subject to Permit to Take Water (PTTW).

Ontario Road Builders’ Association’s (ORBA) Environment Committee worked closely with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) in the development of the regulation changes. ORBA submitted two stakeholder papers throughout the various consultations period.

“We are pleased to have worked together with the Ministry to deliver solutions that will improve the co-ordination and operations in the road building industry,” said ORBA president Allan West. “With the new Permit to Take Water regulations, our ORBA members with see more streamlined processes and substantial wait time reductions.”

The issue of PTTW was also included in the ORBA Open For Business Roundtable with the government held earlier this year. The roundtable process identified opportunities to streamline processes and improve operations in order to reduce burden on, and create tangible, positive impacts for ORBA members.

The regulations:

  • Clarify or exempt certain activities from the requirements to obtain a PTTW and;
  • Require other activities to be registered on the newly developed Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR).

As part of the new regulation, MOECC has developed an EASR, which is an online registry that provides a streamlined system that replaces the requirement to obtain an Environmental Compliance Approval or PTTW. The process can be completed in minutes.

The EASR allows persons engaged in prescribed activities (in this case, water taking) to register with the Ministry instead of applying for a PTTW. The EASR lays out the set of rules that must be met in order to maintain compliance with the regulations. There is a registration fee of $1,190 for the EASR.

Under the PTTW model, applications could take up to 90 days for approvals. Through the EASR, registration is done immediately and operations can begin three months earlier.

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