Ontario MOE Revises Brownfields Regulations


Willms & Schier, Environmental Lawyers LLP  

Canada: MOE Revises Brownfields Regulations   06 January 2010 Article by John Willms  

On December 29, 2009, without press release or Internet explanation, the Ontario government quietly filed the extensive and long-awaited changes to its brownfields regulations (O. Reg. 153/04). The amendments include:

  • a complete rewrite of the requirements for Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (including new Schedules covering the application, site investigations, review and evaluation of the information, and preparation of the assessment report for each ESA)
  • reference to new Soil, Ground Water and Sediment Standards (which, although dated July 27, 2009, apparently haven’t been released)
  • a new definition of an “owner” under section 4
  • further clarification on who is and who may not be a “qualified person”
  • new site condition standards for shallow soil properties or water bodies
  • new analytical procedures and protocols
  • new provisions addressing soil brought from another property
  • extensive revisions to Schedule A, which deal with the contents and submission of the Record of Site Condition (RSC)
  • revisions to the “limited scope risk assessment” provisions in Schedule C
  • new mandatory requirements for risk assessment reports in Schedule C

We haven’t finished going through the amendments in detail, but will be analyzing and summarizing the changes in the next issue of our newsletter.

In the meantime, there’s no need to panic; you still have considerable time to prepare for the new brownfield regime. Just a handful of rather limited revisions (ss. 1.7, 12, 19, 23, 24, 26 and 32) came into force when the amending regulation (O. Reg. 511/09) was filed. The bulk of the amendments don’t come into force until July 1, 2011. Even the transition provisions (in section 13) don’t come into effect until July 1, 2010.

There hasn’t been a posting on the Environmental Registry (yet) and the amending regulation won’t be published in The Ontario Gazette till the next issue. But you can find O. Reg. 511/09 on the “Source” law section of the province’s e-laws website at (

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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