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The OWMA has provided the government with a comprehensive list of recommendations on how to streamline the Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECAs) process in a way that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the province’s move toward a more circular economy.

In a letter on Nov. 17, the OWMA recommends that the government place its focus on five key areas to modernize ECAs.

First, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) should exempt collection depots and allow facilities with a waste ECA to accept additional materials, such as used tires, without going through the full approvals process again.

Second, provincial officials should allow Qualified Professionals (QPs) to approve modifications to waste management facilities, such as equipment upgrades or operational changes at landfill sites, without having to get a formal ECA amendment.

Third, Ontario should make better use of the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR) to facilitate growth in the resource recovery and recycling sectors. There are plenty of facilities and operators that are well known to the government and could report their activities in a more cost-effective manner on the registry while maintaining the highest environmental standards.

Fourth, the government must provide more clarity on its modelling for odour control and the parameters for odour standards. The OWMA is looking forward to working with the government to create a simple, effective reporting system for odour management.

Fifth, the government should consider two different models provided by the OWMA to address challenges with financial assurance. One option is a “pooled” industry system that allocates funds without site-specific limitations. The other is a site-specific financial assurance model for sites with multiple operations, such as a landfill site with recycling and composting facilities.

If you have any questions about the modernization of approvals, call our office today. If you would like to read the letter the OWMA sent to the Environment Minister’s office, click here.