Written by Christian Tenaglia, Director of Northeastern Ontario, Environmental Due Diligence & Remediation Group
On December 4, 2019, the Province of Ontario passed Regulation 407/19, which is an amendment to the Records of Site Condition Regulation 153/04, made under the Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.19 (O. Reg. 153/04). The intent of the amendment is to address certain challenges and barriers to redevelopment within our communities and to continue to promote the revitalization of historically contaminated lands (i.e., brownfield property redevelopment).
The amendments to O. Reg. 153/04 have streamlined the process for filing a Record of Site Condition (RSC). In brief, this includes the removal of unnecessary sampling when undertaking risk assessments if contaminant distribution at the property is already well understood, flexibility on meeting standards in specific circumstances, and removing the requirement for obtaining an RSC for specific low risk redevelopment situations. In addition, amendments were made to ensure there is alignment between the new On-Site and Excess Soil Management Regulation (Ontario Regulation 406/19 or Excess Soil Regulation) and O. Reg. 153/04.
These amendments to O.Reg 153/04 are important to not only engineers and qualified persons (QPs), but to developers, municipalities, property owners and all other stakeholders:
- Under some circumstances, there may be relief from vertical delineation of contaminants during Phase Two Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) completed in support of risk assessments;
- The redefinition of “industrial use” to include on-site cultivation, growing and harvesting of agricultural commodities;
- The extension to private property of the current exemption where salt-related impacts from de-icing activities for safety purposes meet the applicable standards for RSC purposes;
- Allowing the conversion of upper floors of certain low-rise commercial buildings (i.e., 6 storeys or less) to residential use without requiring an RSC;
- Allowing the land use of temporary roads built for construction purposes to change without requiring an RSC;
- Allowing constituents of treated drinking water that have been released to the environment (e.g., through a water line break) to meet the applicable standards for RSC filing purposes;
- Allowing soil in certain areas of the Province that contains naturally elevated concentrations of substances exceeding the applicable standards, such as specific metals, to meet the standards for RSC filing purposes;
- The redefinition of churches and buildings used for indoor gatherings of religious purposes as “institutional use”, meaning that an RSC is no longer required for redevelopment of these properties for residential purposes; and
- Alignment of O. Reg. 153/04 with the Excess Soil Regulation, including the use of soil quality standards provided in the Excess Soil Regulation for use in determining the environmental suitability of fill imported to an RSC property.
For any assistance with your development, brownfield property, or understanding of the amendment and associated regulations, contact your local Pinchin office or call 1-855-PINCHIN (746-2446).
Visit the Environmental Due Diligence & Remediation (EDR) page of our website to learn more about the services and capabilities of our EDR group and how we can help you and your business.