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June 25, 2015

Ontario: Approvals Reform to Extend EASR Process to Permits to Take Water

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Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is currently considering public comments on its latest approvals reform proposal: moving many permits to take water to the "permit by rule" approach of the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR). 

The theory of EASR is that many environmental activities have routine, predictable impacts and always obtain permits with essentially the same conditions. These activities can automatically be allowed to proceed, on standard conditions, by registering with the Ministry, without waiting many months for a Ministry employee to impose those same conditions. The EASR conditions can still be enforced the same way as a permit, through complaints and/or proactive inspections.

To facilitate stakeholder consultations, MOECC posted a discussion paper -- Technical Discussion Paper on Proposed Regulatory Changes and Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR)  requirements: Short-Term Water-Taking Activities – in March 2015. MOECC has also established a stakeholder roundtable, comprising representation from a cross-section of environmental non-government and industry, to consider the appropriateness of bringing these and other sector activities under the EASR process.

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