Contaminated Sites Regulation : Order in Council 368 Approved for Amendments Regarding Site Identification

JULY 10. 2020 – The Order in Council (OIC 368) for the Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR) amendment was approved by Cabinet on June 24, 2020.  Bill 17 “The Environmental Management Amendment Act” received Royal Assent in May 2019. The legislative amendments were to streamline the site identification process by making it more predictable and easier to understand.

This OIC is for the Stage 13 amendments to the CSR, which are required to bring Bill 17 into force. The CSR amendments will strengthen the site identification process and ensure that sites are investigated and remediated promptly after closure and prior to redevelopment. The revised site identification process will minimize administrative processes, improve clarity and ensure equal application of regulatory requirements across the province. Responsibilities for oil and gas sites are also addressed. There will be no ability to opt-out and there will be an automatic requirement to investigate a commercial or industrial site if a person is seeking redevelopment or wanting to shut down operations. Administrative Guidance 6 release options will still be available; although there will be a few minor changes involving high-risk sites and multi-phase development projects.

The amendments will allow for more focus of ministry resources on high-risk sites and overall compliance verification and enforcement, with the overall result of increased protection for human health and the environment.

The changes address issues raised during the initial consultation with industry, other ministries, local governments and Indigenous nations across the province. The ministry has a comprehensive implementation plan to help local governments, Indigenous Nations and others respond to the changes, including updated webpage information, revised policy documents and training opportunities.

The CSR amendments were deposited on June 29, 2020. Changes to site identification come into effect on February 1, 2021.