The Ministry of the Environment has posted changes to Ontario's hazardous waste regulation that would make the standards the toughest in the province's history.
"In September, I committed this government to develop tough new hazardous waste standards," said Environment Minister Tony Clement. "That's what these new rules would do. They will be a strong weapon we will use to control toxic waste. They will be compatible with U.S. regulations, and they will make our standards far tougher than anything we've had in the past."
Clement announced a six-point action plan to strengthen the way Ontario handles hazardous waste.
One of the actions he announced was to strengthen the regulation and harmonize it with U.S. rules.
The proposed changes to the regulation include:
- Adding a "A derived from" rule similar to that of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). This rule states that any materials left after treatment are still listed as hazardous waste. This means that companies that treat wastes must still manage the treated material as hazardous waste.
- The change is in addition to Ontario's recently-implemented "mixture rule," which states that hazardous waste mixed with any other material is still hazardous waste.
- Implementing the next generation leaching procedure. This USEPA testing procedure predicts whether a waste is likely to leach contaminants into groundwater levels of concern.
- Updating Ontario's lists of hazardous waste to be compatible with the U.S. lists.
"I am determined to ensure that hazardous waste is handled safely and effectively in this province," said Clement.
The changes have been placed on the Environmental Bill of Rights electronic registry www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/ebr/welcome.htm for a public comment period of 90 days.