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Ontario has released its draft regulation under the new Toxics Reduction Act, 2009. As previously proposed, the regulation will require many Ontario manufacturers to prepare and publish certified toxic substance reduction plans, but will not mandate that the plans be implemented.

Most industries will still be unhappy about this substantial addition to their regulatory burden, but some aspects of the draft have been adjusted to address their concerns (and those raised by the Ontario Bar Association). For example, the draft regulation:

  • uses the same list of toxic substances as the federal National Pollutant Release Inventory, plus acetone; it would be very inefficient and confusing to have multiple different lists;
  • allows industries to use a variety of methods to calculate their emissions, instead of the previous rigid insistence on mass balances; and
  • reduces what parts of the plan must be posted on the Internet, in light of concerns about safety and business confidentiality.

Further comments will be accepted until October 19, 2009.

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