Bill 167, the Toxics Reduction Act, has received third reading and been passed by the Ontario Legislature. Some last-minute amendments were made this week, after an afternoon of public hearings in front of the committee on General Government. The main amendments require the Minister of the Environment to prepare an annual report on progress in implementing the Bill. The Minister must also consult with experts and the public, every five years, about possible changes to the criteria that determine which facilities must comply with the Act, and may set targets for toxics reductions.
The Ontario government seems possessed with a great sense of urgency to get this blizzard of environmental legislation passed and in force well before the next election, notwithstanding the economy and our skyrocketing deficit. We can expect to see a major package of proposed regulations under the Green Energy Act in the next few weeks, and should also expect to see rapid movement towards implementation of the Toxics Reduction Act.