Additional amendments to O. Reg. 153/04 have been proposed that have limited relationship to excess soil but are proposed as part of this regulatory package to provide clarity and reduce unnecessary burden on the regulated community. The proposed amendments address specific circumstances that have proven difficult when navigating the RSC process for a variety of reasons, including:
- Delineation – an applicant can request that the MOECC provide relief from the rules governing how contaminants are to be delineated at an RSC property undergoing a Risk Assessment;
- Substances Used For the Purpose of Safety Under Conditions of Snow/Ice – if a Qualified Person (QP) determined that an applicable site condition standard is exceeded at a property solely because a substance has been used for the purpose of traffic and pedestrian safety under conditions of snow/ice, the standard is deemed not to be exceeded;
- Converting Low-Rise Commercial Buildings to Mixed Use – property owners that are renovating a portion of a low-rise commercial use building, but not demolishing and rebuilding or altering the building footprint, to convert upper floor to residential without requiring an RSC;
- Temporary Roads Related to Development – the use of a property as a temporary road would not, for that reason alone, trigger the need for an RSC when the property is converted to residential use;
- Treated Drinking Water – proposed amendment would allow or exceedances at RSC properties where a QP determines that a standard is exceeded solely because of the presence of treated drinking water by-products;
- Naturally Elevated Concentrations of Substances – an applicable site condition standard is not deemed an exceedance if a QP demonstrates that the standard is exceeded at the property solely because of the deposition of fill prior to environmental site assessments and that the concentration of a substance in the fill does not exceed naturally occurring concentrations of that substance found within the municipality or an adjacent municipality;
- Day Care Centres – amendment would update this term to be consistent with the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014. The amendment would serve to clarify that a “child care centre” licensed under the Act is an ‘institutional use’ as defined under O. Reg. 153/04. ;
- Buildings Used for Indoor Gatherings of People for Religious Purposes – amendment would remove buildings of this nature from the definition of ‘community use’ and place them within the definition of ‘institutional use’. This would: (1) allow a change of property use from a building used for indoor gatherings of people for religious purposes to residential use, without requiring the filing of an RSC; and (2) require the filing of an RSC in order to change the use of the property from industrial, commercial or community to a building used for indoor gatherings of people for religious purposes.
As mentioned in last week’s blog post, the proposed amendments are posted on the EBR for a 60-day comment period. The MOECC has indicated that in the summer of 2017 they will consider comments and finalize the regulatory amendments and anticipate implementation in the fall of 2017. The proposed changes to these regulations may have implications for many future projects involving development, remediation and general construction. Having knowledge of these proposed changes and working with a Qualified Professional (QP) to navigate through the changes may result in significant changes in project planning.
Written by Gerren Feeney