Canadian Mining Journal


ENVIRONMENTAL BILL – Proposed Ontario law under fire

TORONTO - As public hearings near for Ontario's Bill 133, the Environmental Enforcement Statute Law Amendment Act (...

TORONTO – As public hearings near for Ontario’s Bill 133, the Environmental Enforcement Statute Law Amendment Act (Spills Bill), another coalition has fired shots at it for being too weak. The CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ASSOCIATION, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE and SIERRA LEGAL DEFENCE FUNDS have joined forces calling for the bill to be extended and strengthened.<br>
The groups target four aspects of the legislation. <br>
1)Section 18, which allows Ministry of the Environment officials to require facilities to develop and implement plans to prevent and reduce pollution, must be expanded. These plans should be mandatory for all facilities covered under the bill and expanded to mandate planning to reduce emissions and provide reporting on measures to prevent pollution overall.<br>
2)The Ministry of the Environment must be required to provide annual reports on the operation of Bill 133 as well as prosecutions.<br>
3)All settlement agreements (an agreement between the facility and the Ministry of the Environment that is negotiated after a penalty has been imposed) must be made public.<br>
4)Assurances must be provided that the bill will be expanded in a phased-in fashion to other sectors (such as smaller facilities and the transportation sector).<br>
The Ontario government has posted a fact sheet for industry concerning Bill 133 at Penalties would range from $50,000/day for individuals to $10 million per conviction for corporations.<br>

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