Use of Exception Notices
In certain situations, the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR) relieves prescribed ministries of their obligation to post environmentally significant proposals on the Environmental Registry for public comment.
There are two main instances in which ministries can post an “exception” notice to inform the public of a decision and explain why it was not posted for public comment. First, there is the “emergency” exception. Ministries are permitted to post an exception notice under section 29 of the EBR when the delay in waiting for public comment would result in danger to public health or safety, harm or serious risk to the environment, or injury or damage to property. Second, there is the “equivalent public participation” exception. Ministries can post an environmentally significant proposal as an exception notice under section 30 of the EBR when the proposal will be or has already been considered in another public participation process that is substantially equivalent to the requirements of the EBR.
During the 2010/2011 reporting year, four instrument exception notices were posted on the Registry, all by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). In all but one case, MOE relied on the emergency exception. The ECO believes that all exception notices posted on the Registry in 2010/2011 were acceptable uses of the EBR’s exception provisions. For example, MOE extended a Certificate of Approval for an Ottawa company to remediate settling in part of a landfill, in order to avoid leachate break-out and structural problems with the site.
For more information, please refer to Section 3 of the Supplement to this Annual Report and a complete list of exception notices posted on the Environmental Registry in 2010/2011.
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|This is an article from the 2010/11 Annual Report to the Legislature from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.|
Citing This Article:
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. 2011. "Use of Exception Notices." Engaging Solutions, ECO Annual Report, 2010/11. Toronto: The Queen's Printer for Ontario. 142.