The Ontario Ministry of the Environment ("MOE") has undertaken a new initiative to modernize the environmental approvals process. Lower-risk activities will have a simplified approval process and approvals for higher-risk activities will be done more quickly. Throughout these new processes, the MOE suggests that environmental standards and protection will be maintained and improved. The objective is to introduce the new approval process over the next three years. Simplified approvals for lower-risk environmental activities will be a rules-based environmental registry process. The higher-risk environmental activities will involve applying for a new Certificate of Approval.
In February, 2010 the MOE will begin formal consultations which will result in discussion documents posted on the Environmental Registry of the Environmental Bill of Rights. Consultations will include a roundtable of experts from the business community and environmental organizations.