How is brownfield remediation regulated in Ontario?
Over the past seven years, Ontario has attempted to address the uncertainties, risks and costs associated with brownfield redevelopment. A series of legislative and regulatory reforms were introduced and are being implemented to encourage more development of brownfield sites.
The Ontario government began the process of amending brownfield law and policy in 2001 and made further changes in 2007. These changes:
Established clear requirements for site assessments, including:
- Procedures on how to conduct Environmental Site Assessments and Risk Assessments
- Updated standards for soil and groundwater quality
- Qualified Persons to conduct site assessments
- Records of Site Condition (RSCs) to certify the environmental condition of a property at a specific point in time
- Online Brownfields Environmental Site Registry to provide public notice of RSCs
Provided some protection from environmental liability
- Immunity from certain environmental orders for owners of sites for which RSCs have been filed on the Brownfields Environmental Site Registry
- Protection for secured creditors and municipalities who become involved in a brownfield development, or become owners of a brownfield property
Established municipal planning tools and financial incentives
- Community Improvement Plans that allow municipalities in need of urban revitalization to provide financial incentives, such as grants, loans or tax assistance
- Rebates on development charges in certain circumstances
- Brownfields Financial Tax Incentive Program that cancels all or part of the education property taxes of a property for up to three years
December 2009 amendments to Ontario’s brownfields regulation will implement further changes when they come into effect in July 2011.
What are brownfields?
What are the benefits of brownfield redevelopment?
What are the risks to developing brownfields?
What are the barriers to developing brownfields?
What can be done with brownfield sites?
How can members of the public get involved in local brownfield redevelopments?
How can I learn more about brownfield redevelopment?