On November 29th, the Provincial Government released a new Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to protect our air, land and water and reduce litter and waste while lowering greenhouse gas emissions and helping communities protect themselves from climate change. The new plan released by the government has been posted for public input on the Environmental Registry (013-4208) for 60 days until January 28, 2019.
The new plan commits to what the PCs see as a more targeted, pragmatic and flexible approach to achieving the Province’s environmental objectives. while balancing Ontario’s economic interests. This includes a strong focus on the impacts on Ontario businesses and jobs, and more effectively recognizing the contributions of industries that have already made significant strides to green their operations. A few of key elements and language in the proposed plan:
- Modernize the Building Code to better equip homes and buildings to be better able to withstand extreme weather events.
- Review the Building Code and support the adoption of cost effective energy efficiency measures that can lower the cost of electricity and natural gas needed to operate buildings.
- Ontario is currently a leading jurisdiction in Canada when it comes to energy efficiency standards in its Building Code.
- Look to modernize Ontario’s environmental assessment process, which dates back to the 1970s, to address duplication, streamline processes, improve service standards to reduce delays, and better recognize other planning processes.
- Recognize that excess soil is often a resource that can be reused. Set clear rules to allow industry to reduce construction costs, limit soil being sent to landfill and lower greenhouse gas emissions from trucking by supporting beneficial reuses of safe soils.
- Revise the brownfields regulation and the record of site condition guide to reduce barriers to redevelop and revitalize historically contaminated lands, putting vacant prime land back to good use.
- Work in collaboration with municipalities and stakeholders to ensure that conservation authorities focus and deliver on their core mandate of protecting people and property from flooding and other natural hazards, and conserving natural resources.
- Improve coordination of land use planning and environmental approval processes by updating ministry guidelines to help municipalities avoid the impacts of conflicting land uses.
- Consider how wastewater and stormwater financing could be updated to improve investment and support new and innovative technologies and practices
- Work with the Ontario Real Estate Association to encourage the voluntary display of home energy efficiency information on real estate listings to better inform buyers and encourage energy-efficiency measures.
(Article courtesy OHBA)