Ontario's proposed Clean Water Act, 2005, introduced December 5, 2005 appears to be on a fast track, intended to take effect early in 2006. Along with the new legislation, the government announced $16.5 million for conservation authorities. This money is will fund staff and resources to work with local communities and develop source protection plans in the next year.
The government also annouced an additional $51 million over 5 years for municipalities to fund techical studies needed for source water protection.
Source Protection Plans (SSP) developed under the Act will be powerful planning and protection documents. Planning decisions, official plans and zoning by-laws will have to conform with SSPs.
Municipalities will have new enforcement powers to prohibit or restrict existing and future uses in surface water intake and wellhead protection areas unless they are carried out in accordance with a permit, or under an acceptable risk assessment plan. This means that existing commercial and industrial operations in some source protection zones may be required to take additional protective measures to prevent spills, change chemical storage and handling practices, or otherwise reduce the risks of contaminating water supplies.
Full text of Bill 43 First Reading
Full text of MOE's Compendium
EBR consultation on Bill 43 (Clean Water Act, 2005) ends February 5, 2006.