A new online registration process for businesses with air and noise emissions was implemented on January 31, 2017, which mandates businesses that meet the eligibility criteria of O. Reg. 1/17 to register their activities on the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR).
The EASR is a public, web-based system that allows businesses conducting certain activities to register them with the MECP, previously MOECC, rather than applying for an environmental approval (ECA). The types of site activities with air and noise emissions that are not considered high risk and/or complex are required to be registered in the EASR, with some exceptions. Registrants are required to follow eligibility rules and regulations, and are subject to audits, site inspections and compliance penalties.Subject businesses can self register and assess air and noise emissions without need to apply to the MECP for new approvals or approval amendments, saving time required in obtaining permits. However, the new requirements are more onerous than before and include:
- Assess all discharges (air contaminants and noise), including impacts modelling
- Proponent must pay for toxicological assessments on air contaminants that have no MECP guidelines
- Screening assessments for odour
- Noise, dust and odour mitigation plans and control (if necessary)
- Written operation and maintenance procedures, complaints and record-keeping procedures.
There are also other activities that are ineligible for an EASR including renewable energy projects, wood-fired combustors over 3 MW, and, mobile activities, as a few examples.