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August 02, 2006

Ontario MOE Begins Enforcement of 3Rs Regulations

Ontario's Sector Compliance Branch (formerly SWAT) is inspecting companies in wide range of industrial sectors for compliance with the 3Rs regulations. Inspectors have already inspected more than 120 companies this year, most in the Toronto area.

Sectors included in the inspection blitz will include construction and demolition companies, apartment buildings, schools, malls, hospitals, hotels and motels, office building, restaurants and manufacturers.

MOE officials are not laying charges at this time. Companies and institutions are being given 60 to 90 day notices to comply with the regulations. It is not yet clear whether the MOE will lay charges if companies fail to comply.

3Rs regulations were passed in 1994, but never enforced. However, significant reduction is needed from the IC&I sectors if Ontario is to make any significant progress towards the MOE's stated target of 60% waste diversion by 2008. Ontario's limited disposal capacity is threatened by pressure from the US (particularly Michigan) to reduce waste.

At the same time, MOE is working on changes to the Environmental Assessment process to streamline approvals for disposal facilities, and amendments to the EPA waste regulations to encourage recycling, waste diversion and to encourage development and approval of "thermal degredation" facilities. Thermal degredation includes various thermal-based waste disposal and treatment technologies, including incineration.

The Regulations (www.e-laws.gov.on.ca)

Industrial, Commercial and Insitutional Source Separation Program (Regulation O. Reg. 103/94)

Waste Audits and Waste Reduction Work Plans( Regulation (O. Reg. 102/94)