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July 01, 2007

Clean Water Act, 2006 Proclaimed in Force July 3, 2007

Ontario’s Clean Water Act, 2006 and the first phase of regulations came into force on July 3, 2007.

Click hereto link to MOE’s Clean Water Act resource site, with backgrounders, fact sheets and a discussion of makeup of the Source Protection Committees.

The five regulations are:

1. Source Protection Areas and Regions – O. Reg. 284/07

Sets out 40 Source Protection Areas and eleven Source Protection Regions. It names the conservation authorities and participating municipalities for each area, and the lead Source Protection Authority for each of the eleven Regions.

2. Source Protection Committees - O. Reg. 288/07

Sets out the number of members for nineteen Source Protection Areas or Regions. Number of members ranges from 10 to 22. The regulation describes breakdown of committees, who are to be appointed by the Source Protection Authority. One third are to reflect the interests of municipalities located in whole or in part in the area or region. One third are to reflect the interests of agricultural, commercial or industrial sectors, “including small business interests.” The last third are to reflect other interests, “including, in particular, environmental, health and other interests of the general public.” The regulation includes the procedures for publicizing and appointing members and chairs. In addition, there is a provision for appointment of persons representing First Nations bands. The regulation sets out conditions of membership and procedures for meetings.

3. Terms of Reference – O. Reg. 287/07

Sets out the requirements for contents of terms of reference including maps, lists of municipalities, information on all drinking water systems, workplans, lists for consultations with other Source Protection Committees and other information. It includes procedures for draft terms of reference, consultation, submission to Authority or Minister.

4. Time Limits – O. Reg. 285/07

Source Protection Committee to submit proposed terms of reference to Source Protection Authority within 12 months after appointment of first Committee Chair. The Source Protection Authority is to submit proposed terms of reference to the Minister within 14 months of appointment of first Committee Chair.

Assessment reports are to be submitted to the Director no later than one year after terms of reference are approved.

Proposed Source Protection Plan must be submitted by the Authority no later than five years after the appointment of the first Committee Chair.

5. Miscellaneous – O. Reg. 286/07

Sets out provisions regarding amendments, exempt systems and notification of drinking-water health hazards.

The Minster of the Environment will appoint the first Source Protection Committee Chairs. Source Protection Authorities are encouraged to publicize the positions and recommend up to three applicants to the Minister. Click here for the MOE’s fact sheet on appointment process, roles and responsibilities of SPC Chairs.