Earlier this year, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) made regulatory changes aimed at streamlining the Permit To Take Water (PTTW) process for road construction and construction site dewatering. Rather than making a full PTTW application to the Ministry, water taking for both activities can now be approved through the online Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR).
Under the purview of the MOECC, EASR is a public, web-based system designed to regulate and approve activities that pose little risk to the environment and human health, as well as sites where industry-standard equipment and processes being used have known environmental impacts.
Criteria for the two construction activities pulled into the EASR framework by the March 2016 MOECC regulatory change are outlined by the Ministry as:
- Taking of ground water and/or storm water for the purpose of dewatering a construction site which must be: more than 50,000/L on at least one day; less than 400,000 L/day under normal operation.
- Taking of water from a water body for one of the following uses during highway projects: hydro-demolition; cleaning of the highway; seeding, mulching, sodding or landscaping; dust suppression; compaction of earth and granular materials; on-site preparation of material to be used in construction, maintenance or repair of highway.
Existing PTTWs can continue to operate until they expire, after which applicants must consider the EASR process.
For more information about the EASR, please visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/environmental-activity-and-sector-registry .