The Ontario government established O. Reg. 359/09 (Renewable Energy Approvals) under the Environmental Protection Act, on September 24, 2009 to govern the approach to regulating renewable energy generation facilities.

Since the regulation came into force, certain provisions of the regulation have been identified as needing further clarity or detail to bring them in line with the original intent of the regulation. The Ministry has made amendments to the regulation to strengthen and clarify those provisions. The amending regulation was filed with the Registrar of Regulations as Ontario Regulation (O.Reg. 521/10) on December 20, 2010. The regulatory amendments come into force on January 1, 2011.

AMO is pleased that the Ministry has clarified several issues that were causing confusion such as the definitions of vacant lots, noise receptor, setback prohibitions and cumulative noise assessment, as well as requirements for the wind turbine specifications report. Most importantly, the Ministry has clarified what is required under both Municipal Consultation and Public Notification. Proponents must now provide a draft Project Description Report and all other relevant reports to the municipality 30 days before the first public meeting and must provide 30 days notice before each public meeting except the final public meeting which requires and 60 days notice.