Government Releases Draft Regulations on Source Protection Plan Contents and Process.

Source water protection plan regulations have been posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry for comment. The Ministry of the Environment’s draft regulations specify the format and content of the source protection plans, developed by local source protection committees, that will be submitted to the Ministry for approval.
The plans implement the Clean Water Act, to protect existing and future sources of drinking water and the regulations specify the way plans address watershed threats, creation of risk management plans, prescribed instruments, prohibited activities and consultation on the contents of the plans, amongst other requirements.

Final source protection plans are likely to rely heavily on municipal action to protect municipal drinking water sources and the government is encouraging municipal staff involvement in the plan development process. While municipal impacts will not be known until the final plans are developed and approved, potential impacts include: capital upgrades to infrastructure, funding of risk management officials, and monitoring of well-heads and intakes. The draft regulations provide for municipal input on the contents of the plans that could impact municipalities before source protection plan approval. In addition, the regulations allow municipalities to negotiate interim risk management plans to deal with significant drinking water threats before the Minister has approved a source protection plan.

The draft regulations are available on www.ebr.gov.on.ca, under # 010-8766. Comments must be received on or before March 26, 2010.

The Ministry will offer training on the final regulation after it is approved.