The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is proposing regulatory changes that would allow it and system owners and operating authorities to act quickly to help ensure the province’s drinking water systems and sewage works have the staff needed to continue operations during an emergency. These proposed changes align with temporary measures we enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic and would only be available for use during an emergency that could affect continuity of water related services.
The proposed changes to Ontario’s drinking water and wastewater operator regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 and the Ontario Water Resources Act include:
- Emergency related amendments that aim to help address drinking water and wastewater operator certification issues that may arise during an emergency or its aftermath and provide system owners and operating authorities of drinking water systems and wastewater facilities with temporary staffing options, while continuing to uphold strong environmental protection and ensuring the health and safety of Ontarians and the natural environment.
- Strike and lock-out related amendments that would formalize and clarify the process for owners and operating authorities of drinking water systems and wastewater facilities to request ministry Director’s direction and/or exemption from operator certification requirements during a strike or lock-out.
- Amendments to harmonize the circumstances under which the ministry Director may revoke or suspend a drinking water operator’s certificate or wastewater operator’s licence.
We invite you to view the full proposals on the Environmental Registry and provide your feedback by July 2, 2021:
- Proposed amendments to drinking water operator and water quality analyst certification regulation to address impacts of emergencies (019-3513)
- Proposed amendments to wastewater operator licensing regulation to address impacts of emergencies (019-3515)
MECP staff will continue to support you during this difficult time. Please contact your local ministry district office if you are experiencing operator staffing shortages that may lead to a break in continuity of operations, so that we can discuss potential options to help ensure continued safe operations.
Ontario’s drinking water remains among the best protected in the world. Working with our partners and municipalities, we will continue to ensure our drinking water is held to Ontario’s high safety standards, and that the environment continues to be protected.
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