Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment

Pollution Prevention Program - proposed changes

In December 2013, City Council directed City staff to undertake consultations in 2014 regarding the proposed changes to the Pollution Prevention (P2) Program and subsequent Sewers By-law, Municipal Code Chapter 681. These changes include:

  1. creation of a subject pollutant threshold reporting list;
  2. changes to the dental office submission requirement;
  3. changes to the grease interceptor requirement;
  4. creation of a Best Management Practice (BMP) for the automotive refinishing sector; and
  5. creation of an Environmental Code of Practice (ECP) for mobile washing business operations.

 

For details, click City Council Decision at its December 2013 meeting.


Webpage updated as of December 2016

Stakeholder Consultations

Toronto Water held stakeholder consultations in 2014 and 2015.. These consultations were used to obtain feedback and comments from the stakeholders before proposing the amendments to the Pollution Prevention (P2) Program and subsequent Sewers By-law, Municipal Code Chapter 681. Consultations included meetings with industry associations/franchises and other feedback mechanisms, such as surveys, to individual businesses, operators and owners.

Once the proposed amendments were drafted based on the feedback received, stakeholders had an opportunity to review the changes in fall 2014 & early 2015; and provide further feedback before the amendments were reviewed by the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee in late 2015.  At the subsequent December 2015 City Council meeting, the changes below were adopted:

  • changes to the dental office submission requirement;
  • changes to the grease interceptor requirement;
  • creation of a Best Management Practice (BMP) for the automotive refinishing sector.

Additionally, City Council directed the following:

  • to report back on a risk based approach to creating a subject pollutant threshold reporting list, including evaluating the use of existing storm water limits; and
  • to continue stakeholder consultations regarding the creation of an Environmental Code of Practice for mobile washing business operations and report back in 2017.

For details, City Council Decision at its December 2015 meeting.

If you would like to be provided with information or be added to the consultation database on the above two proposed changes, please email or call.

To review the specific industry sector/stakeholder consultation of interest, please click the respective tab.



Need Assistance Reading Contents
Please call or email Mae Lee
416 392 8210 or mae.lee@toronto.ca

Proposed Creation of a Subject Pollutant Threshold Reporting List

  

Why are these changes being considered?
Under the Sewers By-Law Chapter 681, Section 5, Pollution Prevention Planning, industries that discharge any amount of a subject pollutant are required to submit a Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan to the City acknowledging the discharge of that subject pollutant and steps to reduce or eliminate that subject pollutant.

By creating subject pollutant threshold limits, which is the minimum level of a subject pollutant that requires a P2 Plan submission, the City can eliminate the requirement of industries to report trace amounts of subject pollutants that may be present in the effluent discharged from a property.
 

What is currently required under the Sewers By-law (Municipal Code, Chapter 681)?
Under the Sewers By-law, Section 5, Pollution Prevention Planning, requirements are that:

1)       Every subject sector industry and every industry which discharges any amount of a subject pollutant must submit a Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan to the City.

How will these changes impact industry owners?

If the proposed changes come into effect, some industries that are required to prepare a Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan may not have to submit a P2 Plan for the subject pollutants that are below the proposed thresholds.

Note: these threshold changes will not impact those sectors that are on a Best Management Practice (BMP), dental offices and dry cleaners.

Is this Province wide?
This only affects City of Toronto industries.

Will there be a cost?
There is no added cost due to this change. There may be savings for some industries/businesses.

What are the benefits?
This may lead to reduced Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan submissions dependent on subject pollutant levels, allocating both City and industry resources away from trace amounts of pollutant discharge to more problematic pollutants/issues and high risk discharges.  In general, Government Environmental Reporting Programs or Laws have thresholds to exceed before reporting occurs.

When would these changes come into effect?
A staff report outlining these changes will be submitted to City Council in late 2015 with anticipated implementation in early 2016, if approved by City Council.

What does an industry owner have to do?
Thank you to those who participated in the online survey that took place in June 2014. Please continue to provide feedback throughout the consultation process.  If the changes are approved by City Council, then industry owners will be required to submit Pollution Prevention (P2) Plans according the the limits set in the subject pollutant threshold reporting list.

Proposed Creation of an Environmental Code of Practice for Mobile Washing Business Operations

What is a mobile washing business operation?
These include businesses with mobile trucks that wash vehicles/equipment outdoors, remove graffiti and restore buildings/pavement using water. This also includes any businesses with onsite (i.e. via a hose) and offsite (i.e. via a truck) mobile washing operations and those businesses that hire mobile washing business operations.

What is an Environmental Code of Practice (ECP)?
An Environmental Code of Practice (ECP) is a plan/guide which will prevent pollutants from being discharged from the wastewater into the City storm sewer.

Why are these changes being considered?
Though mobile washing business operations need to comply with the Sewers By-law (Municipal Code, Chapter 681) there are no Pollution Prevention (P2) or Environmental Code of Practice (ECP) requirements nor are these operations listed as a subject sector in appendix 1 of the Sewers By-law. Due to the nature of the mobile washing business operations, this sector has remained unregulated.  

What is currently required under the Sewers By-law (Municipal Code, Chapter 681)?
There are no specific requirements for mobile washing business operations, other than to comply with the Sewers By-law.   

How will these changes impact mobile washing business operations?
If the proposed changes come into effect, all mobile washing business operations will be required to comply with the Environmental Code of Practice (ECP), submit a declaration form to the City confirming compliance with the ECP and maintain proper records. This impacts all mobile washing business operations doing business in the City of Toronto.

Is this Province wide?
This only affects mobile washing business operations doing business in the City of Toronto.

Will there be a cost?
If wastewater is currently being prevented from entering the storm sewer during a wash job, as per the Sewers Bylaw, then there is no added cost due to this change.  However, if this is not the case, then equipment and possibly Provincial licenses will be required to be obtained to meet the current Sewers Bylaw and proposed Environmental Code of Practice (ECP).

What are the benefits?
Compliance with the Environmental Cod of Practice (ECP) will prevent pollutants from being discharged into the storm sewer, thereby protecting water quality.

When would these changes come into effect?
A staff report will be submitted to City Council in 2015 recommending that consultation regarding the proposed Environmental Code of Practice continue throughout 2016.

What does a mobile washing business operation have to do?
Thank you to those who participated in the paper survey that took place in June 2014.  Please continue to provide feedback throughout the consultation process.  If the changes are approved by City Council, then mobile washing business operations will be required to submit a declaration form to comply with the ECP and maintain proper records.