Bill 42, Affordable Energy and Restoration of Local Decision Making Act, 2012

Hudak, Tim

Current Status: Second Reading Lost on division

Viewing: Original (current version) pdf

Bill 42                                                          2012

An Act to amend the Electricity Act, 1998 and the Environmental Protection Act with respect to renewable energy

Note: This Act amends or repeals more than one Act.  For the legislative history of these Acts, see the Table of Consolidated Public Statutes – Detailed Legislative History at www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Electricity Act, 1998

   1.  (1)  Clause 25.32 (2) (b) of the Electricity Act, 1998 is amended by striking out “or section 25.35” at the end.

   (2)  Paragraph 3 of subsection 25.32 (6) of the Act is amended by striking out “or section 25.35”.

   2.  Section 25.35 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Reconsideration of feed-in tariff contracts

   25.35  (1)  If the OPA entered into a contract for the procurement of energy from a large-scale renewable energy source under the feed-in tariff program and, as of the day this section comes into force, the renewable energy source has not been connected to the IESO-controlled grid, no person shall connect the renewable energy source to the grid unless,

  (a)  the Minister has consulted with the municipality in which the renewable energy source is or would be located about the impact of the renewable energy source on the municipality; and

  (b)  after consulting with the municipality, the Minister has notified in writing all parties to the contract that the renewable energy source may be connected to the IESO-controlled grid.

Conditions or restrictions

   (2)  The Minister may impose conditions and restrictions when authorizing a connection under clause (1) (b).

Minister’s power to prohibit connection to grid

   (3)  After consulting with a municipality under clause (1) (a), the Minister may make a decision to prohibit the connection of the renewable energy source to the IESO-controlled grid and, in such a case, he or she shall notify all parties to the contract of the decision.

Application, renewable energy source not in municipality

   (4)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a renewable energy source that is not located in a municipality.

Definitions

   (5)  In this section,

“feed-in tariff program” means the program set out in this section, as it read immediately before its re-enactment by section 2 of the Affordable Energy and Restoration of Local Decision Making Act, 2012; (“programme de tarifs de rachats garantis”)

“large-scale renewable energy source” has the meaning prescribed by the regulations. (“source d’énergie renouvelable abondante”)

   3.  Subsection 114 (1.3) of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

    (i)  prescribing the meaning of “large-scale renewable energy source” for the purposes of section 25.35.

Environmental Protection Act

   4.  (1)  Part V.0.1 of the Environmental Protection Act is repealed and the following substituted:

PART V.0.1
renewable energy

Definitions

   47.1  In this Part,

“designated authority” means the person or entity set out in subsection 47.1.1 (1); (“autorité désignée”)

“environment” has the same meaning as in the Environmental Assessment Act; (“environnement”)

“large-scale solar facility” has the meaning prescribed by the regulations; (“grande installation solaire”)

“large-scale wind facility” has the meaning prescribed by the regulations. (“grande installation éolienne”)

Designated authority

   47.1.1  (1)  For the purposes of this Part, the designated authority in respect of a renewable energy approval is as follows:

    1.  If the approval is in respect of a renewable energy project that would be located in a single-tier municipality and involves a large-scale wind facility or large-scale solar facility, the single-tier municipality.

    2.  If the approval is in respect of a renewable energy project that would be located in a lower-tier municipality and involves a large-scale wind facility or large-scale solar facility, the lower-tier municipality.

    3.  In any other case, the Director.

Delegation of municipality’s powers

   (2)  A municipality may delegate its powers, duties and responsibilities under this Part to a committee of adjustment constituted under section 44 of the Planning Act.

Same, conditions and restrictions

   (3)  A municipality may impose conditions and restrictions that govern the exercise of the delegated powers or the performance of the delegated duties or responsibilities.

Purpose

   47.2  (1)  The purpose of this Part is to provide for the protection and conservation of the environment. 

Application of s. 3 (1)

   (2)  Subsection 3 (1) does not apply to this Part. 

Requirement for renewable energy approval

   47.3  (1)  A person shall not engage in a renewable energy project except under the authority of and in accordance with a renewable energy approval issued by a designated authority if engaging in the project involves engaging in any of the following activities:

    1.  An activity for which, in the absence of subsection (2), subsection 9 (1) of this Act would require an environmental compliance approval.

    2.  An activity for which, in the absence of subsection (2), subsection 27 (1) of this Act would require an environmental compliance approval.

    3.  An activity for which, in the absence of subsection (2), subsection 34 (3) of the Ontario Water Resources Act would require a permit.

    4.  An activity for which, in the absence of subsection (2), section 36 of the Ontario Water Resources Act would require a well construction permit.

    5.  An activity for which, in the absence of subsection (2), subsection 53 (1) of the Ontario Water Resources Act would require an environmental compliance approval.

    6.  An activity for which, in the absence of subsection (2), a provision prescribed by the regulations would require an approval, permit or other instrument.

    7.  Any other activity prescribed by the regulations. 

Exemptions

   (2)  The following provisions do not apply to a person who is engaging in a renewable energy project:

    1.  Subsection 9 (1) of this Act.

    2.  Subsection 27 (1) of this Act.

    3.  Subsection 34 (3) of the OntarioWater Resources Act.

    4.  Section 36 of the OntarioWater Resources Act.

    5.  Section 53 of the OntarioWater Resources Act.

    6.  A provision prescribed by the regulations for the purpose of paragraph 6 of subsection (1). 

Application

   47.4  (1)  An application for the issue or renewal of a renewable energy approval shall be prepared in accordance with the by-laws or regulations and submitted to the designated authority. 

Designated authority may require information

   (2)  The designated authority may require an applicant under subsection (1) to submit any plans, specifications, engineers’ reports or other information and to carry out and report on any tests or experiments relating to the renewable energy project. 

Designated authority’s powers

   47.5  (1)  After considering an application for the issue or renewal of a renewable energy approval, the designated authority may, if in its opinion it is in the public interest to do so,

  (a)  issue or renew a renewable energy approval; or

  (b)  refuse to issue or renew a renewable energy approval. 

Terms and conditions

   (2)  In issuing or renewing a renewable energy approval, the designated authority may impose terms and conditions if in its opinion it is in the public interest to do so. 

Other powers

   (3)  On application or on its own initiative, the designated authority may, if in its opinion it is in the public interest to do so,

  (a)  alter the terms and conditions of a renewable energy approval after it is issued;

  (b)  impose new terms and conditions on a renewable energy approval; or

   (c)  suspend or revoke a renewable energy approval. 

Same

   (4)  A renewable energy approval is subject to any terms and conditions prescribed by the by-laws or regulations. 

Water transfers: Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River, Nelson and Hudson Bay Basins

   47.6  A renewable energy approval shall not authorize a person to take water contrary to subsection 34.3 (2) of the Ontario Water Resources Act

Policies, renewable energy approvals

   47.7  (1)  The Minister may, in writing, issue, amend or revoke policies in respect of renewable energy approvals.

Same

   (2)  A policy or the amendment or revocation of a policy takes effect on the later of the following days:

    1.  The day that notice of the policy, amendment or revocation, as the case may be, is given in the environmental registry established under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993.

    2.  The effective day specified in the policy, amendment or revocation, as the case may be. 

Same, Director’s decisions

   (3)  Subject to subsection 145.2.2 (1), decisions made by the Director under this Act in respect of renewable energy approvals shall be consistent with any policies issued under subsection (1) that are in effect on the date of the decision.

Same, municipality’s decisions

   (4)  Subject to subsection 145.2.2 (2), in making decisions under this Act in respect of renewable energy approvals, a municipality shall have regard to any policies issued under subsection (1) that are in effect on the date of the decision.

By-laws

   47.8  (1)  A single-tier or lower-tier municipality may make by-laws relating to this Part,

  (a)  providing for the issue, renewal, suspension and revocation of renewable energy approvals, and prescribing conditions for the issuing, renewing, suspending and revoking;

  (b)  governing the inclusion of terms and conditions in renewable energy approvals;

   (c)  governing the preparation and submission of applications for the issue, renewal or revocation of renewable energy approvals and applications to alter the terms and conditions of renewable energy approvals or to impose conditions on renewable energy approvals;

  (d)  governing eligibility requirements relating to applications for the issue, renewal or revocation of renewable energy approvals, applications to alter the terms and conditions of renewable energy approvals or to impose conditions on renewable energy approvals, including requirements for consultation;

  (e)  governing renewable energy generation facilities in relation to,

           (i)  planning, design, siting, buffer zones, notification and consultation, establishment, insurance, facilities, staffing, operation, maintenance, monitoring, record-keeping, submission of reports to the municipality and improvement,

          (ii)  the discontinuance of the operation of any plant, structure, equipment, apparatus, mechanism or thing at a renewable energy generation facility,

         (iii)  the closure of renewable energy generation facilities;

    (f)  governing the location of renewable energy generation facilities, including prohibiting or regulating the construction, installation, use, operation or changing of renewable energy generation facilities in parts of the municipality;

  (g)  prohibiting the transfer of a renewable energy approval or prescribing requirements for transferring a renewable energy approval, including requiring the written consent of the municipality.

Same, regulations on same subject matter inoperative

   (2)  If a by-law made under subsection (1) and a regulation made under section 175.1 or 176 address the same subject matter, the regulation is inoperative to the extent that it addresses that subject matter.

   (2)  Paragraph 3 of subsection 47.3 (1) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (1), is repealed and the following substituted:

    3.  An activity for which, in the absence of subsection (2), subsection 34 (1) of the Ontario Water Resources Act would require a permit, if the activity would not involve a transfer as defined in subsection 34.5 (1) of that Act.

   (3)  Paragraph 3 of subsection 47.3 (2) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (1), is repealed and the following substituted:

    3.  Subsection 34 (1) of the Ontario Water Resources Act, if the person engaging in the renewable energy project is not engaged in a taking of water that involves a transfer as defined in subsection 34.5 (1) of that Act. 

   5.  Part V.0.1 of the Act is amended by adding the following section:

Transition

   47.8  If the Director would not be the designated authority set out in subsection 47.1.1 (1), as enacted by subsection 4 (1) of the Affordable Energy and Restoration of Local Decision Making Act, 2012 with respect to a renewable energy approval, he or she shall not issue or renew the approval on or after the day this section comes into force.

   6.  Part XIII of the Act is amended by adding the following section:

Application of Part to renewable energy approvals

   137.  (1)  This Part applies with necessary modification to a decision made by a municipality under Part V.0.1, and for that purpose,

  (a)  a reference to a Director shall be deemed to be a reference to the municipality; and

  (b)  a reference to the Tribunal shall be deemed to be a reference to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Exception

   (2)  Subsection 145.2.2 (1) does not apply  to a decision made by a municipality under Part V.0.1.

   7.  Section 145.2.2 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Regard to policies

   (2)  In making a decision or order under this Part in respect of a renewable energy approval, the Ontario Municipal Board shall have regard to any policies issued by the Minister under section 47.7 that are in effect on the date of the municipality’s decision.

   8.  Subsection 176 (4.1) of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:

  (g)  prescribing the meaning of “large-scale solar facility” and “large-scale wind facility” for the purposes of section 47.1;

   (h)  providing for transitional matters that, in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, are necessary or desirable to facilitate the implementation of sections 4 to 8 of the Affordable Energy and Restoration of Local Decision Making Act, 2012.

Commencement

   9.  (1)  Subject to subsections (2) and (3), this Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

   (2)  Subsection 4 (1) and sections 6, 7 and 8 come into force six months after the day this Act receives Royal Assent. 

   (3)  Subsections 4 (2) and (3) come into force on the later of the following days:

    1.  The day subsection 4 (1) comes into force.

    2.  The day subsection 1 (8) of the Safeguarding and Sustaining Ontario’s Water Act, 2007 comes into force.

Short title

   10.  The short title of this Act is the Affordable Energy and Restoration of Local Decision Making Act, 2012.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill amends the Electricity Act, 1998 and the Environmental Protection Act with respect to renewable energy and the role of municipalities.

Amendments to the Electricity Act, 1998

The Electricity Act, 1998 is amended to repeal provisions dealing with the feed-in tariff program.  A new section would provide that if there is a contract to procure energy from a large-scale renewable energy source under the feed-in tariff program, but the renewable energy source has not been connected to the IESO-controlled grid, the connection cannot be made until the Minister consults with the relevant municipality and authorizes the connection.

Amendments to the Environmental Protection Act

The Environmental Protection Act is amended to give municipalities responsibility for issuing renewable energy approvals for large-scale wind or solar facilities.  The Director would continue to be responsible for issuing renewable energy approvals for all other renewable energy projects.  Municipalities would be authorized to make by-laws relating to Part V.0.1 (Renewable Energy).  Decisions made by municipalities would be appealable to the Ontario Municipal Board.

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