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Aggregate Resources Act

What is the Aggregate Resources Act ?
What are the Fees ?
What are the different catagories of Permits and Licences?
Where do I get a copy of the standards?
What areas are designated (ie Licence required)

NEW DESIGNATED AREAS

N E W

The Aggregate and Petroleum Resources
Law Amendment Act

(MNR Fact Sheet)

New regulations are now in effect under the Aggregate and Petroleum Resources Statute Law Amendment Act, 1996. They set out tough new standards for the aggregate, petroleum and brine industries, while ensuring the resources are managed for the long term and reducing any negative impact on the public.

The Aggregate and Petroleum Resources Statute Law Amendment Act, 1996, which was introduced by Natural Resources Minister Chris Hodgson, received third reading in December 1996. It was proclaimed law June 27, 1997.

MNR sets standards and policies that the aggregate and petroleum industries must comply with or face increased fines and more stringent punitive measures. The new Act gives the ministry stronger enforcement tools, including new and stiffer penalties, such as fines and suspensions. Ministry inspectors are making sure operators comply with the stringent new provincial standards and file annual reports on how they are meeting those standards and regulations. For example, industry will now be required to self-assess their sites annually and record the results for public scrutiny.


The following are highlights of the Aggregate and Petroleum Resources Statute Law Amendment Act.

Changes to the Aggregate Resources Act and its Regulations

  • the aggregate industry must meet tougher standards set by MNR, which will maintain Ontario's high environmental and public health and safety expectations
  • every licensee and permittee must complete an annual report detailing compliance with MNR standards. The industry will be held legally accountable for the accuracy of these reports.
  • MNR will verify the accuracy of the reports through random inspections
  • the Ontario Municipal Board is authorized to make the final determination on whether a licence is to be issued and recommend the conditions that apply to the licensee
  • the Aggregate Resources Trust has been established to collect and disburse annual licence fees; administer the Abandoned Pits and Quarries Rehabilitation Fund; and, administer a new pooled trust fund to provide for rehabilitation where aggregate permits and licences have been revoked as a result of default, such as bankruptcy
  • public authority and personal aggregate permits, which restricted the resale of extracted material, have been eliminated. Permit holders will now be able to obtain a new aggregate permit, if they can meet applicable standards. If they are unable to meet the standards, they will have to get their aggregate from another licensed operation


New Standards and Compliance

  • the standards have legal status and are enforceable
  • the standards are up-front, easy-to-read requirements for applications and operations of pits and quarries
  • the standards are clear about what is required in submitting an application, including minimum requirement of notification and consultation, site plan requirements and summary and technical reports
  • the standards identify a legal process for the resolution of objections
  • MNR retains the responsibility for inspections and audits
  • many of the administrative, day-to-day duties of an inspector have either been transferred to the Aggregate Resource Trust or eliminated and, as a result, aggregate inspectors will spend most of their time on compliance matters
  • failure to submit an annual compliance report will result in immediate suspension of all activities within an operation
  • the standards are published in a book titled, "Aggregate Resources of Ontario, Provincial Standards, Version 1.0" published by the Ontario Government and available from:

    Ecological Sustainability Institute
    Box 8000 Albert St. South
    Lindsay, Ontario
    K9V 5E6
    Phone (705) 324-4859
    Fax (705) 878-9309

    or

    Publications Ontario
    880 Bay St, Main Floor
    Toronto Ontario
    M7A 1N8
    Phone (416) 326 5300
    Fax (416) 326-5317

  • the cost of the provincial standards for aggregates is $49.95 plus taxes and shipping. Excerpts for specific extraction categories are $9.95 plus taxes and shipping.

Approvals and Licences

  • aggregate resource licence applications are proponent-driven
  • proponents are made aware of the Provincial Standards - a set of stringent rules to guide them throughout the licence application process
  • MNR will review an application to ensure the standards are met
  • it is an applicant's responsibility to resolve all issues and concerns
  • if an applicant is unable to do so, the Minister of Natural Resources may refer unresolved issues to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)
  • the OMB has new final decision-making authority (and its decisions are binding on the minister)
  • the public, municipalities and other stakeholders, including provincial ministries, retain the ability to voice their concerns and objections under the licence application process


Financial and Administrative

  • under the Aggregate Resources Trust, the trustee now assumes responsibility for three main functions associated with the trust fund:
    1. collect and disburse annual licence fees;
    2. administer the Abandoned Pits and Quarries Rehabilitation Fund; and,
    3. administer a new, pooled fund for rehabilitation where aggregate licences and permits have been revoked or gone into bankruptcy
  • the Aggregate Producers' Association of Ontario is responsible to the Trust for the delivery of the Abandoned Pits and Quarries Rehabilitation Fund in accordance with the allocation of funds from the Trust


Changes to the Petroleum Resources Act and its Regulations

  • the amended Act is renamed the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act
  • elimination of the present complicated system of multiple licences and permits for operators
  • introduction of a new life-cycle well licence to ensure that a designated operator will always be responsible for a well from drilling until final plugging
  • strengthened enforcement provisions, including increased time to discover and investigate contraventions and significantly increased fines on conviction
  • provision for the establishment of an Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Trust to manage an industry fund related to the provision of information resources
  • transfer of responsibility for compulsory pooling and unitization decisions from the Ontario Energy Board to the Mining and Lands Commissioner
  • creation of new operational standards to provide technical guidelines to industry operators
  • creation of a new category of industry examiners, certified by the ministry, to ensure operations are properly carried out and reported
  • ministry inspectors gain increased powers to carry out better enforcement of the regulations


Standards and Compliance

  • new operational standards have been compiled, with the co-operation of industry and key stakeholders, to define the technical requirements for applications, drilling, production, storage and abandonment of oil, gas and salt operations
  • standards are adopted by regulation and their requirements are enforceable by ministry inspectors
  • standards define, in advance, the minimum requirements to be met by industry operators who wish to carry out work in Ontario
  • additional operations covered by the standards are works, disposal wells, servicing, solution mining and hydrocarbon storage
  • standards define when operations must be reviewed by certified examiners having the technical ability to ensure that proper procedures have been followed and that appropriate reports are submitted
  • a new class of operations called Historical Oil Field Status has been defined and provided with special requirements
  • standards are published and available at a cost of $39.95 plus tax and shipping from:
    Ecological Sustainability
    Institute (ESI)
    Box 8000 Albert St. South
    Lindsay, Ontario
    K9V 5E6
    Phone (705) 324-4859
    Fax (705) 878-9309
    or Publications Ontario
    880 Bay St, Main Floor
    Toronto Ontario
    M7A 1N8
    Phone (416) 326 5300
    Fax (416) 326-5317
  • Ministry inspectors will concentrate their efforts on detecting illegal operations and ensuring that operators comply with the new Act and regulations
  • the compliance efforts of inspectors will be complemented by the certified examiners who will be present at the operations to collect data and provide reports according to the timelines specified in the standards


Approvals and Licences

  • previous licence requirements for production, leasing, exploration and rig operation, as well as permits and approvals for such operations as disposal and plugging, have been eliminated
  • a new "life-cycle" licence for each well will be required to be established by the operator to ensure direct responsibility until the well is plugged
  • a process has been created to allow operators to depart from the standards with new procedures which are equivalent or better in the reduction of risk and hazard


Financial and Administrative

  • the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Trust has been established to assume responsibility for sample preservation, information dissemination and research functions which directly benefit the industry
  • industry operators will pay a levy based on production value or well numbers to fund the Trust directly
  • the Trust will assume operation of the Petroleum Laboratory in London and preservation of the core and chip library
  • operators will have responsibility for the management of funds required to guarantee the ultimate plugging of wells
  • minimum well security fund requirements for open wells have been increased from $500 per well to between $3,000 and $15,000 per well, depending on depth, to ensure the money will be available to pay for plugging when the well is abandoned
  • the maximum security fund limit per operator has been increased from $5,000 to $70,000
  • a provision has been introduced to allow operators with large numbers of existing wells 10 years to build a security fund

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Sturgeon Falls, ON POH 2BO
(705) 753-2387
fax (705) 753-6113

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