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Apply for a Review under the EBR

There are two kinds of reviews in the review process established under the EBR. You can ask a minister to review existing policies and prescribed Acts, regulations, and instruments. (For example, you may have evidence that shows drinking water guidelines are too weak.) Or you can ask a minister to review the need for new Acts, regulations and policies. (See Acts Subject to the EBR .) Two Ontario residents must co-apply for a review.

The Review Process

  1. Click here to download the Application For A Review (.pdf doc).
  2. Complete the application. Make sure you include:
    1. Your names, addresses and proof that you are Ontario residents. (The application form has an easy-to-complete space for proof of residency.)
    2. The name of the Act, regulation or policy you want reviewed, or the ministry reference number of the instrument you want reviewed. (Contact the ECO if you need help obtaining the reference number for an instrument.)
    3. The reason you want a review.
    4. A summary of evidence supporting your request. If you need assistance filling out your application, contact the ECO. Don't be afraid to include details - all personal information is kept confidential. (Click to read sample applications for review of Product Stewardship Regulations and the Aggregate Resources Act and the Planning Act.)
  3. Make sure both you and your co-applicant sign and date the application.
  4. Send your completed application to the ECO. Remember to keep copies for yourselves.
  5. Within 10 days of receiving your completed application form, the ECO will forward it to the ministry responsible, or will contact you if there are any problems with the application that need to be addressed before it can be forwarded.
  6. Within 20 days of receiving your application from the ECO, the ministry lets you know it has received it. The ministry will also notify anyone else who may have direct interest in the issues you raise in your application, particularly if you have asked for a review of a licence or approval issued to a company. However, the ministry will not disclose the names of the applicants and is permitted to provide only a general description of the request.
  7. Within 60 days of receiving your application, the ministry lets you know whether or not there will be a review. To decide whether a review is necessary, the ministry may consider the following:
    1. The ministry's Statement of Environmental Values.
    2. The potential for harm to the environment.
    3. Whether the matter is already subject to periodic review.
    4. Relevant social, economic, scientific or other evidence.
    5. Submissions from anyone else with a direct interest in your application.
    6. Resources needed to conduct the review.
    7. How recently the Act, regulation, instrument or policy was proposed or approved.
    8. How much public participation there was when the ministry proposed the decision.
  8. The ministry will determine that a review is not in the public interest if:
    1. the ministry approved the Act, regulation, instrument or policy within the past five years.
    2. there was public participation consistent with EBR requirements.
      However, the minister could decide to undertake a review if you can show new evidence that failure to review could significantly harm the environment, and this evidence was not taken into account when the decision was made.
  9. There is no time limit on how long the ministry has to carry out the review. But if your Application for Review is approved, you'll be notified of the outcome within 30 days of completion of the review. The ministry also lets you know what action will be taken as a result of the review.
  10. Once a ministry has decided whether or not to conduct a review, the Environmental Commissioner and ECO staff review and report on how the ministry handled the application in the ECO's annual report to the Legislature, usually released in the fall of each year.

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