MECP Releases Proposal Notice for a Consolidated Linear Infrastructure Permissions Approach

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The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has posted a proposal notice for a new Consolidated Linear Infrastructure Permissions Approach, for a 45-day comment period which closes on August 22, 2020. The posting can be accessed on the Environmental Registry at :  or

Currently, municipalities and developers are required to apply for an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) for all routine updates or changes to municipal wastewater or stormwater infrastructure, such as replacing a single pipe. We understand that this process can sometimes be cumbersome, duplicative with other approvals processes, and adds unnecessary delay for communities without providing additional environmental benefit.

To create a streamlined permissions framework for low-risk municipal sewage works, the ministry is proposing to consolidate approvals for linear infrastructure (e.g. sanitary collection, stormwater works). The proposed approach has been modeled after the existing permissions framework for municipal drinking water systems, which was established in 2009.

Under the proposed approach, we will incorporate all existing and future approvals into one new consolidated Environmental Compliance Approval for municipal sanitary collection systems and one new consolidated Environmental Compliance Approval for stormwater management works with pre-authorizations. The core components of the proposed approach are:

  1. Regulation 208/19 - Environmental Compliance Approval Regulation In Respect Of Sewage Works Regulation which came into force in July 2019. O. Reg. 208/19 enables developers to make alterations to a municipality’s sewage system without a separate approval, if specific conditions are met.


  1. New design criteria for linear infrastructure for sanitary and some storm management collection systems. The Design Criteria will be referred to in conditions of the future consolidated linear infrastructure Environmental Compliance Approvals. Municipalities and developers will need to comply with the design criteria to meet the pre-authorization conditions of the consolidated linear infrastructure Environmental Compliance Approvals.


  1. New consolidated linear infrastructure Environmental Compliance Approval templates to provide clear and consistent design and operation requirements that every municipality and developer would need to meet. The templates will provide clear expectations for municipalities, developers and the ministry’s compliance officers.

Under the proposed approach, municipalities would need to prepare and submit to the ministry applications for consolidated linear infrastructure Environmental Compliance Approvals s that will include a description of all existing sanitary collection and stormwater works within their municipal boundaries that they own. We anticipate that existing documentation can be used for the application but would like to hear your thoughts as part of this consultation.

As part of the consultation process, the ministry is also seeking feedback from municipalities on the application process, draft Environmental Compliance Approval templates, and proposed design criteria, including the amount of time that municipalities will need to transition to the new approvals approach. The feedback the ministry receives on the proposal will be considered in any final decision making with respect to the proposal, including implementation timing.

The MECP looks forward to your suggestions and comments on this proposal notice. If you have any questions feel free to contact Eugenia Chalambalacis, Senior Program Advisor at 416-419-6436 or

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