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Meeting Agenda

Transfer Responsibility for Small Drinking Water Systems from The Ontario Ministry of the Environment to The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care/Local Health Units Consultation (Teleconference) Meeting Remote Wilderness/Tourist Facilities May 17, 2006. Meeting Agenda.

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Meeting Agenda

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  1. Transfer Responsibility for Small Drinking Water SystemsfromThe Ontario Ministry of the EnvironmenttoThe Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care/Local Health Units Consultation (Teleconference) Meeting Remote Wilderness/Tourist Facilities May 17, 2006

  2. Meeting Agenda • Background – Why the Transfer • Outline of Small Drinking Water Systems Project • Key Issues and Challenges • Timelines / Next steps

  3. Walkerton Inquiry - Recommendations • The application of Ontario Regulation 505/01 should be broadened to include all owners of water systems that serve the public for a commercial or institutional purpose and that do not come within the requirements of Ontario Regulation 459/00. • In Part II of his report of the Walkerton Inquiry, Justice O’Connor recommended the creation of an advisory council on drinking-water quality

  4. MOE’s Response to Increasing Concerns about O. Reg. 170 The Minister of the Environment on May 12, 2004 announced the establishment of the Advisory Council on Drinking-Water Quality and Testing Standards under Subsection 4 (1) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) The Council’s first task was to review O. Reg. 170/03

  5. Advisory Council on Drinking Water Quality and Testing Standards - Recommendations • That small drinking water systems be subject to risk-based site-specific assessment with appropriate testing, sampling and treatment requirements. • That the responsibility for regulatory oversight for five (5) of eight (8) categories of drinking water systems (as per O. Reg. 170) be transferred from the MOE to MOHLTC with service deliver by public health units. • That the site-specific risk based approach be financed with a user fee…as well as additional provincial funding. • That the MOE consider allowing the use of validated alternative (presence/absence) testing technology

  6. To stay with MOE O. Reg. 170/03 Categories Large municipal residential Small municipal residential Non-municipal year round residential All individual systems of other categories serving designated facilities To go to MOHLTC O. Reg. 252/05 (Transitional) Categories Large municipal non-residential* Small municipal non-residential* Large non-municipal non-residential* Small non-municipal non-residential* Non-municipal seasonal residential* *Except individual systems serving designated facilities Initial tally is 18,000 systems Status of Transfer

  7. Stakeholder Consultation • In response to the growing opposition to O. Reg. 170, the MOE in early 2004 carried out extensive stakeholder consultation through a series of regional meetings. • In late 2004, the Advisory Council also arranged regional meetings with stakeholders to hear their views and concerns about O. Reg., 170 Common Message – from both consultation process • There was consensus that the “one size fits all” approach of O. Reg. 170 was not suitable. • Public Health was the preferred service delivery agency for any regulatory oversight

  8. Small Drinking Water Systems Project

  9. Planning Process – 4 Phases June – Feb 05/06 Feb – Sept 06 Sept – Dec 06 Jan 07 Phase 1 Preparing Submission and Approval Phase 2 Operational/Legislative/Piloting Risk Assessment Tool and IT Phase 3 Training – Water Systems, RA Tool, IT Phase 5 2009 Report Back Phase 4 Roll-out

  10. Key Project Deliverables The work has been divided into sub-projects with specific deliverables and timelines: • Drinking-Water Systems Inventory (initial tally ~ 18,000) • Risk Assessment Tool • Regulatory framework, legislation, regulation, policies and procedures and Implementation Plan • PHI and operator training curriculum and delivery model • IM/IT tools – interim solution pending PHIIS • Laboratory testing service and reporting protocol • Communication Plan - education and outreach • New Mandatory Program • Inspection equipment and logistics • HR capacity – health units and MOHLTC

  11. Proposed Implementation Timelines Fall/Winter 2005 • Report to MB (December) on: 1) Funding Model 2) Risk Assessment Tools 3) Policies and Procedures (Regulatory Framework) 4) PHI Training (Curriculum and delivery model) • Begin to resolve I&IT issues • Begin to address/resolve the issue of lab capacity Spring/Summer/Fall 2006 • Legislative amendments and new regulation • Education and outreach – to operators of small systems • Amend Safe Water Mandatory Program and develop/introduce operational Policies and &Procedures Fall 2006 • PHItraining of existing health unit staff • Recruitment and training of new PHIs • Further education and outreach Winter (January) 2007 • Commence initial site-specific risk assessments of the 18,000+ small drinking water systems (2 years to complete)

  12. Program Funding • Start-up: 100% government funded • Ongoing:Cost shared based on the existing model of shared funding between province and municipalities for mandatory programs delivered by Boards of Health

  13. Oversight Framework Site Specific Risk Assessments • Initial Risk Assessment – Years 1 and 2 - to classify risk, e.g., High, Medium, Low • Ongoing Risk Assessments – starting in Year 3 - reassessment every 2 years for High and every 4 years for Medium and Low

  14. Oversight Framework cont’d 5-Step Program 1. Scheduled audits / risk assessments including any follow-up inspections and enforcement action as deemed necessary by the Public Health Inspector 2. Operator training appropriate to the system along with regular review of operator’s responsibilities, obligations and actions including written acknowledgement of same 3. Inspector’s response to complaints 4. Reporting and Inspector’s response to lab reports of adverse test results: Laboratory Systems Health Unit 5. Monitoring of operator’s adherence to the required frequency of sampling through mandatory reporting by labs of all sample submissions

  15. Key Issues and Challenges • How will we deal with systems that are located in remote regions of Ontario e.g. fly-in camps? • How do we handle the collection, transportation and testing of regulated samples? • How can industry associations assist with communication and outreach?

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