The City of Guelph, Ontario, has improved its review process for sanitary sewer infrastructure projects to better protect the community’s source water.

The revised process allows the City of Guelph to complete the review process for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s (MOECC) environmental compliance approval (ECA) applications internally. The MOECC then makes the decision to grant the ECAs based on the City’s review.

“We’re pleased to take this work on at the local level to provide faster service to our development community,” said Peter Rider, Guelph’s risk management official. “This also allows us to participate more directly in the oversight of source water protection in Guelph.”

The MOECC agreed to change the review procedure after municipal partners with the expertise to complete these reviews in-house advocated for a locally-managed and faster process. To date, the city has reviewed five applications under the new process.

“Cutting the red the tape and streamlining approvals helps improve decision-making to protect our environment and we thank the City of Guelph for participating in the environmental review process,” said Mili New, Regional Director for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. “This will enable the City to plan its infrastructure investments with more certainty, protect its watersheds and build a stronger, more resilient community.”

Guelph has been working diligently to improve its water management strategies, as reflected in recent innovative practices in water efficiency, stormwater reuse, and partnering with the Southern Ontario Water Consortium and others at its wastewater treatment plant.

The city has a new guidance document that outlines the requirements for completing ECA applications is now available to developers under at


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