May 25, 2020
COVID-19 Updates on Tribunals Ontario Operations – Learn More.
About the Environmental Review Tribunal
The Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) is an independent and impartial tribunal established by provincial legislation. Amongst other things, the ERT holds public hearings on appeals arising from, decisions regarding the issuance, alteration, revocation, cancellation or closure of an order, approval, licence, permit, registration or account under the Clean Water Act, 2006, the Environmental Protection Act, the Nutrient Management Act, 2002, the Ontario Water Resources Act, the Pesticides Act, the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016, the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009, and the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016.
Under the authority of the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993, the ERT holds hearings to decide whether to grant a person’s application for leave (that is, grant permission) to appeal certain types of decisions made by a person appointed as a Director under the Environmental Protection Act, the Ontario Water Resources Act, the Pesticides Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002.
The ERT holds public hearings to assess the merits of an undertaking that will have an impact on the environment. The ERT hears applications under the Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental Protection Act, and the Ontario Water Resources Act.
Under the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001, the ERT also conducts Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan amendment proceedings, municipal official plan and zoning by-law amendment proceedings, and proceedings in matters that have been appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and stayed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
In addition, under the Greenbelt Act, 2005, the ERT also conducts Greenbelt Plan amendment proceedings and proceedings in regard to matters that have been appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and stayed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
The Members of the ERT are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council for the Province of Ontario to conduct hearings and make decisions on appeals and applications. The Members have a variety of experience and include environmental lawyers, academics, planners and mediators. None of the Members of the ERT is an employee of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
Quick Links: File an Appeal, Attend a Hearing, Check a Case Status
The ERT is an administrative tribunal that holds hearings and issues decisions, reports or recommendations based on law, evidence and a duty to protect the environment.
The ERT resolves applications and appeals under the following statutes: the Clean Water Act 2006, the Consolidated Hearings Act, the Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental Bill of Rights 1993, the Environmental Protection Act, Nutrient Management Act 2002, the Ontario Water Resources Act, the Pesticides Act, the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016, the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009, and the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016. The ERT also hears matters under the Greenbelt Act, 2005, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act and the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act.
Under the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, Members of the ERT are appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources as Hearing Officers to conduct hearings. The Hearing Officers issue reports or make recommendations concerning appeals of decisions of the Niagara Escarpment Commission regarding development permit applications. Members are also appointed to conduct public hearings for the purpose of making recommendations regarding proposed Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) amendments.
Pursuant to a designation as the Office of Consolidated Hearings, the ERT administers hearings as requested under the Consolidated Hearings Act. Under that authority, a Joint Board is established in order to combine into one hearing a multiplicity of hearings that may be required before different tribunals under various acts on matters relating to the same undertaking. A Joint Board usually consists of Members of the ERT and the OMB, and is empowered to hold a hearing to consider all of the matters under all of the prescribed acts that govern the undertaking and for which hearings are required.
ERT History and Jurisdiction
The ERT was established under the Environmental Review Tribunal Act with the merging of the Environmental Assessment Board and the Environmental Appeal Board. All the roles of those two Boards were taken on by the ERT at that time.
When the Ontario Water Resources Act passed in 1970, the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) was created. The EHB heard some of the matters of the Ontario Water Resources Commission, established in 1956. The EHB then became the Environmental Assessment Board in 1975. It held hearings about waste or sewage disposal sites as well as environmental assessments. It also had a role in appeals from decisions of the Niagara Escarpment Commission and in Joint Board hearings under the Consolidated Hearings Act. These areas were assumed by the ERT.
The Environmental Appeal Board, established under the Environmental Protection Act, held hearings on appeals about decisions made by Directors of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. In 1978, this Board also took on the hearings role of the Pesticides Appeal Board, which was established in 1973.
The Tribunal’s jurisdiction derives in part from the following Statutes of Ontario:
These statutes are directly linked to an external source. For the most current versions of Ontario statutes, please go to: E-Laws.