Changes to the Regulated Mixed Anaerobic Digestion Facilities Rules

The Ontario government is giving farmers the opportunity to increase biogas production.

Changes to Ontario Regulation 267/03 under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002 (NMA) will streamline approvals for on-farm anaerobic digestion facilities that treat up to 50 per cent off-farm materials. (Off-farm materials include organic waste materials from food processing and feed production.) The changes now allow these facilities to be regulated under the NMA, reducing approval times and costs while continuing to meet environmental protection requirements.

Increasing the amount of off-farm materials allowable under the Regulation improves the economics of operating anaerobic digestion systems. This promotes the growth of the biogas sector. On-farm anaerobic digestion systems treat manure and other organic materials, which reduces pathogens and odours. In addition, Ontario's food processors will benefit by having another way to manage organic byproducts.

Additional requirements were added to the Regulation to help reduce noise and odour impacts that may result from treating greater volumes of off-farm materials. These include:

  • extra equipment to prevent spills and minimize odour
  • setback distances for certain facilities
  • operational controls, such as specific daytime hours for receiving shipments of off-farm materials

These regulatory changes fulfill a commitment that the Ontario government made to increase renewable energy generation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and foster innovation and economic opportunities in rural Ontario.

The changes came into effect on October 25, 2013. You can read the complete regulation here.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 05 August 2010
Last Reviewed: 18 June 2013