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Article

Mind the Gap: Management System Standards Addressing the Gap for Ontario’s Municipal Drinking Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Ecosystem of Regulations

by 1,2
1
Environmental Applied Science and Management, University of Ryerson, Toronto, ON L4E 0J6, Canada
2
Environmental Services, Town of Georgina, Keswick, ON L4P 3G1, Canada
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7099; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177099
Received: 3 August 2020 / Revised: 25 August 2020 / Accepted: 26 August 2020 / Published: 31 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility Management and Innovation)
The research finds evidence in support of and wide recognition of the practical value of management system standards (MSS) by assisting municipalities in meeting their human health protection, environmental objectives, addressing environmental and property damage risks, and providing an additional mechanism of public accountability and transparency. Semi-structured interviews were applied to assess perceptions with practitioners and environmental non-governmental organizations on whether a similar approach to the legally required drinking water quality management standard (DWQMS) could be applied for the municipal wastewater and stormwater sectors. Twelve Ontario municipalities have adopted or are in the process of adopting an ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS) standard for their wastewater and/or stormwater systems, which represents 66% of Ontario’s population. With the large urban centres (e.g., Toronto, York Region, Durham Region, Halton Region and Peel Region) adopting the standard, this is likely to influence small to medium-sized cities to follow a similar approach. Although, resources might be a factor preventing the cohort of smaller utilities voluntarily taking this path. Regulations governing Ontario’s municipal drinking water, wastewater and stormwater utilities were compared via gap analysis. Gaps on management of the system, performance monitoring, auditing and having minimum design criteria left the municipal wastewater and stormwater sectors behind in comparison with recently updated (2004–2008) regulatory framework for the drinking water sector. Based on the identification and review of significant gaps in wastewater and stormwater regulation (compared with the drinking water sector), environmental MSS should be incorporated to strengthen the regulatory framework of these sectors. These phenomena also depict a form of sustainable governance with the use of MSS, which are initiated, developed and regulated by non-state actors, recognizing the value of non-state rule instruments in the water, wastewater and stormwater sectors. View Full-Text
Keywords: DWQMS; environmental management systems; ISO 14001; wastewater management; stormwater management; sustainable governance DWQMS; environmental management systems; ISO 14001; wastewater management; stormwater management; sustainable governance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tovilla, E. Mind the Gap: Management System Standards Addressing the Gap for Ontario’s Municipal Drinking Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Ecosystem of Regulations. Sustainability 2020, 12, 7099. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177099

AMA Style

Tovilla E. Mind the Gap: Management System Standards Addressing the Gap for Ontario’s Municipal Drinking Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Ecosystem of Regulations. Sustainability. 2020; 12(17):7099. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177099

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tovilla, Edgar. 2020. "Mind the Gap: Management System Standards Addressing the Gap for Ontario’s Municipal Drinking Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Ecosystem of Regulations" Sustainability 12, no. 17: 7099. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177099

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