Premier Kathleen Wynne proposed a two-year moratorium after bottled water giant Nestle purchased a well near Guelph that the fast-growing township of Wellington Centre wanted for its future drinking water supply.
The 45-day comment period on the moratorium for new bottled water operations ends at midnight, and the Liberals will review the submissions and use them to develop a new regulation that will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.
The government will post other potential regulations Friday looking at ways to improve the renewal process for existing water taking permits for bottled water companies — and the fees they pay — for 60 days of public comment.
Existing water taking permits for Nestle and other bottled water companies can last up to 10 years, but the Liberals want to change them to one-to-five year periods, with a maximum of five years.
Ontario charges just $3.71 for every one million litres of water taken, on top of a permit fee of $750 for low or medium risk water takings, or $3,000 for those considered a high risk to cause an adverse environmental impact. About 30 per cent are in the highest risk category.