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New Rules For Using Nutrients On Farms Become Law

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New Rules For Using Nutrients On Farms Become Law

McGuinty Government Strengthens Standards That Protect Health and Environment

New rules that establish consistent standards and requirements for applying nutrients to farmland are now law. 

This applies to nutrients called non-agricultural source materials (NASM), which include yard waste, fruit and vegetable peels, food processing waste, pulp and paper biosolids and sewage biosolids.

The rules ensure NASM applied to the land at every Ontario farm meet strict criteria and are beneficial to the soil. This will protect the environment and the health of Ontarians.

In addition, farmers accepting nutrients, haulers carrying it and those that generate NASM are now regulated by either the Nutrient Management Act (NMA) or the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), not both. This removes an overlapping approval process.

Quick Facts

  • New odour categories have been developed based on materials and their odour potential. The categories will ensure proper land application and setbacks from dwellings and other occupied buildings - the stronger the odour the greater the separation.
  • The Ministry of the Environment will continue to conduct compliance and enforcement activities related to the NMA, EPA and Ontario Water Resources Act.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“We have made significant changes to the requirements for applying organics to land. We have added new standards and improved others to protect human health, crops, the environment and Ontario's water supply. What is not changing is the ministry's compliance and enforcement activities. Our inspection process will help to ensure that materials are land applied according to our standards.”

John Gerretsen

Minister of the Environment

“Ontario has long supported the land application of quality organics. We are taking a science-based approach to put standards in place under the Nutrient Management Act to protect public health and the environment. The use of non-agricultural source materials benefits farmers since it provides for options other than fertilizers, and it benefits Ontarians by keeping these materials out of landfills.”

Leona Dombrowsky

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs



Environment and Energy