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Legislative changes to Conservation Authority permitting

 

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A new Minister’s regulation (Ontario Regulation 41/24: Prohibited Activities, Exemptions and Permits) under the Conservation Authorities Act was approved by the province Feb. 16.


The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) states this regulation will replace the existing individual “Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses” regulation and took effect April 1.


“While this represents a single regulation for all Conservation Authorities, much of the regulatory process remains the same,” explains James Bryant, ERCA’s director of water management services. “Conservation authorities will continue to require applications for a permit to undertake otherwise prohibited development, interference and alteration activities in regulated areas as defined under the Conservation Authorities Act and in O. Reg 41/24.”


ERCA states while most of the regulatory process remains the same, key changes include the definition of a “watercourse.” As well, ERCA added the regulated area around wetlands will be consistent at 30 metres, including around provincially significant wetlands. There are also some permit exceptions for what the province has determined to be certain low-risk activities.


“Some of these low-risk activities include the construction, reconstruction or placement of a seasonal or floating dock less than ten square metres that can be removed in the event of flooding, or non-habitable accessory structure 15 square metres or less, not within a wetland or watercourse,” said Bryant.


“Applicants are encouraged to confirm expectations with ERCA prior to carrying out any work.”


ERCA said a complete list of identified exceptions pointed out in the regulation is on its website.


The Essex Region Conservation Authority is a public sector organization established by the Province of Ontario in 1973 and governed by local municipalities. For more than 50 years, it has delivered programs and services that further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in watersheds in the Windsor, Essex and Pelee Island region.

Legislative changes to Conservation Authority permitting

Special to the RTT

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