2017 Soybean Harvest

2017 Soybean Harvest

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ontario aiming to improve Conservation Authority permitting process for applicants

As part of the Open for Business initiative of the government, the Ministry of Natural Resources is proposing amendments to Ontario Regulation 97/04, (the “Content of Conservation Authority Regulations under Subsection 28 (1) of the Act: Development, Interference With Wetlands And Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses”) under the Conservation Authorities Act. The proposed amendments are intended to simplify and streamline the permitting process that conservation authorities undertake under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act through 36 individual authority regulations.

The proposed amendments are also intended to support conservation authority compliance with the timelines for decisions on Conservation Authority Act Section 28 permit applications outlined in the ‘Policies and Procedures for Conservation Authority Plan Review and Permitting Activities’ document (‘Policies and Procedures’ document) previously posted to the Environmental Registry (Environmental Registry # 010-8243). The ‘Policies and Procedures’ document forms a chapter of the Conservation Authorities Policies and Procedures Manual that guides provincial aspects of conservation authority operations. The intent of the chapter is to describe the roles of conservation authorities in municipal planning and plan review, and under the Conservation Authorities Act Section 28 permitting related to development activity and the protection of environmental interests.

The Ministry is streamlining the permitting process by:
Enabling the conservation authority to delegate its powers under the regulation including the power to make positive permit decisions to the conservation authority’s executive committee or conservation authority employees.

Extending the maximum period of validity of a permit from 24 months to 60 months.
The anticipated environmental consequences of the regulation proposal are considered to be neutral. The improvements to the permitting process are for the applicant or development proponent and do not impact what the conservation authority regulates or by what considerations.

The anticipated social consequences are positive to neutral. This proposal is intended to reduce wait times for a decision on a permit for an applicant or development proponent for straight forward and uncomplicated development activities. For larger development applications and proponents the proposal is intended to reduce frustration, cost and duplication of effort in having to re-apply for a permit where a development project may require permits or approvals from other regulatory bodies that cannot be reasonably obtained before the expiration of the Conservation Authorities Act Section 28 permit. This is intended to improve business relationship between the conservation authorities and applicants or development proponents for Conservation Authorities Act Section 28 permits.

The anticipated economic consequences are positive to neutral. The amendments streamline the permit process by delegating positive permit decisions to conservation authority staff. Currently the Conservation Authority Board which met generally monthly make all permit decisions, by delegating to staff, wait times for some permit decisions are reduced for the applicant. With the extension of the validity of a permit from 24 months to 60, this may reduce the requirement for larger development proponents to need to re-apply for a permit while waiting for other approvals from other regulatory bodies or given extended construction timelines.

All comments on this proposal must be directed to:

Chris Popovich
Great Lakes & Water Policy Section Intern
Ministry of Natural Resources
Policy Division
Biodiversity Branch
Great Lakes & Water Policy Section - Peterborough
300 Water Street
Floor 5 South
Peterborough Ontario
K9J 8M5
Phone: (705) 755-5591
Fax: (705) 755-1957