2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Proposed Drainage Act and Conservation Authorities Act Protocol

From the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry:

In recent years, challenges have arisen in implementing the requirements of the Drainage Act and those of the Conservation Authorities Act.  Under the Drainage Act, municipalities are required to maintain and repair municipal drains, while under the Conservation Authorities Act, conservation authorities are required to regulate interference with or alterations to watercourses, including municipal drains where applicable.

The proposed protocol (the Drainage Act and Conservation Authorities Act Protocol) was developed by an inter-agency team co-chaired by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, with representation from the drainage sector, agricultural sector, municipalities and conservation authorities. It is intended to improve communications, promote best practices, reduce administrative burden and streamline the permitting process under the Conservation Authorities Act related to the maintenance and repair of municipal drains. The proposed protocol does not apply to new drain construction or improvements to existing drains.

The proposed protocol contains:
a) best practices to facilitate good working relationships between conservation authorities, drainage superintendents and municipalities;
b) sets of standardized requirements for undertaking drain maintenance and repair in compliance with regulations under the Conservation Authorities Act (Standard Compliance Requirements).

Under the proposed protocol, municipalities and conservation authorities may use Standard Compliance Requirements to request or issue permission for drain maintenance or repair in place of the regular conservation authority permit application and issuance process. Conservation authorities could still require a regular permit for some activities if they determine that the activity will not be able to meet Standard Compliance Requirements, or if the standard requirements are not deemed sufficient for that activity.

The proposed protocol contains provisions for the establishment of a Drainage Issues Resolution Team to mediate discussions and recommend solutions in the event that agreement between the conservation authority and municipality cannot be reached. The proposed protocol also uses a combined notification/application form for the federal Species at Risk Act and Fisheries Act as well as the Ontario Endangered Species Act and Conservation Authorities Act into a single notification form which is sent to multiple agencies.

The proposal has been posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting March 09, 2012.  Comments can be sent to:

Rheanna Leckie
Ministry of Natural Resources
Regional Operations Division
Integration Branch
Land and Water Services Section
300 Water Street
Peterborough Ontario
K9J 8M5
Phone: (705) 755-5405
Fax: (705) 755-1276

The online comments form is at: Comments.