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Each of Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities was required to bring their former ‘Fill, Construction and Alteration to Waterways’ Regulation into conformity with ‘Ontario Regulation 97/04: Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses’, referred to as the ‘Generic Regulation’, by May 1, 2006.
Conformity with the Generic Regulation was a direct requirement of the amendments made to the Conservation Authorities Act by the province in 1997. The amendments, which were the result of the Ontario government’s Red Tape Reduction initiative, were intended to streamline the regulatory framework for development approvals. The Generic Regulation is consistent with the policy direction of the 2005 Provincial Policy Statement to manage resources in a sustainable way and protect public health and safety.
Under the Generic Regulation, the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA) regulates a broader scope of natural features and activities, including development and activities in river or stream valleys, Great Lakes and large inland lakes’ shorelines, hazardous lands and wetlands. Development taking place on these lands may require permission from the Conservation Authority if the control of flooding, erosion, dynamic beaches, pollution or the conservation of land may be affected. The SCRCA also regulates the straightening, changing, diverting or interfering in any way with the existing channel of a river, creek, stream, watercourse or for changing or interfering in any way with a wetland.
The SCRCA’s Generic Regulation, Ontario Regulation 171/06: Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses (under 97/04) has been approved by the Minister of Natural Resources and is posted on e-Laws. The main objective of Ontario Regulation 171/06 is to ensure public safety with regards to natural hazards through issuance of permits for works within or in proximity to lakes, rivers, streams or wetlands, as may be required.