Information for Green Energy Proponents
Conservation Authorities (CAs) are actively involved in the Green Energy Agenda. Development taking place within an area under the regulatory jurisdiction of the CA under the Conservation Authorities Act may require permit approval from a Conservation Authority in advance of the commencement of work on site. Additionally, CAs may be a key source of information for green energy proponents in preparing their applications. CAs have been identified as information providers in a number of Provincial publications. Pre-consultation with your local CA will be useful in the preparation of your applications and will help to avoid potentially costly delays
Conservation Ontario is the "umbrella organization" for Conservation Authorities. CAs are community-based watershed management agencies dedicated to conserving, restoring, and managing Ontario's natural resources on a watershed basis.
The mandate of Conservation Authorities is to ensure the conservation, restoration, and responsible management of Ontario's water, land, and natural habitats though programs that balance human, environmental, and economic needs.
Conservation Authorities Act
Renewable energy projects may require Conservation Authorities Act approval from the local Conservation Authority (CA) on both private and public (Crown) land. Through Conservation Authorities' Development, Interference, and Alteration Regulations made under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act, Conservation Authorities regulate development in or adjacent to river or stream valleys, Great Lakes, and inland lakes, watercourses, hazardous lands, and wetlands. Development taking place on these lands may require permission (with or without conditions) from the CA to confirm that the control of flooding, erosion, dynamic beaches, or pollution is not affected. Conservation Authorities also regulate the straightening, changing, or interfering in any way with a wetland. These are Ontario Regulations approved by the Minister of Natural Resources.
For an explanation of the process Conservation Authorities undertake when reviewing a Renewable Energy Project, see our Generic Flow Diagram. For more information about the Conservation Authority regulations and permit requirements see our Development, Interference, and Alterations Regulations Information Brochure. Please note that, pursuant to Section 28 (13.1) of the Conservation Authorities Act, which was an amendment to the legislation made through the Green Energy Act, 2009, the control of "conservation of land" is not a consideration for approvals of renewable energy projects.
Possible Project Requirements
To help ensure a timely response, the following minimum information may be requested/required in support of an application made under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act for a renewable energy project. Please consult with your local CA staff member to review the requirements in advance of commencing any studies on the property.
Technical Study Requirements
Once the constraints on a property have been identified, detailed study may be required. Any technical study requirements would be identified in consultation with the CA reviewing the proposal. The following supporting technical study requirements may be required to assess the impact of the project. As outlined in Section 28 (1)(b) and (c) of the Conservation Authorities Act, the purpose of these studies is to demonstrate the impact of the proposed development with respect to control of flooding, erosion, dynamic beaches, and pollution, and to assess interference to wetlands and watercourses. The studies required will be determined and scope through the preconsultation based on the location of the site, site characteristics and complexity of the proposed works.