Important Information Regarding the Fisheries Act
On Monday, November 25, 2013, amendments to the Fisheries Act, Applications for Authorization (under Paragraph 35(2) (b) of the Fisheries Act Regulations) and Information Requirements Regulations came into force.
As a result of these amendments and other changes within Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Conservation Authorities no longer provide regulatory review for works under the federal Fisheries Act and therefore the previous partnership agreements between DFO and Conservation Authorities are no longer in effect as of November 25, 2013.
The implementation of the amended Act now brings about many changes in the way Fisheries and Oceans Canada conducts business. The focus is now on:
- Proponent self-assessment
- Streamlining regulatory reviews; and
- Greater emphasis on large-scale projects
New Fisheries Act Self-Assessment Process
With regard to the Federal Fisheries Act, which took effect November 25, 2013, proponents must ensure their projects meet the DFO requirements under the self-assessment process. The following links provide further information:
Does my project need a review? http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw-ppe/index-eng.html
Measures to avoid harm: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw-ppe/measures-mesures/index-eng.html
Request a review or authorization: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw-ppe/reviews-revues/index-eng.html
The federal government announced its intention to amend the Fisheries Act in its Economic Action Plan 2012. The changes are intended to streamline administrative processes while strengthening environmental and fisheries protection.
Please note that although ERCA will no longer review projects under the Federal Fisheries Act, the Authority continues to deliver programs and services directed towards the protection, restoration and management of aquatic systems, including fish and fish habitat, as an integral component of watershed management and our goals of creating a healthy and sustainable future for the Windsor/Essex Region. In this regard, we will continue with our Regional Monitoring Program providing valuable information and data with respect to aquatic systems, and their condition. As well, we will continue our restoration efforts for aquatic habitats throughout our watersheds and waterfront.
ERCA is still responsible for administering Ontario Regulation166/06 under the Conservation Authorities Act for works within regulated areas and will continue to provide quality service in this regard, including review of impacts on aquatic systems and fish and fish habitat. In addition, ERCA will continue to provide Plan Review services under the Planning Act and Environmental Assessment Act to our municipal partners including the provision of advice as it relates to impacts on fish and fish habitat.