Compliance and enforcement of the law associated with development activities in or near natural areas plays an important role in maintaining a healthy watershed.
Lower Trent Conservation regulation officers work to ensure compliance with the regulations and policies adopted by the Conservation Authority. They work with watershed residents to increase public knowledge of the regulation. This is done through early project consultation before a ‘Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses’ permit is issued.
Once the permit has been issued and a project is underway, regulation officers regularly inspect works. Completing inspections ensures that works are completed in accordance with the specifications and site plans submitted with an application and any associated conditions that were approved by Lower Trent Conservation. If works are proceeding and the conditions of a permit are not being adhered to, the permit may be revoked.
In cases where work is started or completed without a Lower Trent Conservation permit, staff will notify the landowner and work to resolve the violation. In some cases, legal action is undertaken.
Steps that Lower Trent Conservation staff may take during the compliance process:
- Provide information to landowners and their agents through early consultation and education
- Work with municipal, provincial and federal agencies on matters of joint concern
- Inspect sites to ensure compliance with approved permits
- Address minor infractions through landowner and contractor cooperation
- Resolve violations through discussions, removal, restoration and/or the permit process where appropriate
- Undertake legal proceedings when necessary
Lower Trent Conservation urges landowners to make sure any work done in a regulated area complies with the Conservation Authorities Act: Ontario Regulation 163/06. You can check our online Map Viewer to see if your property is located within a regulated area.
Pursuant to Section 28 (20) of the Conservation Authorities Act, Lower Trent Conservation has legal authority to investigate an activity to determine whether or not a contravention of Ontario Regulation 163/06 has taken place. If convicted, the person(s) committing the offence may be subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than three months (Conservation Authorities Act, Section 28 (16)). In addition, if convicted, the development/interference may be required to be removed at the expense of the landowner. The landowner may also be required to rehabilitate the impacted area in a manner prescribed by the courts (Conservation Authorities Act, Section 28 (17)).