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Aquatic Impact Compliance: Working Together Case Study: Implementation of the Riparian Areas Regulation October, 2007. RAR RRRRRRR !!!!! We’ve had enough of Nino Morano!. Riparian Fish Habitat. Purpose of Presentation. Introduce background of the Riparian Areas Regulation.

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Aquatic Impact Compliance:Working TogetherCase Study:Implementation of theRiparian Areas RegulationOctober, 2007



We’ve had enough of Nino Morano!

purpose of presentation
Purpose of Presentation
  • Introduce background of the Riparian Areas Regulation.
  • Explain the roles of all stakeholders.
  • Identify some of the common problems encountered with compliance monitoring to date.
  • Adaptive Management in action.
the challenge
The Challenge
  • Focus of the Provincial government has been to shift from regulation to “results-based” approach.
    • professional reliance model
  • Key Design Principles
    • certainty and flexibility to developers.
    • satisfy requirements of the law (Fisheries Act) .
    • reduced dependence on limited local, provincial and federal government resources (i.e. shift onus to landowner).







Consider Development Opportunities Outside of Riparian Assessment Area

Local Government May Authorize Development Subject to Conditions

Development Proposed in Riparian Assessment Area

Local Government bylaws exceed Riparian Areas Regulation?

Site Assessment by Qualified Environmental Professional

HADD avoided by assessment results

Seek authorization from DFO

DFO authorizes HADD

key elements of the process
Key Elements of the Process
  • The Riparian Areas Regulation deals with development in association with new residential, commercial and industrial development on land under local government jurisdiction
  • Local Government must include riparian area protection provisions in accordance with the direction in RAR in zoning and rural land use bylaws
  • RAR requires a 30 meter riparian assessment area.
  • Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) must review site and development proposal using methods specified in regulation.
key elements cont
Key Elements (cont.)
  • The RAR Assessment must determine if a development will result in harmful alteration of riparian fish habitat .
  • If no harmful alteration, project may proceed without further involvement of province or federal government.
  • If there will be harmful alteration, approval required from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
when does the rar not apply
When does the RAR not apply?
  • Reconstruction or repair of existing permanent structures.
  • Farming activities.
  • Mining, hydroelectric or forestry activities.
  • Institutional developments.
  • Federal Lands & First Nations reserve lands.
  • BC Water Act, Section 9 applications for “changes in and about a stream”.
due diligence model
Due Diligence Model
  • If all parties (Developers, QEPs, Local Governments) perform as required then they will meet due diligence tests for a variety of regulatory tools:
  • Fisheries Act
  • Water Act
  • Riparian Areas Regulation
  • Local Government Bylaws
    • Local Government puts in place bylaws to ensure that assessment needed as a condition of development
    • QEP follow the Assessment Methods
    • Developer ensure it has an assessment done and follows the results of the assessment
what triggers a rar assessment
What triggers a RAR Assessment?

Regulation or approval residential, commercial and industrial activities

(c) construction or erection of buildings and structures;

(d) creation of nonstructural impervious or semi-impervious surfaces;

(j) subdivision as defined in section 872 of the Local Government Act;

or ancillary activities

(a) removal, alteration, disruption or destruction of vegetation;

(b) disturbance of soils;

(e) flood protection works;

(f) construction of roads, trails, docks, wharves and bridges;

(g) provision and maintenance of sewer and water services;

(h) development of drainage systems;

(i) development of utility corridors;

as regulated by Part 26 of the Local Government Act

  • It does not apply to agricultural or institutional development
  • It does not apply to the reconstruction or repair of a permanent structure that remains on its existing foundation.
what is a stream
What is a Stream?

“stream” includes any of the following that provides fish habitat:

  • a watercourse, whether it usually contains water or not;
  • a pond, lake, river, creek or brook;
  • a ditch, spring or wetland that is connected by surface flow to a watercourse, a pond, lake, river, creek or brook.

“stream” not necessarily itself inhabited by fish, but providing water, food and nutrients to streams that do contain fish.

what is a qep
What is a QEP?

“qualified environmental professional”

  • is in good standing in BC with an appropriate professional organization constituted under an Act;
  • is acting in their area of expertise as recognized in ‘QEP Skill Sets’ section of the Assessment Methods;
  • has remained up to date in their training and skills; and
  • has made themselves familiar with the RAR process.

At least 5 and up to 15 m

At least 15 m

At least 30 m

15 m

Greater of: existing width or potential width or 15 m

Simple Assessment

Table 3-1: Methodology

Existing or potential streamside vegetation conditions

SPEA Width

Non-Fish bearing

Fish bearing


Non Permanent

Continuous areas ≥30m or discontinuous but occasionally > 30m to 50m

Narrow but continuous areas = 15m or discontinuous but occasionally > 15m to 30m

Very narrow but continuous areas up to 5m or discontinuous but occasionally > 5m to 15m

detailed assessment
Detailed Assessment



LWD – fish habitat, bank and channel stability

Litter fall and insect drop




develop measures
Develop Measures

Measures must address:

danger trees and the provision of large trees


slope stability

drip zone and rooting strength


sediment and erosion control measures

floodplain concerns

on-site stormwater management

implementation local government
Implementation- Local Government
  • Delegated Authority/Responsibility
  • Increasing Environmental role
  • Liability concerns
  • Bylaw enforcement
  • Their reality:
    • Conflicting objectives
    • Variance procedures
implementation developer
  • Their perspective/reality
  • Certainty and Timeliness
  • Willing to spend $ if there are clear deliverables.
  • See this as adding complexity to a stressful situation
  • Green Development sells-finding the balance
  • Where do I find a QEP(s)?
implementation qep perspective
Implementation- QEP perspective
  • Credentials certification
  • Role/responsibility
  • Objective methodology
  • Dealing with discretion-variances
  • Uneasy relationship with simple homeowner’s development .
QEP Professional Opinion
  • Assessment Report is prepared and signed by all contributing QEPs.
  • The QEP(s) must:
    • certify they are qualified to conduct the Assessment
    • certify that they followed the Assessment Methods; and
    • provide their professional opinion that no HADD will occur
monitoring strategy
Monitoring Strategy
  • Key to Adaptive Management in a results based model
  • Are the results being attained and if not why not.
  • DFO, MOE and LG involved in monitoring
  • Components:
    • Compliance monitoring

– checking all submissions

- QEP post development review and report

    • Complaint response – on-going
    • Professional Association review of members
status of local government bylaws on vancouver island spring 2007
Status of Local Government Bylaws on Vancouver Island (Spring 2007)
  • 21 – implement RAR - OCPamendments

(using Development Permit Areas)

  • 1 - implement RAR - Zoning bylaw
  • 2 - municipalities have no streams

(no RAR bylaws required)

  • 7 - have not passed RAR bylaws to date

(but have Council policy statements).

results of compliance monitoring on vancouver island in 2007
Results of Compliance Monitoring on Vancouver Island in 2007
  • A crew of 4 Conservation Corps (students) assessed 94 sites for RAR report compliance on Vancouver Island. The findings:
    • 12 sites were non-compliant: significant encroachment into the (SPEA) setback area.
    • 55 sites had non-compliance issues wrt to minor development issues (e.g. insufficient sediment control).
    • 27 sites were fully compliant
monitoring of qep reports
Monitoring of QEP Reports
  • Percentage of Reports submitted by

RP Bios- 92%

Report Compliance:

  • March-Nov 2006:
    • 186 reports submitted, 30 compliant-16%
  • Nov-March 2006-2007:
    • 104 reports submitted, 50 compliant-53%
  • March-April 2007:
    • 59 reports submitted, 44 compliant-74%