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Environmental Regulations

Looking for a permit application?  There are many factors which we may have to consider in processing your application.

Have you checked out our Approximate Regulation Maps?  This may help to speed up the process by first finding out if you are within an area of interest to the SVCA. These maps can be referenced by the public in the event of development projects to see whether their property is within a regulated area.  

You may want to check out our Planning and Regulation Fees



What is the value of regulations?

1) the protection of lives

2) the protection of property

3) the prevention of social disruption

4) the protection of the environment


For a detailed account of the Regulations, as it applies to Saugeen Conservation, please refer to the following: Planning_Reg169-06.pdf 


Ontario was settled by her rivers!  Similar to many other locations throughout the world, the need to access water was the deciding factor in the placement of homes, businesses and other dwellings.

Unfortunately, during periods of heavy rainfall, storms and disasters, people and their dwellings, in some cases, became extremely susceptible to the ravages of nature.

Left: The Town of Walkerton, 1948.  One of the last large-scale floods of this town prior to the construction of protective dykes in the 1950's.  The construction of the Walkerton dykes was one of the first projects of Saugeen Conservation.

The Environmental Planning and Regulations Department protects lives and property, avoids social disruption from natural hazards to the extent possible, and protects the ecosystem at the same time. Without SVCA Regulations inappropriate development would occur resulting in many negative impacts for the community and the environment.

When Do I Need A Permit?

Permission is required from the SVCA before any person may undertake a development  or alteration as defined by the Conservation Authorities Act, Interfere with a Wetland or Alter a Shoreline or Watercourse in SVCA's Regulated Area. This includes areas such as::

  • Hazardous Lands - including floodplains (based on the Hurricane Hazel Flood Event Standard (formerly called Regional Storm Flood), erosion prone lands and unstable soils. 
  • Watercourses  (including inland lakes) 
  • Wetlands and areas adjacent to wetlands 
  • Valleys and Steep Slopes (and slope setbacks)
  • Lake Huron Shoreline (flooding, erosion and dynamic beach hazards)

Any works such as, but not necessarily limited to the following may require permission:

  • filling, grading, excavation, draining, berming, vegetation removal, etc.
  • new drive or laneway works, maintenance or enlarging; new bridges or bridge repairs, culvert installations / repairs / replacements; trail installations, etc.
  • new buildings and structures, additions, decks, porches, stairs; redevelopments and changes to the use of buildings or structures; sewage disposal systems or geothermal heating / cooling systems, etc.
  • erosion remediation works; watercourse cleanouts or realignments; municipal drains or private drain; shoreline works such as docks, dune alterations, boathouses, etc.

If your proposal is not listed above, please contact SVCA staff to confirm if permission is required.

Right to a Hearing (if your permit application is not approved)

In accordance with Section 28 (12) of the Conservation Authorities Act, permission required under Ontario Regulation 169/06, as amended, shall not be refused or granted subject to conditions unless the person requesting the permission has been given the opportunity to require a hearing before the Authority or, in the case of the SVCA, before the authority’s Executive Committee.  Should you submit an Application to Alter a Regulated Area for which staff is not prepared to issue a permit, a hearing will be scheduled before the Executive Committee.   

After holding a hearing under Section 28 (12), the SVCA Executive Committee shall,

  •        refuse the permission; or
  •        grant the permission, with or without conditions   

After the hearing, the SVCA Executive Committee provides the person who requested permission written reasons for the decision.  If the person is refused permission or objects to conditions imposed on the permission, the person may appeal to the Minister of Natural Resources within 30 days of receiving the reasons for the refusal.  ‘

Contact us!

Our staff would be happy to work with you to ensure that your project meets all the necessary requirements in order to protect both you, your property and our natural environment! 



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