Culvert Permitting

Year: 2014

Number: POP 6-14M

Department: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

Midterm: Yes

WHEREAS the Ministry of Environment has indicated that RMs require a permit for the replacement and installation of each new culvert; and

WHEREAS the replacement and installation of culverts can occur on the spur of a moment depending on the immediacy of the situation and on a frequent basis;

WHEREAS requiring permits for each culvert install would be overly cumbersome;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Province review its policy on permitting of culverts installed by RMs to ensure that the process is a timely and reasonable one.

Response from the Honorable Scott Moe, Minister of Environment

In January 2013,the Water Security Agency took over the responsibility of issuing Aquatic Habitat Protection Permits for work in and near water,including installation and replacement of culverts from the Ministry of Environment. Aquatic Habitat Protection Permits are an important tool to protect aquatic health.

Water Security Agency has several initiatives to facilitate granting these permits to rural municipalities.  A rural municipality may apply for a permit to cove multiple culverts. Thus a single application could cover the entire annual plan for roadwork,except that for culverts in fish bearing waters separate applications will be required.  WSA will issue an extension if work does not proceed as quickly as planned.

Need to install culverts on the spur of the moment is most likely to occur during an emergency such as a flood. Where municipalities have declared a State of Emergency due to flooding,WSA can issue a permit within 48 hours to allow for culvert replacement and installations to deal with the flooding. Once the flooding situation is over the Water Security Agency will inspect all culvert works carried out on the permits, and may advise on follow-up remediation work as and if needed to achieve the legislative aquatic habitat protection goals.

Under Subsection 3(2) ofThe Water Regulations, 2002,an exemption exists for replacing culverts if the replacement is commenced and completed under dry conditions;results in the culvert pipe being installed parallel to the natural channel;results in the culvert pipe being installed below the natural channel bed by a depth equivalent to at least 20 per cent of the culvert diameter;and incorporates,adequate erosion control measure at the inlet and outlet end of the culvert to prevent washout and damage to the bed or boundary.

WSA is working to achieve faster turnaround of permit requests and is currently reviewing the Aquatic Habitat Protection Permit program to find improvements and ensure timely and reasonable responses.

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