Permits & Planning Services

Balls Mill Conservation Area
Port Hope Conservation Area

Conserving the Environment

Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) reviews each application received to ensure environmental features are not harmed by proposed development.

Natural heritage features considered include:

  • Wetlands
  • Watercourses
  • Shorelines
  • Fish Habitat
  • Significant Woodlands
  • Species At Risk Habitat
  • Areas of Natural & Scientific Interest (ANSI)

If a Subject Property contains a Natural heritage feature, it may be subject to an Environmental Impact Study. Under the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990 and in accordance with the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) (2020) municipalities can request an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) to help guide recommendations for applications for development within or adjacent to natural heritage features. In addition, under the Conservation Authorities Act Ontario Regulation 168/06, Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses, GRCA can request an EIS to aid informed decision-making as it applies to permit applications within or adjacent to a wetland or watercourse.

An EIS is a study that is to be completed by a qualified biologist to assess the existing conditions and how they may be impacted by the proposed development. In most cases, an EIS will consist of detailed literature review, field investigations, such as breeding bird surveys, amphibian surveys, vegetation surveys, etc., as well as modelling. All of the collected information will help to determine the impacts the development will have on the natural heritage features and mitigations that will protect and enhance the ecological function of the feature during and post-development.