Environment

Watercourse and wetland alteration permit requirements (10/01/29)

NB 122

Jan. 29, 2010

FREDERICTON (CNB) - People planning to develop land within 30 m of a watercourse or wetland are reminded that a watercourse and wetland alteration permit may be required. The permit requirements are in place to protect the province's streams, rivers, wetlands and lakes from significant damage.

"It is important to inquire about the need for a watercourse and wetland alteration permit before doing any vegetation clearing, soil excavation, construction or landscaping activities," said Environment Minister Rick Miles. "Developers need to have the proper permits in order to safeguard the environment and ensure their project is in keeping with provincial law."

Watercourses and wetlands are protected under regulations of the Clean Water Act. Watercourses include lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, brooks, reservoirs, canals and ditches. Activities for which a watercourse and wetland alteration permit is required include:

Depending on the scope of the project, a permit application may take one week to several months to be processed.

"The provincial government and the Department of Environment take any violation of the Watercourse and Wetland Alteration Regulation very seriously," said Miles. "The department conducts periodic inspections of work sites to ensure that only the work described in the permit is being carried out, and that it is being done in accordance with the conditions specified. Those convicted of an offence under this regulation may face fines ranging from $500 to $50,000 for individuals, and $1,000 to $1 million for companies."

Permit application forms are available from any office of the Department of Environment, and at all Service New Brunswick offices or online. Help in completing the application form is available from Department of Environment staff.

10/01/29

MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Graham, communications, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700.

10/01/29