Infrastructure Ontario - Permit for activities to achieve an overall benefit to a species

Instrument type: Permit for activities to achieve an overall benefit to a species

ERO number
019-2670
Ministry reference number
CN-C-009-20
Notice type
Instrument
Act
Endangered Species Act , R.S.O. 2007
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
November 6, 2020 - December 6, 2020 (30 days) Closed
Last updated

There is no requirement to post this notice on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, but we wanted to hear your thoughts. Thank you for your feedback.

This consultation was open from:
November 6, 2020
to December 6, 2020

Decision summary

The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has issued an overall benefit permit to Infrastructure Ontario for site alteration activities that may impact species at risk bats and their habitat. The permit includes actions to minimize adverse effects and benefit the species, as well as monitoring and reporting requirements.

Location details

Site address

153, 169, 171 and 185 Eastern Ave
Toronto, ON
M5A1H7
Canada

Site location map

The location pin reflects the approximate area where environmental activity is taking place.

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Proponent(s)

Infrastructure Ontario
Suite 2000
1 Dundas St. West
Toronto, ON
M5G1Z3
Canada

Decision details

On December 30, 2020, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks issued a permit to Infrastructure Ontario, under clause 17 (2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007, concerning:

  • Little Brown Myotis
  • Northern Myotis
  • Eastern Small-footed Myotis

The permit authorizes Infrastructure Ontario to conduct site alteration of four warehouse buildings in the City of Toronto in order to build affordable housing, meeting the needs of people in the province.

The permit includes conditions that require Infrastructure Ontario to undertake measures that will:

  • minimize adverse effects to the species
  • achieve an overall benefit to the species within a reasonable timeframe

Actions to minimize adverse effects to species

The permit requires Infrastructure Ontario to:

  • conduct site alteration works outside of the active period for bats
  • provide contractors with education on how to identify the species at risk and what steps to take should the species at risk be encountered within the project area
  • engage a Qualified Professional to protect any bat species if any species are incidentally encountered during site alteration activities

Actions to achieve an overall benefit to species

The permit requires Infrastructure Ontario to achieve an overall benefit for the species within a reasonable timeframe, including:

  • developing and implementing an education and public awareness program that promotes awareness and protection of species at risk
  • creating habitat for species at risk bats to compensate for the habitat that was removed, including the installation of artificial roosting habitat such as rocket boxes and Branden Bark roost structures
  • monitoring the overall benefit actions undertaken to ensure their effectiveness

Government response statements

The ministry has published government response statements under section 12.1 of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 with respect to Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis and Eastern Small-footed Myotis.

The government response statements specify actions, such as:

  • determining the effectiveness of bat house designs
  • identifying and reporting on the location of summer habitat

These actions are supported in the permit.

You can access these statements through the ministry’s website:

Other information

The minister has considered other alternatives that would not adversely affect the species, such as:

  • not proceeding with the proposed building site alteration
  • proceeding with the proposed project on an alternative site

Comments received

Through the registry

3

By email

0

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

Public consultation on the proposal for this Endangered Species Act permit was provided for 30 days, from November 6, 2020 to December 6, 2020.

We received 3 comments on the proposal notice indicating:

  • concerns with the impact on hibernation habitat
  • concerns with the location of overall benefit habitat creation
  • concerns with incidental encounters with species at risk during construction activities
  • concerns with the qualifications of the persons undertaking the permit conditions
  • concerns with the monitoring of the overall benefit actions
  • recommendation for the permit to include public education and awareness actions
  • concerns that inadequate studies were completed to assess the full impacts to species at the site
  • concerns with habitat loss for species at risk bats
  • general opposition of the project

All feedback received was considered in the ministry’s decision. Some of the comments received resulted in modifications being made to the permit, such as:

  • the development and implementation of a public awareness and education program
  • additional actions to minimize adverse effects on the species, including stopping all demolition activities and contacting a Qualified Professional if the proponent injures or otherwise encounters a species at risk

Remaining comments received were considered but did not result in modifications being made to the permit conditions because:

  • pre-construction surveys eliminated the possibility of hibernation habitat being present
  • overall benefit habitat creation actions are proposed within an appropriate distance from the project site in the Greater Toronto Area
  • the permit includes commitments to have Qualified Professionals that have the education, training and experience necessary to carry out and otherwise oversee the requirements of this permit
  • the permit includes commitments to tend and monitor to the proposed overall benefit habitat structures
  • appropriate studies for the season were conducted to assess the presence of bat species.
  • the permit includes actions to create new habitat for species at risk bats
  • the permit includes actions to minimize adverse effects on species at risk, actions to achieve overall benefit, as well as actions to support the protection and recovery of the species

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Appeal

Appeals are not allowed

This instrument type cannot be appealed. Learn more about our consultation process.

Connect with us

Contact

Kathleen Buck

Phone number
Email address
Office
Permissions and Compliance Species at Risk Branch
Address

40 St. Clair Avenue West
14th Floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-2670
Ministry reference number
CN-C-009-20
Notice type
Instrument
Act
Endangered Species Act , R.S.O. 2007
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Proposal posted

Comment period

November 6, 2020 - December 6, 2020 (30 days)

Proposal details

Infrastructure Ontario has applied for an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 with respect to three species of bats:

  • Little Brown Myotis
  • Northern Myotis
  • Eastern Small-footed Myotis

The permit, if issued, would authorize the site alteration of four warehouse buildings in the City of Toronto in order to build affordable housing, meeting the needs of people in the province.

The building footprints account for approximately 5,686 m2 of potential maternity and/or day roosting habitat for Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis and Eastern Small-footed Myotis. The proposed activities could therefore adversely affect these species at risk and their habitat.

Protecting species under the Endangered Species Act

Ontario provides protections for species at risk and their habitats under the Endangered Species Act, 2007. Section 9 of the Act protects species that are listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as either:

  • extirpated
  • endangered
  • threatened

If a species is endangered or threatened, its habitat also receives protection under section 10 of the Act.

The Minister may issue a permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 that authorizes a person to engage in an activity that would otherwise be prohibited by sections 9 or 10 of the Act if:

  • an overall benefit to the species will be achieved within a reasonable time through requirements imposed by conditions of the permit
  • reasonable alternatives have been considered, including alternatives that would not adversely affect the species, and the best alternative has been adopted
  • reasonable steps to minimize adverse effects on individual members of the species are required by conditions of the permit

Providing an overall benefit to a protected species under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 means improving circumstances for the species in Ontario. Overall benefit is:

  • grounded in the protection and recovery of the species at risk
  • must include more than mitigation measures or “replacing” what is lost
  • more than “no net loss” or an exchange of “like for like”

Actions to achieve an overall benefit to species

Infrastructure Ontario is working to identify proposed actions that would achieve an overall benefit for Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis and Eastern Small-footed Myotis.

These may include:

  • creating habitat for species at risk bats to compensate for the habitat that was removed, including the installation of artificial roosting habitat such as rocket boxes and Branden Bark roost structures
  • monitoring the overall benefit actions undertaken to ensure they are effective

Reasonable alternatives being considered

Reasonable alternatives are being considered, including alternatives that would not adversely affect Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis and Eastern Small-footed Myotis.

These may include:

  • not proceeding with the proposed building site alteration
  • proceeding with the proposed project on an alternative site

Infrastructure Ontario has concluded that the best alternative for carrying out the proposed project is to proceed with the building site alteration.

Actions to minimize adverse effects on the species

Potential approaches to minimizing adverse effects on Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis and Eastern Small-footed Myotis may include:

  • conducting site alteration works outside of the active period for bats
  • providing contractors with education on how to identify the species at risk and what steps to take should the species at risk be encountered within the project area

Other information

Government response statements to the recovery strategy for Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis and Eastern Small-footed Myotis have been published by the province and will be considered before a decision is made to issue an overall benefit permit.

Posting this proposal on the Environmental Registry does not imply that the minister will issue a permit. A permit may only be issued where the legal requirements set out in clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 have been satisfied.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from November 6, 2020
to December 6, 2020

Connect with us

Contact

Kathleen Buck

Phone number
Email address
Office
Permissions and Compliance Species at Risk Branch
Address

40 St. Clair Avenue West
14th Floor
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2
Canada

Office phone number