Block 11 Properties Inc. - 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
019-5052
Ministry reference number
CN-C-010-21
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
March 21, 2022 - April 20, 2022 (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:
March 21, 2022
to April 20, 2022

Decision summary

The Minister has issued a permit under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 to Block 11 Properties Inc. for stormwater management outlet improvement works that may adversely impact Redside Dace. The permit includes actions to minimize adverse effects, actions to benefit the species, and monitoring and reporting requirements.

Location details

Site location details

The proposed project is being carried out at Valley Vista Drive and Upper East Don River bridge crossing in the City of Vaughan, Ontario.

Site location map

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

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Proponent(s)

Block 11 Properties Inc.
7501 Keele Street
Suite 200
Vaughan, ON
L4K 1Y2
Canada

Decision details

On June 22, 2022, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks issued an overall benefit permit to the Block 11 Properties Inc. under subsection 17(1) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) concerning Redside Dace and its habitat. The permit enables the applicant to carry out improvements to Valley Vista Drive at the Upper East Don River crossing in the City of Vaughan, Ontario.

The permit authorizes the Block 11 Properties Inc. to adversely impact:

  • Redside Dace individuals
  • up to 550 m2 of Redside Dace habitat

Protecting species at risk

Our government is committed to protecting species at risk and providing strong environmental oversight, while working to support development opportunities in the province.

Businesses, municipalities and other proponents are expected to take steps to ensure their projects avoid any adverse impacts on species at risk or their habitats. However, where avoidance is not possible, the ESA gives the Minister the discretion to authorize activities if certain conditions can be met.

The permit, through conditions, requires the Block 11 Properties Inc. to:

  • minimize adverse effects on Redside Dace
  • achieve an overall benefit to Redside Dace within a reasonable time

Actions to minimize adverse effects on species

For Redside Dace, the permit requires the Block 11 Properties Inc. to carry out actions to minimize adverse effects, including:

  • using one or more Qualified Professionals were necessary to carry out permit conditions
  • working during the in-water work timing window for Redside Dace (July 1 to September 15)
  • isolating all in-water work and conducting work ‘in the dry’ using appropriate measures (e.g. coffer dams)
  • using a Qualified Professional to capture and transfer any Redside Dace from the isolated workspace before any dewatering activities
  • ensuring all water intakes to dewater are screened to protect fish from being harmed or killed
  • maintaining existing flows in the watercourse while project activities are occurring
  • operating and storing all materials and equipment used in such a manner that prevents any harmful substance from entering the water or natural environment
  • providing training to ensure that all persons working at the site are aware of the importance of maintaining proper sediment and erosion controls and site isolation measures throughout construction
  • ensuring machinery arrives on site in a clean condition and is checked and maintained free of fluid leaks
  • installing erosion and sediment control measures before work starts and maintaining them until disturbed areas have been effectively stabilized
  • ensuring no sediment-laden water is discharged to the watercourses at any time
  • developing a Spills Action Plan before construction starts and having it on-site at all times
  • ensuring all dewatering is directed to a sediment containment and filtration system and discharged to a well-vegetated area at least 30 metres from the watercourse
  • restoring all disturbed areas within the regulated habitat limits immediately once work is complete

Actions to achieve an overall benefit to species

The permit requires the Block 11 Properties Inc. to achieve an overall benefit for the Redside Dace within a reasonable time by requiring:

  • realigning 42 m2 of Redside Dace aquatic habitat and restoring the natural form and function of the habitat with pools, riffles, spawning gravel pockets, dead tree trunk with the roots attached (i.e. rootwad) with embedded boulders and bank protection
  • implementing stormwater management (SWM) treatment train to provide 80% total suspended solids (TSS) removal for stormwater runoff

These actions are expected to result in the following beneficial actions for Redside Dace:

  1. Improved habitat
     

    Naturalizing this reach of the creek significantly improves its form and function by emulating a natural meandering stream that provides better habitat suitability and higher quality habitat than what currently exists. This is necessary to promote the successful reproduction of the species.

  2. Improved water quality
     

    Redside Dace are very sensitive to their environment and fluctuations in several water quality parameters (i.e. temperature, dissolved oxygen and total suspended solids) can be detrimental. Improving the water quality and quantity (i.e. stream hydrologic regime) released to Upper East Don River is achieved by using the existing super-pipe with a 250 mm orifice plate to reduce peak flows, shifting the existing oil and grit separators into an off-line operation. This improves their performance and provides additional treatment with the installation of CB-Shields, which is a catchbasin insert that shields the sediment and grit found in the sump of the catchbasin from being washed out. This provides a two-step treatment train.

Other information

Block 11 Properties Inc. considered other reasonable alternatives, including:

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Construct and operate a new stormwater management (SWM) outlet on the north side of the Valley Vista bridge crossing and decommission the existing SWM outlet on the south side of the bridge.
  3. Upgrade the existing SWM outlet on the south side of the Valley Vista bridge crossing.
  4. Retain the existing SWM outlet located on the south side of the Valley Vista bridge crossing and construct a new overflow storm sewer outfall immediately north of the bridge.
  5. Integrate a plunge pool under the bridge similar to alternative 2 with this option having one larger pool.
  6. Construct a new SWM outfall north of Valley Vista Drive bridge with a single plunge pool that provides a direct path between the headwall and the existing channel.
  7. Extend the SWM outlet under the bridge and install the headwall downstream of the bridge crossing.

The best alternative for carrying out the project is alternative 6. This alternative minimizes the permanent area of impact as all the design alternatives have a larger permanent footprint impact.

This alternative strikes a balance between:

  • meeting the need for greater capacity for SWM control on the site to facilitate future development in the foreseeable future
  • limiting the adverse effects to the species and habitat
  • providing beneficial improvements to Redside Dace habitat

Government response statement

A government response statement (GRS) for Redside Dace was published on November 18, 2010.

The issued permit conditions align with the objectives outlined in the GRS, including:

  • maintaining the current geographical distribution and abundance of Redside Dace through habitat protection, and ensuring the protection of water quality and stream hydrology
  • rehabilitating degraded Redside Dace habitat

Comments received

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0

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0

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0
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Effects of consultation

No comments were recevied.

Supporting materials

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Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Species at Risk Branch
Address

40 St Clair Ave West
Toronto, ON
M4V 1M2
Canada

Appeal

Appeals are not allowed

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

Connect with us

Contact

April Currie

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

50 Bloomington Rd
Aurora, ON
L4G 0L8
Canada

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Follow this notice

Original proposal

ERO number
019-5052
Ministry reference number
CN-C-010-21
Notice type
Instrument
Act
Endangered Species Act , R.S.O. 2007
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Proposal posted

Comment period

March 21, 2022 - April 20, 2022 (30 days)

Why consultation isn't required

We are not required to consult on this permit proposal as it relates to an animal and therefore does not meet the required criteria set out in subsection 1.3(6) of Ontario Regulation 681/94 of the Environmental Bill of Rights,1993. We are voluntarily posting this notice to advise the public of this proposal and to invite the public to submit written comments to the contact person identified in this notice

Proposal details

Block 11 Properties Inc. has submitted an application for an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) for impacts to Redside Dace. The permit would authorize them to carry out stormwater management (SWM) outlet improvements at the Valley Vista Drive and Upper East Don River bridge crossing in Vaughan, Ontario.

The proposal may adversely impact:

  • Redside Dace individuals
  • approximately 550 square metres of Redside Dace habitat

Protecting species under the Endangered Species Act

The Ontario government is committed to protecting species at risk and providing strong environmental oversight, while working to support development opportunities in the province.

Ontario provides protections for species at risk and their habitats under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA). Sections 9 and 10 of the ESA provide protection for individual members of a species and their habitat if that species is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario list as either:

  • extirpated
  • endangered
  • threatened

Redside Dace is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as endangered, therefore it is protected.

Habitat protection under subsection 10(1) of the ESA applies to Redside Dace. Ontario Regulation 832/21 prescribes the specific habitat of Redside Dace.

Under clause 17(2)(c) of the ESA, the Minister may issue a permit authorizing a person to engage in an activity that would otherwise be prohibited by sections 9 or 10 of the ESA if the minister believes that:

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

Providing an overall benefit to a protected species under the ESA means improving circumstances for the species in Ontario. Overall benefit is:

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

Actions to achieve an overall benefit to species

Block 11 Properties Inc. is working to identify proposed actions that would achieve an overall benefit for Redside Dace. These may involve:

  • improving water quality with on-site water storage and outlet deign and off-line configuration of oil grit separators
  • installing riparian plantings
  • implementing a natural channel design and habitat features (e.g. large woody debris, spawning gravel and deep pools)

Reasonable alternatives being considered

Block 11 Properties Inc. has explored alternatives, including alternatives that would not adversely affect Redside Dace and their habitat. These include:

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Construct and operate new (SWM) outlet on the north side of the Valley Vista bridge crossing and decommission existing SWM outlet on the south side of the bridge.
  3. Upgrade existing SWM outlet on the south side of the Valley Vista bridge crossing.
  4. Retain the existing SWM outlet located on the south side of the Valley Vista bridge crossing and construct a new overflow storm sewer outfall immediately north of the bridge.
  5. Integrate a plunge pool under the bridge similar to alternative 2 with this option having one larger pool.
  6. Construct a new SWM outfall north of Valley Vista Drive bridge with a single plunge pool that provides a direct path between the headwall and the existing channel.
  7. Extend the SWM outlet under the bridge and install the headwall downstream of the bridge crossing.

Block 11 Properties Inc. has concluded that the best alternative is alternative 6 as this design provides a balance between constructing a new stormwater management outlet and limiting the adverse effects to Redside Dace and its habitat.

Actions to minimize adverse effects on the species

Block 11 Properties Inc. is seeking ways to minimize adverse effects on the Redside Dace and its habitat. These may include:

  • installing erosion and sediment control measures fencing before work starts and maintaining the fence until disturbed areas have been effectively stabilized
  • ensuring proper use of machinery including performing equipment maintenance away form waterbodies
  • undertaking works at a time of year when Redside Dace are less sensitive to disturbance (e.g. July 1 to September 15 in-water timing window)
  • isolating all in-water work and conducting work ‘in the dry’
  • ensuring no equipment enters the watercourse at anytime
  • using qualified professionals to monitor the various stages of work including fish rescues, stream work and erosion and sediment control measures
  • restoring all disturbed areas within the regulated habitat limits immediately once the work is complete

Other information

The Province has published a government response statement under subsection 12.1 of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 with respect to Redside Dace. The government response statement will be considered before a decision to issue an overall benefit permit.

A copy of the government response statement for Redside Dace is available at: Redside Dace government response statement Ɩ ontario.ca

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 Act have been satisfied.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from March 21, 2022
to April 20, 2022

Connect with us

Contact

April Currie

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

50 Bloomington Rd
Aurora, ON
L4G 0L8
Canada