The Regional Municipality of Durham - 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
Ministry reference number
Notice type
Endangered Species Act , R.S.O. 2007
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Proposal posted
Comment period
May 26, 2022 - June 25, 2022 (30 days) Closed
Last updated

There is no requirement to post this notice on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, but we want to hear your thoughts. Submit a comment and tell us what you think. Learn about the consultation process and types of notices on the registry.

This consultation was open from:

May 26, 2022
to June 25, 2022

Proposal summary

We are seeking input on a proposal for a permit to be issued to the Regional Municipality of Durham to install a sanitary sewer pipeline. This activity may adversely impact Redside Dace, a species at risk fish. The proposal considers proposed actions to minimize adverse effects as well as proposed actions to benefit the species.

Location details

Site address

Pickering, ON

Site location details

Urfe Creek crossing at Taunton Road, Pickering, Ontario

Site location map

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

View this location on a map opens link in a new window


The Regional Municipality of Durham
605 Rossland Road East, Level 5
Whitby, ON
L1N 6A3

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

The Regional Municipality of Durham 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 so they can install sanitary sewer pipeline crossing Urfe Creek at Taunton Road, City of Pickering, Ontario

The proposal may adversely impact:

  • Redside Dace individuals
  • approximately 2629 m2 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 242/08 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

The Regional Municipality of Durham is working to identify proposed actions that would achieve an overall benefit for Redside Dace. These may involve:

  • removing two pedestrian bridges with footings in the channel of Urfe Creek which will prevent further debris from falling in the channel
  • restoring and enhancing the 2200 m2cleared during pipeline installation by planting shrubs at the banks to stabilize the banks and prevent erosion
  • planting trees and shrubs in the remainder of the habitat to provide shade and source of organic materials for the creek

Reasonable alternatives being considered

The Regional Municipality of Durham has explored alternatives, including alternatives that would not adversely affect Redside Dace and their habitat. These include:

  • Do nothing: potential adverse effects on species or habitat(s) will be avoided at this location, but no sewer will be built.
  • Alternative 1: re-route the sewer alignment to minimize impact on Redside Dace habitat. This route was chosen at the EA stage, when paired with the Brock Road widening project it results in lower environmental impacts.
  • Alternative 2: install via trenchless technologies. However, due to constraints on site there is insufficient cover at the Urfe Creek for the pipeline crossing to be achieved via trenchless techniques.
  • Alternative 3: use of timing windows. This avoids impacts to the species but does not address impacts to habitat.

The Regional Municipality of Durham has concluded that the best alternative is alternative 1. It provides the least impact to the species while allowing the Municipality to complete the sewer pipeline installation.

Actions to minimize adverse effects on the species

The Regional Municipality of Durham is seeking ways to minimize adverse effects on the Redside Dace and its habitat. These may include:

  • maintaining riparian vegetation to the extent possible
  • restoring disturbed areas per the landscape plan
  • prohibiting equipment from crossing the watercourse unless in the dry in open cut area
  • developing and implementing an environmental / erosion and sediment control plan which includes measures for vehicle maintenance and spills response
  • restoring access road as per the landscape plan
  • isolating and dewatering works within water
  • maintaining continuous water flow during construction to sustain water contributions to downstream habitat
  • controlling all equipment maintenance and refueling to prevent any discharge of petroleum products; vehical maintenance and refueling will be conducted at least 30 m distance from the watercourses and watercourse banks
  • storing construction material, excess material, construction debris, and empty containers at least 30 m from the watercourses and watercourse banks
  • scheduling the installation and removal of isolation measures during low water to reduce the potential for the need to remove fish
  • implementing a fish relocation plan, as required

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 response statement will be considered before a decision 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 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.

Species at Risk Branch - Permissions and Compliance

50 Bloomington Rd
Aurora, ON
L4G 0L8


Commenting is now closed.

The comment period was from May 26, 2022
to June 25, 2022

Connect with us


Todd Copeland

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

5520 Hwy 101 East
PO Bag 3020
South Porcupine, ON
P0N 1H0

Sign up for notifications

We will send you email notifications with any updates related to this consultation. You can change your notification preferences anytime by visiting settings in your profile page.

Follow this notice