City of Richmond Hill - 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
019-6213
Ministry reference number
CN-C-012-21
Notice type
Instrument
Act
Endangered Species Act , R.S.O. 2007
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Proposal
Proposal posted
Comment period
November 24, 2022 - December 24, 2022 (30 days) Open
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 closes at 11:59 p.m. on:
December 24, 2022

Proposal summary

We are seeking input on a proposal for a permit to be issued to the City of Richmond Hill to improve the Beaver Creek Stormwater Management Facility. This activity may adversely impact all four species at risk bats. The proposal considers proposed actions to minimize adverse effects, as well as proposed actions to benefit the species.

Location details

Site location details

Beaver Creek Stormwater Management Facility, north of Highway 7 between West Beaver Creek Road and Valleymede Drive, Richmond Hill, 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

Proponent(s)

City of Richmond Hill
225 East Beaver Creek Rd.
Richmond Hill, ON
L4B 3P4
Canada

Why consultation isn't required

We are not required to consult on this permit proposal as it relates to an animal and is from a municipality, 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

City of Richmond Hill has submitted an application for an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) for impacts to Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis, Eastern Small-footed Myotis, and Tri-colored Bat (SAR bats) so they can improve the existing Beaver Creek Stormwater Facility.

The proposal may adversely impact:

  • SAR bat individuals
  • up to 54 suitable roost trees

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

All four SAR bat species are listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as endangered; therefore, they are protected.

Habitat protection under subsection 10(1) of the ESA applies to all four SAR bat species.

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

City of Richmond Hill is working to identify proposed actions that would achieve an overall benefit for SAR bats. These may involve:

  • installing artificial structures (e.g. bat boxes) to provide immediate roost habitat replacement
  • planting trees, including species with naturally loose or peeling bark, at a replacement ratio of 3:1 that will become suitable roost trees in the future
  • restoring and naturalizing as much of the site as possible to provide more suitable bat roosting and foraging habitat

Reasonable alternatives being considered

City of Richmond Hill has explored alternatives, including alternatives that would not adversely affect SAR Bats and their habitat. These include:

  • doing nothing
  • maintaining the facility as a dry pond system but dredging and upgrading the South Pond
  • modifying the South Pond to a hybrid wetland system
  • modifying the South Pond to a wet pond system

All three rehabilitation alternatives include decommissioning and naturalizing the North Pond and constructing a permanent access route to the South Pond.

City of Richmond Hill has concluded that the best alternative involves maintaining the facility as a dry pond system and rehabilitating the South Pond. This alternative addresses the public safety and flood risk concerns, while minimizing impacts to SAR Bats and their habitat.

Actions to minimize adverse effects on the species

City of Richmond Hill is seeking ways to minimize adverse effects on the SAR Bats and their habitat. These may include:

  • working outside of the active season (April 1st and October 1st) so it occurs during at a time of year when SAR bats are less sensitive to disturbance
  • removing trees between December 1st and March 14th when SAR bats are in their hibernacula and not using roost trees
  • using qualified professionals to oversee and monitor the various stages of work
  • restoring all disturbed areas immediately following the completion of the proposed work

Other information

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

Posting this proposal on the Environmental Registry of Ontario 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.

Permissions Section
Address

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

Office phone number

Comment

Let us know what you think of our proposal.

Have questions? Get in touch with the contact person below. Please include the ERO number for this notice in your email or letter to the contact.

Read our commenting and privacy policies.

Submit online

Submit by mail

Contact

April Mitchell

Phone number
Office
Species at Risk Branch - Land and Water Division
Address

435 James St. South
Suite 114
Thunder Bay, ON
P7E 6T1
Canada

Connect with us

Contact

April Mitchell

Phone number
Office
Species at Risk Branch - Land and Water Division
Address

435 James St. South
Suite 114
Thunder Bay, ON
P7E 6T1
Canada

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