The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) had a record year in 2021 when it came to supporting sustainable development within its watershed jurisdiction in Cornwall and surrounding area of SDG, receiving a total of 311 development applications.
In 2021, the RRCA issued 136 approvals under the Conservation Authorities Act which regulates certain development activities within or adjacent to watercourses and significant wetlands. The RRCA broke their annual record for planning reviews as well, examining and providing guidance on 175 files. Under the Planning Act, the RRCA supports its 5 member municipalities by reviewing development proposals and policy documents and providing guidance on natural hazards (e.g. flooding, erosion, and unstable slopes) and natural heritage (e.g. watercourses, wetlands, woodlands, etc.).
“At its core, this regulatory work is about protecting people and property, as well as the local environment,” says Phil Barnes, RRCA’s Watershed Management Team Lead. “A streamlined yet thorough permitting process allows us to provide guidance in a timely fashion to the residents, businesses, and municipalities in our jurisdiction, allowing them to move ahead with their development plans in confidence and security.”
At the RRCA’s Board of Directors January 2022 meeting, the Board approved additional protection for Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSWs) within the RRCA’s jurisdiction through development and alteration regulations under the Conservation Authorities Act. The Board consists of appointed representatives from the RRCA’s 5 member municipalities: City of Cornwall, and Townships of North Glengarry, South Glengarry, South Stormont, and North Stormont.
“Wetlands are given PSW status by the Province based on their ecosystem and human utility value such as groundwater storage and release, and flood damage prevention,” says Barnes. There are currently 8,400 hectares of PSWs spread throughout the RRCA’s 1,680 km2 jurisdiction in eastern Ontario.
As part of their streamlined review services, the RRCA is also the lead agency for the Cornwall Sediment Strategy (CSS), which protects several zones of mercury-contaminated sediment in the St. Lawrence River along the Cornwall waterfront. The RRCA includes a CSS review for property owners planning to install docks or other structures on or near their shoreline.
Current or prospective property owners may request information about a specific property through the RRCA’s Property Inquiry Service, which provides important information on natural hazards and natural heritage for that property. Permit application and property inquiry forms, as well the RRCA’s current fee schedule, can be found at the RRCA website at rrca.on.ca.
For more information, visit rrca.on.ca, or contact (613) 938-3811 or [email protected].