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Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA)
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Permit Regulation and Policies

What are SSMRCA regulations?

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority's (SSMRCA) administers the "Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses", Ontario Regulation 176/06.
Regulations - it's the hard part of a Conservation Authority's job, but a necessary one entrusted to us by our member municipalities, the Province and the Federal Government. What may seem like red tape is acturally there to protect property owners and reduce the risk to human life and property associated with flooding and erosion.
The SSMRCA regulates planning and development within the floodplain and other identified "hazardous lands". This regulatory responsibility is assigned to conservation authorities across Ontario under the Conservation Authorities Act. It provides landowners and/or their agents with the knowledge to make informed building decisions and to maintain and protect a sustainable natural watershed.

Do I Need a permit?

Pre-consultation with SSMRCA staff is strongly encouraged for all work near water, raiving slopes or hazardous lands. We understand that it's not always easy to understand when and why you need a permit, so let our professional staff help you.
If this sounds complicated, it doesn't need to be. Our staff can advise you if the regulation applies to your property, guide you through the permit process and offer technical advice.
Non-compliance with our permitting process is a provincial offence punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or a term of imprisonment.

What work may need a permit?

The following list identifies examples of just some of the activities that are typically regulated and require an approved permit:
  • Construction of all buildings and additions, reconstruction or a change of use to a structure
  • Breakwalls, shorewalls, retaining walls, revetments
  • Construction, repair or removal of gabions/groynes
  • Garages, stairs, decks, gazebos, sheds
  • Straightening, changing, diverting or interfering with an existing channel of a river, creek, stream, watercourse, shoreline or wetland
  • Docks, boat launch or ramps, dredging and other marine works on or near shorelines
  • In-ground and above-ground pools
  • Temporary or permanent placement of fill, grading, removal of fill or site alteration
  • Bridges, crossings, culverts
  • Geothermal heating
  • Subdivision development and construction
  • Stormwater Management

How are applications reviewed?

The regulations and policies the SSMRCA uses for review of permit applications under Ontario Regulation 176/06: Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses are listed below.