DFO is streamlining its review and approval process as part of its Environmental Process Modernization Plan. This initiative enables routine reviews of lower risk projects to be replaced by clear guidelines in the form of Operational Statements. The Operational Statements inform Canadians about how to protect fish and fish habitat and comply with the Fisheries Act by providing "bottom line" advice for different types of low risk activities.
The Operational Statements describe the conditions and the measures to be incorporated into your project in order to avoid negative impacts to fish and fish habitat. You may proceed with your project without a DFO review if you meet the conditions and carry out the Measures to Protect Fish and Fish Habitat listed in the applicable Operational Statement.
If you cannot meet the requirements of the Operational Statements, or if you have questions, please contact your local DFO office.
NOTE: Use of the Operational Statements does not release you from the responsibility of obtaining any other permits or approvals that may be required under municipal, provincial, territorial and federal legislation that apply to the work being carried out in relation to the Operational Statements.
The Operational Statements are tailored to different provinces and territories to reflect differences in environments, as well as provincial and territorial laws and regulations. In some provinces and territories, various Operational Statements have not been issued due to potential conflicts with existing provincial or territorial legislation or due to environmental sensitivities. For these reasons, if your province or territory does not supply an Operational Statement for your type of project, you may not use an Operational Statement from another province or territory.
Should you decide that you are able to comply with the advice found within the Operational Statement for your province or territory, DFO requests that you fill out a Notification Form and submit it to your local DFO office, by mail or by fax, 10 working days before starting your work. This information is requested in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the Operational Statements in protecting fish habitat.
If you wish to access Operational Statements in provinces or territories which are located outside of Central and Arctic Region (such as British Columbia, the Yukon, Québec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador) please click on the following link: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans-habitat/habitat/ modernizing-moderniser/epmp-pmpe/index_e.asp.
An overview of the Operational Statements and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be found at the link below: