Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: SARA-OR-2017-0398

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. SARA-OR-2017-0398 is issued.

Affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity

This permit authorizes the permit holder to affect Butler’s Gartersnake individuals and residences incidentally during integrity dig activities on Aamjiwnaang First Nation land. The activities will involve excavation at eleven sites - each roughly 15m in length, 1-2m in depth, and 10m in width - to inspect an existing 8” pipeline, and undertake possible maintenance/ repair work. There will also be temporary work zones for access and equipment/ material storage, approximately 75m in length and 30 m in width at each site. Silt fencing will be used to prevent Butler’s Gartersnakes from entering the work areas. If any Butler’s Gartersnakes are encountered, they will be allowed to disperse on their own. If they don’t, they can be handled to move immediately outside of the work zone. Despite sound mitigation measures, there is some risk that the activities may affect individuals or residences of the species.

Start Date: 2017-10-02   End Date: 2017-12-31

Issuing Authority: Environment Canada

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Ontario

Affected Species:

a) All reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted. All reasonable alternatives for this project have been adequately assessed. The project works are proposed to address anomalies at specific locations in the existing pipeline. This inspection is required to address potential impacts to human health and safety and the surrounding environment/wildlife. The level of corrosion meets Plains Midstream Canada’s (PMC) criteria for physical inspection and repair – the “do nothing” alternative is not possible. It is not possible to select an alternative dig location, as digs must occur in the areas where pipeline anomalies due to corrosion have been identified. The digs must occur in 2017 as an inspection in late 2016 identified >25% potential metal loss within the pipeline. Although many aspects of the integrity digs are fixed, possible measures that can reduce impacts to Butler’s Gartersnake have been considered and will be adopted. The proposed timing of the digs (between Sept and Dec 2017) is outside of the birthing period for (June-Sept), which will reduce the risk of direct impact to gravid females and juveniles during construction. The length of access routes to the dig sites will be minimized and mitigation measures have been developed to reduce risk of impacts on Butler’s Gartersnake. b) All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals. All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or the residences of its individuals. All on-site construction personnel will be made aware of the potential presence of SAR snakes on the property and protocols to follow if encountered. The work area will be isolated using sturdy temporary protection (i.e., heavy-duty silt fencing) prior to hibernation to prevent Butler’s Garternsnake from hibernating in the work area. Prior to work commencing each day, the work space will be visually surveyed to search for SAR individuals, dens, basking sites, hiding spots, and hibernacula. If a SAR is incidentally encountered, it must be allowed to disperse from the project area under its own ability or removed using appropriate handling procedures. All equipment and machinery that is left idle for over one hour, or overnight, on the property must be visually examined prior to (re)ignition to ensure snakes are not present within the machinery. This visual examination should include all lower components of the machinery, including operational extensions and running gear. c) The activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. Implementation of the proposed mitigation measures including exclusion fencing will significantly reduce the risk of Butler’s Gartersnake mortality during the proposed works. The project, with implemented mitigation, is not expected to have population-level effects and will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species.

Contact Person(s)
Canadian Wildlife Service
Burlington, Ontario
Phone: (905) 336-4464
Fax: (905) 336-4587