Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below, you will find frequently asked questions and their answers relating to permits under the Ontario Regulation 170/06 of Development and Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses.

If you do not see your question below or require additional information, please contact SNC Regulatory Staff at 1-877-984-2948 or 613-984-2948, or by email at

Does my project require permission from South Nation Conservation (SNC)?

An SNC permit may be required if you plan to undertake work in or around the following Regulated Areas:

  • River valleys (floodplains and shorelines);
  • Watercourses (rivers, streams, creeks, etc.);
  • Hazardous lands;
  • Unstable soil or bedrock;
  • Unstable slopes; and
  • Wetlands.


 What activities require a permit?

  • New construction, reconstruction, and additions or alteration to existing buildings or structures;
  • Site grading including placing, dumping or removal of fill or other material;
  • Straightening, changing, diverting or interfering with a channel of a river, creek, stream, watercourse, or shoreline; or
  • Changing or interfering with a wetland.


How do I know if my property or a property I am looking to buy is in a Regulated Area?

SNC’s Public Geoportal identifies Regulated Areas throughout SNC’s watershed jurisdiction. If your property is near or in a Regulated Area, please contact SNC before proceeding with your project as permission may be required.

Current owners, prospective purchasers, or their representatives may request information about a particular property through our Property Inquiry Service. Applicants will receive a letter outlining all identified natural hazard and features, in addition to potential impacts of development under Drinking Water Source Protection Plans and Section 3.1 (Natural Hazards) of the Provincial Policy Statement.

If your property is outside of SNC’s watershed jurisdiction, please contact your local Conservation Authority. You can find your local Conservation Authority here.


Can I meet with someone to further discuss my project?

SNC’s Planning and Approvals Team is available for free consultation on projects. Meetings can be held in person at our office, online, by phone, or on site according to the project’s needs. Please contact us at 1-877-984-2948 or to book your free consultation.


How much does an SNC permit cost?

Permit fees are based on project type as established in SNC’s Board-approved Fee Schedule. Fees are reviewed and updated annually.

After you submit your application, the fee and file number will be confirmed and communicated to you by email. You are welcome to contact SNC to discuss your project.


How do I pay for a permit application?

SNC offers the following payment options:

  • credit card (2.4% service fee applies);
  • debit card;
  • cheque; or
  • cash.    

Payments by card can be made over the phone or in person. Cash or cheque payments can be mailed, deposited at SNC’s administrative office, or left in the secure drop box outside of SNC’s administration office. 

Please ensure you include your name, phone number, and project address with all payments. Please also cite your file number, if known.


Why does SNC regulate development in natural hazard and ecologically sensitive areas?

SNC’s Regulation, made under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act, is titled Ontario Regulation 170/06 Regulation of Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alteration to Shorelines and Watercourses.

Ontario Regulation 170/06 helps ensure public safety and protection of property from natural hazards. The regulation also seeks to negative alterations to wetlands, shorelines, and watercourses.

Ontario Regulation 170/06 establishes Regulated Areas where permission to develop is necessary to mitigate the threat of flooding, erosion, or dynamic beaches; or where interference with wetlands and alterations to shorelines and watercourses might have an adverse effect on those environmental features.

A permit from SNC:

  • provides you with the steps needed to safely undertake your project;
  • protects you and your property from natural hazards; and
  • helps ensure environmentally sustainable development activities.


How do I submit a permit application?

The easiest and most convenient way to submit your permit application to SNC is via SNC’s paperless online portal here.

You can also download a PDF copy of the application form here. Completed forms can be emailed to SNC at or mailed or dropped off to SNC’s Administration Office in Finch.


What do I need to submit with my application?

Supporting documentation requirements vary according to project type and are outlined in the online application form. Applications may require photos, site plan drawings, location maps, technical studies, and completed application forms.

Additional clarification on supporting documentation can also be provided throughout the consultation process with SNC staff.


I submitted my application. What’s next?

SNC will contact you to discuss additional details and finalize your application’s fees once it has been reviewed by staff.


How long will it take to get my permit?

As a member of Conservation Ontario’s Timely Review Taskforce, SNC is committed to improving its client service, accountability, and speed of approvals as well as reduce red tape and regulatory burden.

SNC’s service standards are 21 days for minor applications, 28 days for major applications, and 14 days for routine applications. These timelines commence once the application is deemed complete. Additional time is provided for resubmissions.

Incomplete applications or failure to submit payment will delay processing.


How long are permits valid for?

Permits are valid for 24 months (two years) from the date they are issued. Conditions and fees apply.


Can I do the work myself or do I need a contractor?

Permits are valid regardless of who is completing the work so long as the project details are consistent. You may need to work with a third party where technical reports or drawings are required. You may also identify an agent on your application who can manage the file on your behalf. You will find further details on agent authorizations in the application form.


Can you refer me to a consulting firm?

SNC does not refer applicants to consulting firms. You may employ an Ontario licenced and qualified professional of your choosing. 

The following is a non-exhaustive list of local consultants. SNC does not endorse any of the following parties; please use this list at your own discretion and consider completing additional research:

  • Bowfin Environmental
  • BT Engineering
  • CIMA+
  • Dillon Engineering
  • Gemtec
  • Golder
  • Kilgour and Associates
  • Lascelles


  • LRL Engineering
  • McIntosh Perry
  • Morrison Hershfield
  • Muncaster Environmental Planning
  • Niblett Environmental
  • Parsons
  • Stantec
  • WSP Engineering.


How will I receive my permit?

Once your permit is finalized, SNC will email it to the property owner and agent on file. Permits can also be mailed or picked up at SNC’s Administration Office.


Do I need to display the permit while work is in progress?

A copy of the permit must be kept at the work site and be made available for review upon request by visiting agencies.


Is there a fee if I make changes to my project?

Applications that are amended or resubmitted following SNC approval (including modifications to previously reviewed sediment and erosion control plans) are subject to a fee of 50% of the existing project’s fees, as established by SNC’s Board-approved Fee Schedule.


What should I do if I did not get a permit before starting my project?

You will still need to apply for a permit. Applying for a permit after the project has started (retroactive permits) will be subject to additional fees as outlined in SNC’s Board-approved Fee Schedule.


Do you regulate tree cutting?

SNC has no ability under the Conservation Authorities Act to regulate or prohibit tree cutting on private property unless those lands are Provincially Significant Wetland or designated locally signifigant by a municipality. Municipalities can also implement by-laws to regulate forest cover should they choose to do so. If you are concerned about loss of forest cover in your municipality, please contact your local councillor or appropriate municipal staff.


Can I report a tip or concern to SNC?

Residents can submit their tips and concerns to SNC through its online Report a Concern Form. Reported concerns are monitored and followed-up by our Regulations Team.