4.9 Agency Referrals

Once the site plan and preliminary design are completed, decide if applications for permits to construct a crossing need to be made with relevant agencies such as  the B.C. Ministry of Environment (MoE), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), and Transport Canada (Navigation Protection Act).

MoE is concerned with protecting water, land and air quality, managing flood and erosion control, and protecting the population and habitat of animals and resident fish species. The ministry administers various Acts that might be relevant to bridge or major culvert construction.

DFO is the lead federal government department responsible for protecting anadromous fish species and their habitat by administering the Fisheries Act and Regulations. Timing and methods of construction might be stipulated by either DFO or MoE agencies.

DFO Pacific Region has provided some commentary for small clear span bridges: Pacific Region Operational Statement - Small Clear-Span Bridges.

Transport Canada administers the Navigation Protection Act. Its mandate includes protection of the public right of navigation in tidal waters. According to the division, approvals are required for every crossing. However, only refer and apply for crossings where the type and size of the structure or the nature of the stream have a potential for navigation problems.

Formal approvals issued by the Navigable Waters Protection Division require that the work be subjected to an Environmental Assessment in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Where old structures are being removed as part of the new construction process, ensure that proper approvals from local government offices are received for any waste disposal needs, normally dealing with treated wood and occasionally metal culverts.