Guidelines for the assessment of alternatives for mine waste disposal: annex 2


Annex 2: Fish Habitat Compensation Plans under Section 27.1 of the MMER and Subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act

If a water body is added to Schedule 2 of the MMER the project proponent must develop and implement a fish habitat compensation plan in accordance with section 27.1 of the Regulations. In the majority of cases, a second fish habitat compensation plan is required under subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act. The key difference between these requirements is:

  • Section 27.1 of the MMER requires fish habitat compensation to offset losses of fish habitat associated the deposit of a deleterious substance into the water body(ies) that are added to Schedule 2.
  • Subsection 35(2) requires fish habitat compensation to compensate for the losses of fish habitat associated with the construction of the works themselves, such as a tailings dam.

Figure 2 illustrates the rationale for the need for the two separate fish habitat compensation plans in the case where a tailings impoundment area is established in an stream valley.

In this case, the losses of fish habitat in those portions of the stream into which mine waste would be deposited must be compensated under section 27.1. Losses of fish habitat in those portions of the stream that would be under the footprint of a tailings dam or other containment structure must be compensated under subsection 35(2).

Figure 2 : Fish habitat compensation requirements in typical TIA scenarios

Figure 2: Fish habitat compensation requirements in typical tailings impoundment area scenarios

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