Compliance & Enforcement

Within Regulated Features

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NPCA has taken measures to protect staff and public while providing continuity of services. NPCA enforcement, permitting and planning functions are continuing to operate, however there may be delays in receiving responses to inquiries or complaints due to staff restrictions and remote work locations.

Please visit our Get Involved NPCA portal where you will find a list of Frequently Asked Questions, links and resources, important announcements, and tools to ask anything that has not yet been answered. We appreciate your patience.  

A principal mandate of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is the protection of people and property from natural hazards such as flooding, erosion and to regulate development to ensure it does not impact natural hazards lands or interfere with watercourses and wetlands.

NPCA Regulations Officers are designated under the Conservation Authorities Act as  for the purpose of enforcing Section 28 of the Act as Provincial Offences Officers.  They follow-up, inspect and investigate complaints of non-compliant development activities within the watershed.  Officers also inspect and ensure compliance with the conditions of permits issued by the Conservation Authority.

The NPCA only enforces its legislation on lands regulated under the authority of the Conservation Authorities Act and Ontario Regulation 155/06.  To view an online map of the approximate areas regulated by the NPCA please visit our online mapping portal (HERE).

Our officers carry out the following duties:

  • Provide information & education to the public surrounding the regulations and development restrictions within the watershed
  • Liaise with contractors
  • Undertake inspections of potential contraventions in regulated areas (as a preventative measure)
  • Inspect for compliance with approved NPCA permits
  • Resolve minor infractions in cooperation with the landowner
  • Resolve violations through discussions, removal, restoration and/or the NPCA permit process where possible
  • Process legal proceedings when necessary to ensure compliance

If you believe activities are being carried out in a regulated area without appropriate approvals, please complete the form below to confidentially report your concerns so that our Officers can assess the situation and act accordingly.

Note the online form is NOT for conservation area complaints.
 

NPCA staff receive numerous complaints and concerns daily.  Many of these concerns are not the mandate of the NPCA and should be directed to other agencies such as local municipalities.  Some of the most common concerns and complaints which are not the jurisdiction of the NPCA are provided below for information.

FAQ

What is considered a contravention or violation of the Conservation Authorities Act and Ontario Regulation 155/06?

NPCA staff work with municipalities and other agencies to detect activities that are in contravention of Ontario Regulation 155/06.  A contravention of Ontario Regulation 155/06 may occur when:

  • the development, interference or alteration activities have taken place contrary to an approved NPCA permit
  • development or activities related to an alteration or interference are carried out within a regulated area without written permission from the NPCA

The NPCA only enforces its legislation on lands regulated under the Conservation Authorities Act and Ontario Regulation 155/06. To view an online map of the approximate areas regulated by the NPCA please visit our online mapping portal 

How will the NPCA respond to my complaint or concerns?

NPCA Regulations Officers monitor our online form submissions, TIPS email address and enforcement extension voicemails during regular business hours.

Regulations Officers' primary responsibilities in responding to a complaint are to ensure that the complaint is valid and to then contact and work with the landowner(s) in resolving the infraction. Regulations Officers will not contact you directly unless further information is needed to investigate the complaint, including potentially taking witness statements. NPCA staff also do not provide any details or information related to the complaint once a compliance file is considered active.

I have received a Notice of Violation for my property from the NPCA. What do I do now?

Follow the instructions on the Notice and respond to the Regulations Officer who issued the Notice by the date indicated. The primary goal of the compliance and enforcement team is to contact the landowner on whose property the violation has occurred and work with them to resolve the matter. The sooner you contact the Regulations Officer, the sooner we can work with you on a solution.

A landowner is cutting down a tree on their property, who do I contact?

Regulating or prohibiting the cutting down a single tree or even several trees is the jurisdiction of the lower tier municipality under the Municipal Act through a Tree Preservation or similar By-law.

If the landowner is removing multiple trees in a larger forested area, this may be a concern for the upper tier municipalities of Haldimand, Hamilton or the Niagara Region under the Municipal Act.  As of January 2021, the NPCA no longer administers the Woodland By-law on behalf of the Niagara Region.

I am interested in harvesting trees from my woodlot to sell. Do I need anyone’s permission?

Yes. You will likely need a Good Forestry Practices permit from the Niagara Region.  As of January 2021, the NPCA no longer administers the Woodland By-law on behalf of the Niagara Region.

Visit Niagara Region's website for more information.

I have concerns with the subdivision proposed or being constructed near my home. Who do I contact?

Contact your local municipality. Municipalities coordinate and are responsible for the planning process of approving and then monitoring the construction of subdivisions.

A landowner is undertaking activities which are disturbing, injuring, or killing wildlife and/or Species at Risk. Who do I contact?

Contact the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (formerly MNR) or the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

A landowner has a natural blockage and/or debris in the section of the watercourse on their property which is impacting my property. Who do I contact?

Often these types of concerns can easily be resolved by discussing them with your neighbour. In almost all instances, these types of naturally occurring blockages are not a concern for or the NPCA or considered interference under our regulations. 

You may also want to contact your local municipality as the watercourse may be a Municipal Drain, or the municipality may have a Watercourse or similar By-law. If there are concerns with negative impacts caused to your property by the actions of an adjacent landowner that is a civil matter between individual property owners.


Filing of a Complaint

If you notice work that is being done is an area that may be regulated by the NPCA, let us know. Please do not use this form to enter concerns or complaints which are occurring on NPCA owned parks or properties, these concerns or inquiries should be directed here.

The NPCA only enforces its legislation on lands regulated under the Conservation Authorities Act and Ontario Regulation 155/06. To view an online map of the approximate areas regulated by the NPCA please visit our online mapping portal.

An NPCA Regulations Officer will review the information you provide and respond accordingly if the concern is within the NPCA’s jurisdiction. Generally, a Regulations Officer will not contact you directly unless additional information is required for an investigation. The more detail and information you provide is valuable in assisting the NPCA in their investigations


e.g. Nearest crossroads, or landmark if there is no street address.

Personal information collected by the Conservation Authority as a result of a regulatory complaint and any information collected during the processing and/or investigation of same is protected under the authority of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.