Planning & Permits


On February 16, 2024, a new Minister’s regulation (Ontario Regulation 41/24: Prohibited Activities, Exemptions and Permits) under subsection 28(1) of the Conservation Authorities Act was approved by the Province.

This regulation will replace the existing individual “Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses” regulation (Ontario Regulation 155/06) held by NPCA. Moving forward, Ontario Regulation 41/24 will be used by all conservation authorities.

The new regulation will come into effect starting April 1, 2024.

The NPCA still requires that a permit be obtained before undertaking development, interference and alteration activities in regulated areas as defined under the Conservation Authorities Act and in Ontario Regulation 41/24.

  • Applications submitted prior to the enactment of Ontario Regulation 41/24 will follow the previous process in place up to March 31, 2024.
  • New permit applications submitted on or after April 1, 2024 will follow the new processes outlined in Section 28.1 of the Conservation Authorities Act and Ontario Regulation 41/24. 

The NPCA will continue to work on a transition plan, discussing details with municipal partners to minimize disruptions to approval processes for development and permit applications. Staff are available to help answer any questions you may have on these changes and how they may affect any proposed project.


The NPCA is responsible for regulating development activities within areas described in Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act and Ontario Regulation 41/24, commonly referred to as Regulated Areas. These include:

  • watercourses (including flood plains and meander belt)
  • hazardous lands
  • wetlands (and adjacent lands up to 30 metres)
  • river or stream valleys
  • areas that are adjacent or close to the shoreline of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River System or to an inland lake and that may be affected by flooding, erosion or dynamic beach hazards

Construction, site alteration and development (collectively termed development activities) in these areas is regulated to control changes to watercourses, floodplains, wetlands and steep slopes, in order to prevent flooding and erosion problems. 

The term 'Development activities' is defined in Ontario Regulation 41/24 and include:

  • the construction, reconstruction, erection or placing of a building or structure of any kind
  • any change to a building or structure that would have the effect of altering the use or potential use of the building or structure, increasing the size of the building or structure or increasing the number of dwelling units in the building or structure
  • site grading
  • the temporary or permanent placing, dumping or removal of any material, originating on the site or elsewhere;

In addition, any activity to straighten, change, divert or interfere in any way with the existing channel of a river, creek, stream or watercourse or to change or interfere in any way with a wetland is also regulated under Ontario Regulation 41/24.


The Conservation Authorities Act requires that a permit be acquired before undertaking development activities within a Regulated Area.

Before applying for this permit, contact NPCA staff to confirm the information that will need to be included with the application. This process is referred to as Pre-Consultation. If you do not pre-consult with NPCA staff, your application may be deemed incomplete, resulting in delays to your project.


The NPCA maintains mapping that shows the approximate limit of regulated areas and makes this information available to the public through its Watershed Explorer Mapping tool.

Although we strive to keep our mapping up to date, not all areas regulated by NPCA are depicted on the mapping. Where there is a discrepancy between NPCA’s mapping and the description of a regulated area in Ontario Regulation 41/24, the description in the Regulation prevails.


NPCA staff can assist you in determining if your property is within a Regulated Area and how NPCA’s Planning and Permitting Policies apply.

You can contact us by phone (905-788-3135) or email:

If you require a formal written letter verifying NPCA Regulated areas for your property, please submit the Property Information Request Form (right column) along with the required fee to


For utility providers (e.g. phone, internet, gas, etc.) or municipal partners working on different infrastructure/capital projects and maintenance works within an NPCA Regulated area, please send inquiries or applications to

Permitting Process FAQ

How do I know if my property is in a regulated area?

To find out if your property is impacted by NPCA regulated lands, please use our online mapping tool— Watershed Explorer.

Should you require further assistance, please contact NPCA planning department at 905-788-3135 or

How do I know what I can and cannot do on my property?

To learn more about the work that you may or may not be able to conduct on your property, please review the NPCA’s current Policy Document.

  • Chapters 1 and 2 provide an overview of the background, planning and legislative framework of the policies, intended to summarize the general basis for the policies.
  • Chapter 3 describes the overall vision for the watershed and a series of high-level statements which correlate to the legislative underpinnings of the policies.
  • Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7 provide the detailed policies for natural hazards, including flooding hazards, Great Lakes and Niagara River shoreline hazard, valley land erosion hazards and hazardous sites (e.g., unstable soils).
  • Chapters 8 and 9 cover development and interference with wetlands and watercourses.
  • Chapters 10, and 11 cover a set of discrete policies for fill placement and municipal drains.

For more information on next steps, please contact NPCA planning department at 905-788-3135 or

When contacting a Watershed Planner about a future proposal, it is helpful to include a brief description and site plan of the proposed works.

How can I apply for an NPCA Work Permit to do works on my property (in areas regulated by NPCA)?

We welcome you to download the NPCA Permit Application. Please review the general submission requirements and guidelines.

Prior to submitting your application, we encourage you to also review the NPCA’s Policy Document. It provides the principles, objectives, and policies for the administration of the NPCA’s mandate under Ontario Regulation 41/24, as well as its delegated roles and responsibilities within the planning and approvals process.

The document is intended as a guide for decision makers, landowners, developers, municipal planners and residents.

What are the costs associated with the NPCA’s planning and permit services, such as Planning Act Review, NEC Review, etc.?

Please review the NPCA’s Planning Fees Document. These are subject to change.