Sponsors: District of Chetwynd, Peace River Regional District
WHEREAS the accumulation of gravel, sediment and debris such as trees and other obstructions in an active creek bed (aggradation) can increase flood hazards on alluvial fans and promote erosion of previously deposited materials, and an environmentally appropriate in-stream sediment and obstruction management program can be an important part of a local government’s flood hazard mitigation program;
AND WHEREAS careful consideration needs to be given to the scale of intended actions, and recognizing that much larger excavations done under emergency conditions during flood events could greatly increase the scale of unintended actions to the environment;
AND WHEREAS removal of gravel and obstructions from creek beds as a means of managing water surface elevations is possible, the regulatory requirements are relatively complex, and the timing of the various steps must be considered well in advance of the intended works since the approval process needs to be completed prior to nesting periods and fisheries work windows:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM lobby the provincial government to work with local governments to streamline the regulatory processes and develop management guidelines, best practices, policies, and regulations to permit local governments to perform sediment and obstruction removal work, in the most minimally disturbing way to aquatic habitats, in streambeds that have been dry for at least one week prior to commencement of work in order to minimize flooding during heavy-rain events;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the development of these stream-bed management guidelines, best practices, policies, and regulations be given high priority.
UBCM Comments: The UBCM membership has not previously considered a specific resolution calling for streamlined regulatory processes and the prioritized development of management guidelines for sediment management and flood mitigation. However, Resolution 2012-B62 similarly called for the development of clear and consistent policies for the implementation of environmental legislation and associated approvals for flood mitigation works. The membership also endorsed Resolution 2009-B8 that called on the senior orders of government to allow proactive and co-operative solutions to flood mitigation and dyke repairs through ‘in-stream’ work.