Environmental Regulatory Compliance for
Highway Development and Operations

Species at Risk — Federal

Potential Approval, Permit or Code of Practice Requirements:

Species at Risk Act,  Section 73

(1) The competent minister (EC or DFO) may enter into an agreement with a person, or issue a permit to a person, authorizing the person to engage in an activity affecting a listed wildlife species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals.

(2) …if… (c) affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity.

(3) The agreement may be entered into, or the permit issued, only if the competent minister is of the opinion that (a) all reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted; (b) all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals; and (c) the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species.

Species at Risk Act,  Section 79

(1) Every person who is required by or under an Act of Parliament to ensure that an assessment of the environmental effects of a project is conducted must, without delay, notify the competent minister or ministers in writing of the project if it is likely to affect a listed wildlife species or its critical habitat.

(2) The person must identify the adverse effects of the project on the listed wildlife species and its critical habitat and, if the project is carried out, must ensure that measures are taken to avoid or lessen those effects and to monitor them. The measures must be taken in a way that is consistent with any applicable recovery strategy and action plans.


SARA provides for the legal protection of wildlife species to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct and to secure the necessary actions for their recovery. The Canada-BC Agreement on Species at Risk 2005 creates an administrative framework within which BC and Canada can exercise their respective powers for species at risk protection and recovery in BC. If the species is federally managed (on federal lands, aquatic species or migratory birds) BC will provide knowledge to EC, DFO and Parks Canada. If the species is provincially managed (not the above), EC, DFO and Parks Canada will provide knowledge to the Province (MoE), who is responsible for leading recovery processes for provincially managed species at risk.

Authorizations (Section 73 Permit) are required by anyone conducting activities that may affect species listed in Schedule 1 of SARA, as extirpated, endangered, or threatened (e.g., scientific research permit) and which contravene the Act's general or critical habitat prohibitions (sections 32-36).

Section 78 enables the Province to issue permits affecting provincially managed species at risk, having the same effect as, and meeting the requirements of a section 73 permit.


Relevant Section or Regulation:

Regulating Agency:


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