The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) recently released the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act Administrative Guide (Guide) together with a series of supporting technical bulletins. These documents are intended to provide direction to the MNR staff responsible for reviewing and approving applications under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA) for new works and alterations to existing structures in regulated waters.
Among other things, the Guide outlines the basic requirements of the LRIA, summarizes when the LRIA will apply and describes the process for obtaining an LRIA approval for new works and alterations. The technical bulletins describe technical standards and criteria to construct new dams or make alterations to existing dams that the MNR uses in reviewing applications. The MNR has also released accompanying best management practices, which are intended to provide voluntary guidance to dam owners wishing to adopt industry-recognized best management practices for ensuring the safety of their dams and the public around dams.