1998/99 Legislative Session: 3rd Session, 36th Parliament
THIRD READING


The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


Certified correct as passed Third Reading on the 12th day of July, 1999
Ian D. Izard, Law Clerk


HONOURABLE CATHY McGREGOR
MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, LANDS AND PARKS

 

BILL 72 -- 1999

WATER AMENDMENT ACT, 1999

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

1 Section 10 of the Water Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 483, is repealed and the following substituted:

Procedure to acquire licences

10 A person who applies for a licence must

(a) comply with any requirements established by regulation,

(b) comply with the directions of the comptroller or the regional water manager with respect to filing the application, giving notice of it by posting, service or publication and paying the prescribed fees, and

(c) provide the plans, specification and other information the comptroller or the regional water manager requires.

2 The following section is added:

Quick licensing procedures

12.1 (1) In this section:

"eligible application" means an application, other than an application in relation to an excluded stream, that complies with any requirements established by regulation and is

(a) an application for a licence, if

(i) the licence relates to

(A) a domestic purpose,

(B) an irrigation purpose or an industrial purpose for agricultural use, or

(C) another use or purpose established under subsection (10) (a), and

(ii) the proposed diversion or use of water to be authorized by the licence for a use or purpose referred to in subparagraph (i) does not exceed the maximum eligible quantity,

(b) an application for an amendment referred to in section 18, if

(i) the licence is for a use or purpose referred to in paragraph (a) (i),

(ii) in the case of an amendment for a change in purpose, the proposed purpose is for a use or purpose referred to in paragraph (a) (i), and

(iii) the diversion or use of water authorized by the licence for a use or purpose referred to in paragraph (a) (i) does not exceed the maximum eligible quantity,

(c) an application for a transfer of appurtenancy under section 19, if

(i) in the case of an application in relation to a licence or approval, the licence or approval is for a use or purpose referred to in paragraph (a) (i),

(ii) in the case of an application in relation to a permit, the permit relates to a licence or approval that is for a use or purpose referred to in paragraph (a) (i), and

(iii) the total diversion or use of water authorized to be transferred does not exceed the maximum eligible quantity, or

(d) an application for an apportionment under section 20, if

(i) the current licence and the proposed licences are for a use or purpose referred to in paragraph (a) (i), and

(ii) the diversion or use of water authorized by the current licence for the use does not exceed the maximum eligible quantity;

"excluded stream" means

(a) a stream that is designated as a sensitive stream under the Fish Protection Act, or

(b) a stream, or part of a stream, that is designated as an excluded stream by order under subsection (10) (b), including the tributaries of that stream or part unless otherwise expressly provided by the order;

"maximum eligible quantity" means,

(a) in relation to a domestic purpose,

(i) if no other quantity is established under subsection (10) (c), 500 gallons per day, and

(ii) if another quantity is established, the established amount,

(b) in relation to an irrigation purpose or an industrial purpose for agricultural use,

(i) if no other quantity is established under subsection (10) (c),

(A) 2 500 gallons per day in the case of a licence for which the quantity authorized for the purpose is stated in terms of gallons per day, or

(B) 1 acre foot per year, in the case of a licence for which the quantity authorized for the purpose is stated in terms of acre feet per year, and

(ii) if another quantity is established, the established amount, and

(c) in relation to a use or purpose referred to in paragraph (a) (i) (C) of the definition of "eligible application", the quantity established under subsection (10) (c).

(2) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), an eligible application may be accepted for filing under this section, in which case

(a) the application may be dealt with by a person authorized under subsection (6),

(b) the functions, duties and powers referred to in subsection (6) may be exercised in relation to the application, and

(c) the otherwise applicable requirements for notice and consideration of objections under sections 10, 11, 18, 19 and 20 do not apply.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to restrict the authority under any other provision of this Act or the regulations to give directions with respect to an application.

(4) The applicant may request that an eligible application be dealt with in accordance with the otherwise applicable procedures under this Act.

(5) The comptroller or regional water manager may refuse to accept an eligible application for filing under this section if

(a) the applicant fails to provide the information required by or under this Act in respect of the application, or

(b) in the opinion of the comptroller or regional water manager, circumstances respecting the stream or the application are such that the requirements referred to in subsection (2) (c) should apply.

(6) The comptroller or regional water manager may, in writing, authorize another official or class of official employed by the government to exercise, in respect of eligible applications, the functions, duties and powers of the comptroller or regional water manager under subsection (5) of this section and sections 10, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 and 26 (1).

(7) An authorization under subsection (6) may be subject to any limits or conditions specified by the comptroller or regional water manager, including a condition that licences under section 12 and permits under section 26 that are issued by an authorized official must include terms and conditions specified by the comptroller or regional water manager in the authorization.

(8) A decision under this section, or under a section referred to in subsection (6),

(a) as to whether an application is accepted for filing under this section, or

(b) respecting an application that has been accepted for filing under this section

is not appealable under section 40.

(9) For certainty, an application that is not accepted for filing under this section continues as an application to be dealt with in accordance with the otherwise applicable procedures under this Act.

(10) The minister may, by order, do one or more of the following:

(a) establish purposes or uses that may make an application an eligible application under this section, which may be different for different streams, different parts of a stream and streams in different areas;

(b) designate streams, or parts of streams, as excluded streams, by designating them

(i) specifically,

(ii) by area description,

(iii) by tributary relationship with other streams, or

(iv) by any other means that describes the excluded streams in a manner that allows them to be identified,

and, in relation to this, may provide that the tributaries of a designated stream or part of a stream are not to be considered excluded streams for the purposes of this section;

(c) establish the maximum eligible quantity of water that will allow an application to be an eligible application under this section, which may be different for different purposes, different uses, different streams, different parts of a stream and streams in different areas.

3 The following section is added:

Beneficial use declaration

22.01 (1) A licensee must submit to the comptroller, regional water manager or engineer a signed declaration in accordance with subsection (2) when directed to do this by the comptroller, regional water manager or engineer.

(2) A declaration required under subsection (1) must

(a) state whether the licensee has

(i) during the 3 years preceding the date of the declaration, made beneficial use of the authorized quantity of water for the purpose authorized under the licence,

(ii) during that period, diverted and used the water in the manner authorized under the licence, and

(iii) complied with all other terms and conditions of the licence,

(b) include any other information required by the comptroller, regional water manager or engineer, and

(c) be in the form required by the comptroller, regional water manager or engineer.

4 Section 23 (2) is amended by adding the following paragraph:

(h.1) material misstatement or misrepresentation in a declaration under section 22.01; .

5 Section 26 (1) is amended by striking out "the minister" and substituting "the comptroller or regional water manager".

6 Section 41 (1) is amended by adding the following paragraph:

(t.1) willfully makes a material misstatement or misrepresentation in a declaration under section 22.01; .

7 Section 46 (2) is amended by adding the following paragraph:

(m) the requirements that must be met in relation to applications under this Act, which may be different for applications that may be accepted for filing under section 12.1 than for applications dealt with in accordance with otherwise applicable procedures under this Act.

8 Section 48 is repealed and the following substituted:

Protection of officers

48 An action may not be brought against the comptroller or a regional water manager, engineer, officer, registrar, water recorder, water bailiff, arbitrator or person authorized under section 12.1 (6) for anything done or left undone by the person in good faith in the performance or intended performance of an authority conferred or duty imposed under this Act or the regulations.

Transition for quick licensing procedures

9 (1) An application under the Water Act that

(a) was submitted before section 12.1 of that Act came into force, and

(b) would have been an eligible application within the meaning of that section if the application had been submitted after that time

may be dealt with under that section as if it were an application accepted for filing under that section.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if an objection in relation to the application was received before section 12.1 of the Water Act came into force.

Commencement

10 This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.


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