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Alberta Wetland Replacement Fee: Changes Coming

December 19, 2018

On December 1, 2018, Alberta Environment and Parks announced that it would be changing the interim wetland replacement process. Under the current process, the applicant pays wetland replacement fees directly to an authorized third-party wetland replacement agent (e.g. Ducks Unlimited Canada). The agent allocated these funds for wetland restoration.

The new process will now have applicants pay the wetland replacement fees directly to the Government of Alberta.

AUMA has been following the implementation of the Alberta Wetland Policy. AUMA sees some positive benefits from this change. For example, the changing of the third party to the Government of Alberta allow more organizations to be the delivery agents and expand the geographic area for wetland restoration activities. Municipalities could potentially benefit from this change.

In early 2019, AUMA will bring more updates as we learn about the implementation of the new wetland replacement fee process.

About the Alberta Wetland Policy

The goals of the Alberta Wetland Policy are to conserve, restore, protect, and manage Alberta’s wetlands. The policy states that activities which may impact a wetland are expected to follow the mitigation hierarchy by first avoiding, and then minimizing and reclaiming impacts to wetlands. When avoidance and minimization efforts are not feasible or are proven ineffective, wetland replacement is required using one of the following options.

  • Permittee Responsible Replacement is an option that an applicant undertakes a wetland replacement project to restore a previously drained wetland or construct a new wetland.
  • Pay a wetland replacement fee for the permanent loss of wetland areas and relative wetland value.