Environment Yukon to update permitting regime

The Yukon government is consulting on changes to permits issued under the Environment Act.

The Yukon government is consulting on changes to permits issued under the Environment Act.

“Essentially what we’re doing here is reducing red tape, streamlining the process, and eliminating some unnecessary fees,” said Environment Minister Currie Dixon.

The permits will be made more flexible, allowing for a term of up to 10 years, rather than the arbitrary three years previously in place.

“With soil remediation sites, they need to be given a longer planning window than three years,” said Dixon. “Solid waste facilities, for instance, run by either municipalities or others, typically have a 10-year planning window.”

Application fees, currently ranging from free to $100, will be eliminated.

The fees caused an unnecessary bureaucratic hurdle, said Dixon.

“In some cases they cost more to collect than they’re worth.”

And regulations will require proponents to pay for technical reviews of their proposals where necessary.

This has already been government policy, but will be formalized in regulation, said Dixon.

There are currently about 500 Environment permit holders in the Yukon.

Permits are required for activities related to air emissions, contaminated sites, pesticides, solid waste and storage tanks, among others.

Permit holders include individuals, businesses, municipalities and other branches of government.

“I certainly expect anybody who has gone through the process of getting a permit would be happy to see this in place, because we’re making the process more flexible, more transparent, and eliminating some unnecessary fees,” said Dixon.

More information can be found at www.env.gov.yk.ca. Feedback will be accepted until August 31.

(Jacqueline Ronson)

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