Saskatchewan adopts new environmental code

Friday, November 7, 2014

Saskatchewan has adopted an innovative environmental code, reflecting the province’s new results-based approach to environmental regulation.

Project developers will adhere to the same environmental standards as before; however, there will be more flexibility in how such standards are met.

Organizations will be empowered to say how code results can be achieved or surpassed, making it easier to apply innovative solutions.

Saskatchewan Environment Minister Scott Moe said the code will meet the challenges of economic growth and protect the environment for future generations.

“This streamlined regulatory process enables municipalities and industry to keep pace with growth, while ensuring Saskatchewan’s environment remains healthy,” said Moe.

The code can also be updated without the need for new regulations.

“It can operate as a living document that can be continuously improved and updated to keep up with the changing economy and developments in environmental protection, which is in itself a fundamental change,” said Len Andrychuk, partner at MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman and a member of the Code Development Committee.

The development process took about two years and included a public review period with experts and industry leaders involved at every level.

Code chapters dealing with forest management will become valid on January 5, 2015, with the remaining chapters in effect on June 1, 2015. Activities not included in the first edition of the code—from greenhouse gas emissions to landfills—will continue to be regulated as before.