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Progress Update Land and Water Boards of the Mackenzie Valley

Standard Procedure and Consistency Working Groups Aiming For Consistency In March 2008, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board (MVLWB), the Gwich’in Land and Water Board (GLWB), the Sahtu Land and Water Board (SLWB), and the Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board (WLWB) established Standard Procedures and Consistency Working Groups. The purpose of these Working Groups is to improve regulatory consistency across the four Boards while taking into account regional differences. The aim of this initiative is to streamline and simplify our regulatory processes and improve clarity and certainty to industry and other parties.

The Working Groups #1 Public Engagement and Consultation #2 Plan Review Process and Guidelines #3 Water/Effluent Quality Guidelines #4 Terms and Conditions #5 Data Standards and Sharing #6 Application Processes

Key Accomplishments Water and Effluent Quality Management Policy This policy describes the Boards’ approach to setting limits, called effluent quality criteria (EQC), on the amount of waste that can be discharged from a project into the environment. By describing a standard, transparent approach to setting EQC, the policy addresses concerns raised in several audits of the NWT regulatory system. For a copy of the policy, go to Guidelines for Waste Management These guidelines outline the expectations of the Land and Water Boards with respect to waste management plans. The guidelines will be beneficial to all stakeholders because they will help to ensure waste management plans are submitted in a consistent format, provide a template for proponents to write a plan, and act as a benchmark for reviewers to evaluate a proponents’ plan. For a copy of the guidelines, go to

Key Accomplishments, continued Guidelines for the Closure and Reclamation of Advanced Mineral Exploration and Mine Sites in the Northwest Territories These guidelines provide proponents, regulators, and other interested parties with a uniform approach and clear expectations for closure planning. The guidelines apply to mineral exploration, advanced exploration and bulk sampling, and mining and milling. We are collaborating with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) to prepare a joint set of guidelines. We are currently incorporating public comments on the second draft of the guidelines. In the meantime, individual Land and Water Boards are already taking advantage of the work that has been done by using key sections of the guidelines to assist companies who are currently developing or updating closure and reclamation plans. Status: Public review of the second draft was completed on September 30, 2011.

Highlights Approved: Water and Effluent Quality Management Policy Approved: Guidelines for Developing a Waste Management Plan Officially Adopted: AANDC Spill Contingency Planning Guidelines Complete: Draft Guidelines for Closure and Reclamation Plans Complete: Legal review of Draft Engagement and Consultation Policy and Guidelines Complete: Legal determination of permitting authority for City of Yellowknife

Spill Contingency Planning Guidelines The Land and Water Boards of the Mackenzie Valley officially adopted the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Guidelines for Spill Contingency Planning (2007 and subsequent updates) for use by the Land and Water Boards of the Mackenzie Valley. The guidelines are now being applied throughout the NWT.


A standard list of terms of conditions for land use permits and water licences; Policy and guidelines for public engagement and consultation; Guidelines for completing water licence and land use permit applications.

For more information, please visit the Working Groups’ website at, or contact Patty Ewaschuk, Working Group Coordinator, at or (905) 852-1516.