BIA (Biophysical Impact Assessment) & WAIR (Wetland Assessment and Impact Report)


Biophysical Impact Assessments

The requirements of a Biophysical Impact Assessment are dependent upon the requirements of the County the work will be completed in.

General requirements:

  • Describe the proposed project and provide rationale

  • Identify regulatory requirements

  • Describe the existing environment including vegetation, wildlife, soils, terrain and wetlands

  • Predict the environmentalimpacts of the proposed project

  • Recommend mitigation and compensation measures

  • Identify cumulative effects

  • Recommend monitoring, if required

Wetland Assessment and Impact Report

A Wetland Assessment and Impact Report (WAIR) must be prepared by an Authenticating Professional and submitted with Water Act applications where impacts to a wetland will occur. A WAIR includes the identification and classification of the wetlands, the delineation of the wetland boundary, and the results of the on and offsite Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool (ABWRET). WAIR’s were formally Wetland Impact Assessments (WIA) before the implementation of the new Alberta Wetland Policy. The requirements of a WIA are also required in the WAIR.

The requirements of a WIA as outlines by the Provincial Wetland Restoration/Compensation Guide are as follows:

  • Wetland area

  • Hydrologic assessment

  • Statement of wetland benefits:

o   Hydrological

o   Ecological

o   Economical

  • Wetland classification based on either the Stewart and Kantrud or Cowardin Wetland Classification Systems.

  • Flora and fauna at the site, including presence of rare or endangered species

  • Type of wetland margin and average width of wetland margin

  • Surrounding upland use

  • Drainage area contributing to the wetlands

  • Review of historical aerial photographs

  • Existing wetland conditions

  • Photographs detailing the delineated wetland area, margin, and immediate upland area.

  • Statement of avoidance, minimized impacts, or impacts.