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1st Session, 40th Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 25

THE GROUNDWATER AND WATER WELL AND RELATED AMENDMENTS ACT


Explanatory Note Bilingual version (PDF) Table of Contents

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

PART 1

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Definitions

1           The following definitions apply in this Act.

"abandoned well" means a well or test hole not in present use and not maintained for future use, and includes a well or test hole declared by the director under section 46 to be an abandoned well. (« puits abandonné »)

"approved aquifer management plan" means an aquifer management plan approved under Part 5. (« plan de gestion d'aquifères approuvé »)

"aquifer" means a water-bearing geological formation that is capable of producing water to wells or springs in sufficient quantities to serve as a source of water supply. (« aquifère »)

"aquifer management zone" means an aquifer management zone designated under section 69. (« zone de gestion des aquifères »)

"aquifer planning authority" means an aquifer planning authority appointed under section 70 for an aquifer management zone. (« organisme de planification de l'exploitation des aquifères »)

"certificate of qualification" means a certificate of qualification issued to a well driller or a well sealer under section 17. (« certificat professionnel »)

"certified well driller" means an individual holding a certificate of qualification as a well driller issued under section 17. (« foreur de puits agréé »)

"certified well sealer" means an individual holding a certificate of qualification as a well sealer issued under section 17. (« scelleur de puits agréé »)

"closed loop geothermal well" means a well used for heat exchange in a closed loop geothermal system in which there is no transfer of water between the well and an aquifer. (« puits géothermique en boucle fermée »)

"conservation district" means a district as defined in The Conservation Districts Act. (« district de conservation »)

"construct", in relation to a well or test hole, means to do any work in relation to the digging, drilling, installing, modifying or repairing of the well or test hole, including the partial sealing of the well or test hole, but does not include

(a) the complete sealing of the well or test hole; or

(b) a minor modification or repair of the well or test hole. (« construire »)

"contaminated well" means a well or test hole that

(a) is declared by the director under section 45 to be a contaminated well; or

(b) meets the prescribed criteria, if any, for being classified as a contaminated well. (« puits contaminé »)

"court" means the Court of Queen's Bench. (« tribunal »)

"designated dyking system" means a designated dyking system as defined in The Water Resources Administration Act. (« réseau de digues reconnu »)

"designated flood area" means a designated flood area as defined in The Water Resources Administration Act. (« zone inondable reconnue »)

"development plan" means a development plan under The Planning Act. (« plan de mise en valeur »)

"dewatering well" means a well used to lower groundwater levels for construction purposes, including to allow for the construction of, or any use of, an underground space. (« puits d'exhaure »)

"dig" means to excavate an opening in the ground either manually or mechanically by a method other than drilling. (« excaver »)

"director", except where it refers to a director of a corporation, means a person appointed as a director under subsection 7(1) and, if more than one is appointed, "the director" means any one of them. (« directeur »)

"domestic purposes", in relation to the use of water, means one or more of the following purposes:

(a) household purposes;

(b) sanitary purposes;

(c) the watering of lawns or gardens;

(d) the watering of livestock or poultry. (« fins domestiques »)

"drill" means to excavate an opening in the ground using a drill or similar tool, including a rotary, air, jet or sonic drill, an auger or a cable tool. (« forer »)

"flood protection level" means the flood protection level as defined in the Designated Flood Area Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 59/2002. (« niveau de protection contre les inondations »)

"flowing artesian well" means a well in which water rises above the surface of the ground, either continuously or intermittently. The term "flowing artesian test hole" has a corresponding meaning. (« puits jaillissant »)

"former Act" means The Ground Water and Water Well Act, R.S.M. 1987, c. G110. (« ancienne loi »)

"geotechnical well" means a well used for the purpose of obtaining geotechnical information. (« puits géotechnique »)

"groundwater" means all water under the surface of the ground, whether in solid or liquid form. (« eaux souterraines »)

"injection well" means a well constructed for the purpose of

(a) disposing of saline or waste water; or

(b) injecting water into an aquifer for storage or any other purpose;

but does not include an open loop geothermal well. (« puits d'injection »)

"medical officer" means a medical officer of health appointed or designated under The Public Health Act. (« médecin hygiéniste »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

"minor modification or repair" means a modification or repair of a well or test hole in which potential adverse effects on

(a) water in the well or test hole; or

(b) groundwater in the area of the well or test hole;

resulting from the modification or repair are insignificant or non-existent. (« modification ou réparation mineure »)

"modify", in relation to a well or test hole, means to undertake any structural alteration to the well or test hole, including deepening it, altering it or its casing or screen, or partially sealing the well or test hole, but does not include completely sealing the well or test hole. (« modifier »)

"monitoring well" means a well used for the purpose of collecting groundwater information such as groundwater level, quality or temperature. (« puits de surveillance »)

"municipality" includes a community as defined in The Northern Affairs Act. (« municipalité »)

"open loop geothermal well" means a source or return well used in an open loop geothermal system in which there is a transfer of water between the well and an aquifer. (« puits géothermique en boucle ouverte »)

"owner", in relation to land upon which a well or a test hole is located or being constructed, means a person who is shown as the registered owner of the land under The Real Property Act or the owner of the land under The Registry Act, and, if there is more than one owner or registered owner, means any of them. (« propriétaire »)

"partial sealing" means the sealing of a portion of a well or test hole, with a material or a mixture of materials as specified in the regulations, in a manner that allows for continued use of the well or test hole for its intended purpose. (« sceller partiellement »)

"person" includes a municipality, partnership, syndicate, trustee and joint venture, and an association of persons. (« personne »)

"personal information" means personal information as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. (« renseignements personnels »)

"planning district" means a planning district as defined in The Planning Act. (« district d'aménagement du territoire »)

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations under this Act.

"production well" means a well used for water supply purposes, including one or more of the following purposes: domestic, agricultural, irrigation, municipal, commercial or industrial. (« puits de production »)

"professional engineer" means a professional engineer as defined in The Engineering and Geoscientific Professions Act. (« ingénieur »)

"professional geoscientist" means a professional geoscientist as defined in The Engineering and Geoscientific Professions Act. (« géoscientifique »)

"saline water" means water that meets the prescribed criteria, if any, for being classified as saline water. (« eau saline »)

"sealing" means the act of filling a well or a test hole with a material or a mixture of materials as specified in the regulations, but does not include the partial sealing of a well. (« sceller »)

"supervision", in relation to work being supervised, means that the supervisor is physically present and available to assist the person or persons performing the work. (« supervision »)

"test hole" means a temporary hole that

(a) is drilled or dug for the purpose of obtaining information — including information on thermal properties — in respect of soil, bedrock, groundwater or an aquifer; and

(b) does not have a permanent well casing installed. (« trou de forage d'essai »)

"test well" means a temporary well that is drilled or dug for the purpose of obtaining information — including information on thermal properties — in respect of groundwater or an aquifer. (« puits d'essai »)

"well" means

(a) an opening made by drilling or digging into the ground, and into which a permanent well casing is installed, for the purpose of obtaining groundwater — whether or not groundwater is obtained — or information on groundwater or an aquifer, including, by way of example,

(i) a test well,

(ii) a monitoring well,

(iii) a production well,

(iv) a dewatering well,

(v) an open loop geothermal well, and

(vi) a flowing artesian well;

(b) a closed loop geothermal well;

(c) a geotechnical well; and

(d) an injection well;

and includes any related equipment, materials and appurtenances. (« puits »)

"well drilling contractor" means a well drilling contractor licensed under section 10. (« entrepreneur en forage de puits »)

"well drilling officer" means a person appointed as a well drilling officer under subsection 7(2). (« agent de forage de puits »)

"well screen" means a filtering device attached to a well casing and designed to allow water into the well while keeping sediment out. (« filtre de puits »)

Reference to "Act" includes regulations

2           In this Act, a reference to "this Act" includes the regulations made under this Act.

Geographic location of an aquifer or groundwater

3           The geographic location of the surface of the ground directly above an aquifer or groundwater may be used to describe or determine the geographic location of that aquifer or groundwater, for the purpose of this Act or in any matter or proceeding under this Act.

Purpose of this Act

4           The purpose of this Act is

(a) to provide for the protection and stewardship of Manitoba's aquifers and groundwater;

(b) to ensure that the construction, maintenance and sealing of wells and test holes meet standards that protect

(i) the environmental quality of Manitoba's aquifers and groundwater, and

(ii) human health and safety; and

(c) to provide for the collection and sharing of well, aquifer and groundwater information to better understand, manage, conserve, protect, develop and use Manitoba's aquifers and groundwater.

Exclusions from application of this Act

5           This Act does not apply to the following:

(a) a well or test hole to which The Mines and Minerals Act applies;

(b) a well or test hole to which The Oil and Gas Act applies;

(c) any other prescribed class of wells or test holes.

Exclusions from licensing and certification requirements

6           Sections 8 (licence required for well construction business) and 15 (certificate required for well construction or well sealing) do not apply to

(a) the construction of a well or test hole by an individual, using equipment owned or operated by the individual, on land that the individual owns or on which he or she operates an agricultural operation, if it is constructed for the purpose of obtaining water at a total rate of not more than 25,000 litres per day, for either or both of the following purposes:

(i) the domestic purposes of the individual or his or her household,

(ii) the purposes of an agricultural operation on that land;

(b) the sealing of a well or test hole — other than a flowing artesian well, a flowing artesian test hole, an injection well, a contaminated well or a well or test hole containing saline water — by an individual, using equipment owned or operated by the individual, on land that the individual owns or on which he or she operates an agricultural operation;

(c) the construction or sealing of a test hole, test well or monitoring well by a professional engineer or professional geoscientist, using equipment operated by the engineer or geoscientist;

(d) an individual working under the supervision of

(i) a certified well driller,

(ii) a certified well sealer, or

(iii) a person described in clauses (a) to (c); or

(e) a member of a prescribed class of persons.

Appointment of directors

7(1)        The minister may appoint one or more persons as directors for the purpose of this Act.

Appointment of well drilling officers

7(2)        The minister may appoint one or more persons or classes of persons as well drilling officers for the purpose of this Act.

PART 2

LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION

WELL DRILLING CONTRACTORS

Licence required for well construction business

8           No person shall engage in, or hold himself or herself out as being engaged in, the business of constructing wells or test holes, unless the person holds a well drilling contractor licence issued under this Act.

Application for licence or renewal of licence

9(1)        A person may apply to the director, on an application form approved by the director, for

(a) a well drilling contractor licence; or

(b) the renewal of a well drilling contractor licence.

Applicant to provide information and licence fee

9(2)        When applying for a licence or the renewal of a licence, the applicant must provide to the director

(a) the information required by the application form and this Act;

(b) proof that the applicant meets the requirements of section 10;

(c) any additional information requested by the director; and

(d) the prescribed licence or licence renewal fee.

Well drilling contractor licence

10          Subject to sections 11 (refusal to issue licence) and 23 (refusal to renew, cancellation and suspension), the director must issue a well drilling contractor licence, or renew a licence, if

(a) the applicant,

(i) in the case of an individual, is a certified well driller whose certificate of qualification authorizes him or her to construct the type of wells or test holes indicated in the application, or is entitled, by virtue of The Labour Mobility Act, to be granted the licence or renewal,

(ii) in the case of a corporation, has a director or officer who is a certified well driller with the qualifications described in subclause (i), or employs a certified well driller with those qualifications, or

(iii) in the case of a partnership, has a partner who is a certified well driller with the qualifications described in subclause (i), or employs a certified well driller with those qualifications;

(b) the applicant owns, leases or otherwise possesses equipment that enables the applicant to construct wells or test holes to the standards required by this Act;

(c) the applicant possesses liability insurance or other liability coverage in the prescribed amount and form; and

(d) the applicant meets any other prescribed qualifications or requirements.

Refusal to issue licence

11(1)       The director may refuse to issue a well drilling contractor licence if

(a) the applicant does not meet the requirements of section 10;

(b) the applicant provides incomplete, false, misleading or inaccurate information in support of the application;

(c) a licence or similar approval previously issued to the applicant

(i) under this Act or the former Act, or

(ii) by an authority responsible for issuing licenses or similar approvals for the construction of wells in any other jurisdiction,

is suspended or has been cancelled, or the applicant has been refused a renewal of such a licence or approval;

(d) the applicant is in breach of, or has failed to comply with, a warning or order issued under this Act, and the director believes it would not be in the public interest to approve the application; or

(e) the applicant has been convicted of an offence under this Act or under any other Act or regulation that is relevant to the applicant's suitability to practise as a well drilling contractor.

Applicant is a corporation or partnership

11(2)       In addition to the grounds listed under subsection (1), the director may refuse to issue a licence to a corporation or partnership if,

(a) in the case of a corporation, a director or officer of the corporation

(i) could be refused a licence under subsection (1), or

(ii) was a director or officer of a corporation, or a member of a partnership, that could be refused a licence under subsection (1); or

(b) in the case of a partnership, a member of the partnership

(i) could be refused a licence under subsection (1), or

(ii) was a director or officer of a corporation, or a member of a partnership, that could be refused a licence under subsection (1).

Reasons for refusal

11(3)       The director must give written reasons for refusing to issue a licence.

Identification plates and annual validation strips

12(1)       When issuing or renewing a well drilling contractor licence, the director must issue the following in accordance with the regulations:

(a) an identification plate for each drilling machine that the contractor is licensed to operate;

(b) an annual validation strip to be affixed to the identification plate.

Identification plates and strips to be affixed

12(2)       A well drilling contractor must ensure that identification plates and annual validation strips issued to the contractor are affixed in accordance with the regulations.

Identification plates and strips not transferable

12(3)       No well drilling contractor shall transfer an identification plate or an annual validation strip to any other person.

Terms and conditions of licence

13          The following terms and conditions apply to a well drilling contractor licence:

1.  The licence holder must maintain, in good working order, the equipment owned, leased or otherwise possessed by the licence holder that is necessary for the purpose of carrying on the licence holder's business.

2.  The licence holder must maintain, at all times, liability insurance or other liability coverage in the prescribed amount and form.

3.  The terms and conditions, if any, imposed under section 21.

Work must be done by qualified persons

14          A well drilling contractor who undertakes the construction of a well or test hole must ensure that all work done with respect to the construction of it is done or supervised by

(a) a certified well driller who is acting within the authority of his or her certificate of qualification; or

(b) a member of a prescribed class of persons in accordance with any prescribed conditions.

WELL DRILLERS AND WELL SEALERS

Certificate required for well construction

15(1)       No individual other than a certified well driller acting within the authority of his or her certificate of qualification shall

(a) construct a well or a test hole;

(b) dig, drill or operate a machine for the purpose of doing any work relating to the construction of a well or a test hole;

(c) do any other work or activity, including any prescribed work or activity, relating to the construction of a well or a test hole; or

(d) represent or hold himself or herself out as a certified well driller.

Certificate required for well sealing

15(2)       No individual other than a certified well sealer acting within the authority of his or her certificate of qualification shall

(a) seal a well or a test hole;

(b) do any work or activity, including any prescribed work or activity, relating to the sealing of a well or a test hole; or

(c) represent or hold himself or herself out as a certified well sealer.

Application for certificate or renewal of certificate

16(1)       An individual may apply to the director, on an application form approved by the director, for

(a) a certificate of qualification as a well driller;

(b) a certificate of qualification as a well sealer; or

(c) the renewal of a certificate of qualification.

Applicant to provide information and certificate fee

16(2)       When applying for a certificate of qualification or the renewal of a certificate, the applicant must provide to the director

(a) the information required by the application form and this Act;

(b) proof that the applicant meets the requirements of section 17;

(c) any additional information requested by the director; and

(d) the prescribed certificate or certificate renewal fee.

Certificate of qualification

17          Subject to sections 18 (refusal to issue certificate) and 23 (refusal to renew, cancellation and suspension), the director must issue or renew a certificate of qualification, if

(a) the applicant

(i) is at least 18 years of age, and

(ii) meets the prescribed qualifications or requirements; or

(b) the applicant is entitled to be granted a certificate, or a renewal of a certificate, by virtue of The Labour Mobility Act.

Refusal to issue certificate

18(1)       The director may refuse to issue a certificate of qualification if

(a) the applicant does not meet the requirements of section 17;

(b) the applicant provides incomplete, false, misleading or inaccurate information in support of the application;

(c) a licence or similar approval previously issued to the applicant

(i) under this Act or the former Act, or

(ii) by an authority responsible for issuing licences or similar approvals with respect to the drilling or sealing of wells in any other jurisdiction,

is suspended or has been cancelled, or the applicant has applied for a renewal of such an approval and the renewal has been refused;

(d) the applicant is in breach of, or has failed to comply with, a warning or order issued under this Act, and the director believes it would not be in the public interest to approve the application; or

(e) the applicant has been convicted of an offence under this Act or under any other Act or regulation that is relevant to the applicant's suitability to practise as a well driller or a well sealer.

Reasons for refusal

18(2)       The director must give written reasons for refusing to issue a certificate of qualification.

Terms and conditions of certificate

19           The following terms and conditions apply to a certificate of qualification:

1.  Each holder of a certificate of qualification must, while doing or supervising any work, carry a copy of his or her certificate and produce it upon request to the director, a well drilling officer or to the owner of the land on which the work is being done.

2.  A certified well driller must not, except in the prescribed circumstances, if any, work or supervise work in connection with the construction of a well or a test hole, unless

(a) the certified well driller performs the work or supervision in his or her capacity as an employee or agent of a well drilling contractor; or

(b) the certified well driller also holds a well drilling contractor licence.

3.  A certified well sealer who performs or supervises any work in relation to the sealing of a well or a test hole must, unless the work or supervision is performed in his or her capacity as an employee or agent of a well drilling contractor, possess liability insurance or other liability coverage in the prescribed amount and form.

4.  If a regulation has been made establishing one or more classes of certification, a certified well driller or certified well sealer is subject to the requirements, restrictions, limits, terms and conditions that apply to his or her class of certification.

5.  The terms and conditions, if any, imposed under section 21.

PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO BOTH LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION

Licence or certificate not transferable or assignable

20          No person shall assign or transfer a well drilling contractor licence or a certificate of qualification.

Additional terms and conditions of licence or certificate

21          The director may impose terms or conditions on a well drilling contractor licence or a certificate of qualification at the time of issuing or renewing the licence or certificate or at any other time by written notice to the holder of the licence or certificate. These terms or conditions are in addition to any terms and conditions imposed by this Act.

Duration of licence or certificate

22(1)       Unless an earlier date is specified in a well drilling contractor licence or a certificate of qualification, or it is cancelled under subsection 23(1), a licence or certificate of qualification expires

(a) on December 31 of the year for which it was issued; or

(b) if it was renewed, on December 31 of the year for which it was renewed, unless it is further renewed.

Validity during consideration of renewal application

22(2)       Despite subsection (1), if an applicant applies for a renewal of his or her licence or certificate of qualification before it would otherwise expire under that subsection, the licence or certificate continues to be valid until

(a) it is renewed; or

(b) the applicant is given notice of the director's decision not to renew it under subsection 23(4) or (5).

Refusal to renew, cancellation and suspension

23(1)       Subject to subsection (2), the director may refuse to renew a well drilling contractor licence or a certificate of qualification, or may cancel or suspend a licence or certificate,

(a) for any reason for which the director may refuse to issue a licence under subsection 11(1) or (2) or a certificate of qualification under subsection 18(1);

(b) if the holder of the licence or certificate of qualification fails to provide information required by this Act or the director, or provides incomplete, false, misleading or inaccurate information to the director;

(c) if the holder of the licence or certificate of qualification contravenes or fails to comply with this Act; or

(d) if the holder of the licence or certificate of qualification contravenes or fails to comply with its terms or conditions.

Notice required

23(2)       Before refusing to renew a licence or certificate of qualification, or cancelling or suspending a licence or certificate, the director must give written notice to the holder of the licence or certificate

(a) that the director intends to not renew the licence or certificate, or to cancel or suspend it, for the reasons provided; and

(b) that the holder of the licence or certificate may, within 14 days after being given the notice,

(i) make a written submission to the director as to why the application for renewal should be approved, or why the licence or certificate should not be cancelled or suspended, or

(ii) contact the director to arrange a date and time for a hearing before the director.

Extending time

23(3)       The director may extend the 14-day period referred to in clause (2)(b).

If no submission made or hearing arranged

23(4)       If the holder of the licence or certificate of qualification does not take action under clause (2)(b) within the 14-day period or any extended period under subsection (3), the director may take the action stated in the notice. Upon doing so, the director must give notice of the decision to the holder of the licence or certificate.

Decision after submission or hearing

23(5)       After considering a written submission or holding a hearing, the director must prepare written reasons for his or her decision, and give the holder of the licence or certificate notice of the decision and a copy of the reasons.

When cancellation or suspension becomes effective

23(6)       A decision to cancel or suspend a licence or certificate of qualification takes effect when notice of the decision is given to the holder of the licence or certificate of qualification, or on the date specified in the decision, whichever is later.

Appeal to minister

24(1)       A decision of the director

(a) to refuse to issue or renew a well drilling contractor licence or a certificate of qualification; or

(b) to cancel or suspend a well drilling contractor licence or a certificate of qualification;

may be appealed to the minister by the person who applied for or held the licence or certificate.

How to appeal

24(2)       An appeal to the minister must be made by filing a written notice of appeal with the minister within 14 days, or such further time as the minister may allow, after a copy of the director's decision was given to the appellant.

Content of notice of appeal

24(3)       A notice of appeal must state the reasons for the appeal and the facts relied upon.

Stay of decision

24(4)       An appeal of a decision does not stay the decision pending the outcome of the appeal, unless the minister orders a stay.

Minister's decision

24(5)       The minister may

(a) confirm the director's decision; or

(b) allow the appeal, on any terms and conditions that the minister considers appropriate.

Decision is final

24(6)       The minister's decision under subsection (5) is final and is not subject to appeal.

Notice of decision

24(7)       The minister must give notice of his or her decision by mailing it to the appellant at the address provided in the appellant's notice of appeal.

Reinstatement

25          The director may reinstate a well drilling contractor licence or certificate of qualification that has been suspended, cancelled or not renewed upon such terms and conditions that the director considers appropriate.

PUBLIC REGISTER OF WELL DRILLING CONTRACTORS, WELL DRILLERS AND WELL SEALERS

Director to establish and maintain public register

26(1)       The director must establish and maintain a public register of well drilling contractors, certified well drillers and certified well sealers. The register may be in electronic form.

Information to be contained in the public register

26(2)       The public register is to contain the following information for each well drilling contractor, certified well driller and certified well sealer:

(a) the person's name, business address and business telephone number;

(b) the terms and conditions, if any, imposed on the person's licence or certificate of qualification under section 21;

(c) the prescribed information, if any.

Director to be notified of change in information

26(3)       A well drilling contractor, certified well driller or certified well sealer must advise the director in writing within 30 days after any change in the information listed in clause (2)(a).

Availability of information in the public register

27          The information in the public register must be made available to the public during normal business hours.

PART 3

PROTECTION OF AQUIFERS

AND GROUNDWATER

PROHIBITIONS

Protecting groundwater — well construction and sealing

28           No person shall construct or seal a well or test hole, or do any work in relation to constructing or sealing a well or test hole, in a manner that contaminates, adversely affects or that may contaminate or adversely affect the quality of

(a) water in the well or test hole; or

(b) groundwater in the area of the well or test hole.

Prohibition — deposit of contaminants, etc.

29(1)       No person shall

(a) deposit, discharge or place, in or near a well or test hole; or

(b) allow another person to deposit, discharge or place, in or near a well or test hole located on land that the first person owns, leases or otherwise occupies;

any material, substance or other thing that contaminates or adversely affects, or that may contaminate or adversely affect, water in the well or test hole or groundwater in the area of the well or test hole.

Exception if activity is authorized

29(2)       Subsection (1) does not apply if the material, substance or other thing that is deposited, discharged or placed in or near the well or test hole is done

(a) in accordance with any other provision of this Act;

(b) under The Environment Act or any other Act or regulation of Manitoba; or

(c) under an Act or regulation of Canada.

CONTAMINATION FOUND DURING CONSTRUCTION OR SEALING

Suspected contamination

30          In sections 31 to 33, "suspected contamination" means that groundwater or soil

(a) emits an odour; or

(b) is visibly discoloured or otherwise altered in appearance;

in such a manner that a reasonable person would believe the groundwater or soil to be contaminated.

Construction to stop if contamination found or suspected

31(1)       If, during the construction of a well or test hole, contamination or suspected contamination of groundwater or soil adjacent to groundwater is found, the person performing the construction must immediately

(a) stop the construction of the well or test hole; and

(b) report the finding of contamination or suspected contamination by telephoning the emergency response telephone number specified in the regulations.

Construction not to resume without authorization

31(2)       No person shall resume constructing a well or test hole described in subsection (1) unless authorized by the director, a well drilling officer or an environment officer appointed under The Environment Act.

Action to prevent spread of contamination

31(3)       After a report is made under clause (1)(b), the director or a well drilling officer may take any action under this Act he or she considers necessary, which may include, without limitation, an order under section 53 requiring the owner to secure the site and seal, or arrange for a certified well sealer to seal, the well or test hole.

Section does not apply

31(4)       This section does not apply to a person constructing a well or test hole in circumstances excluded by regulation from the application of this section.

Sealing to stop if contamination found or suspected 32(1) If, during the sealing of a well or test hole — not including sealing done as a requirement under subsection 31(3) — contamination or suspected contamination of groundwater or soil adjacent to groundwater is found, the person performing the sealing must immediately

(a) stop the sealing of the well or test hole; and

(b) report the finding of contamination or suspected contamination by telephoning the emergency response telephone number specified in the regulations.

Sealing not to resume without authorization

32(2)       No person shall resume sealing a well or test hole described in subsection (1) unless authorized by the director, a well drilling officer or an environment officer appointed under The Environment Act.

Action to prevent spread of contamination

32(3)       After a report is made under clause (1)(b), the director or a well drilling officer may take any action under this Act he or she considers necessary, which may include, without limitation, an order under section 53 requiring the owner to secure the site and complete the sealing, or arrange for a certified well sealer to complete the sealing, of the well or test hole.

Section does not apply

32(4)       This section does not apply to a person sealing a well or test hole in circumstances excluded by regulation from the application of this section.

PERMITS AND OTHER SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Sealing of flowing artesian, saline, contaminated and suspected contaminated wells and test holes

33(1)       No person other than a certified well sealer acting within the authority of his or her certificate of qualification shall seal, or do any work in relation to the sealing of,

(a) a flowing artesian well or test hole;

(b) a well or test hole that contains saline water;

(c) a contaminated well; or

(d) a well or test hole if there is suspected contamination of groundwater in the well or test hole, or of soil adjacent to the groundwater.

Work to be done in accordance with requirements

33(2)       A certified well sealer carrying out work under subsection (1) must do so in accordance with the regulations or under the authority of a permit issued under section 38.

Application of section

33(3)       This section applies in relation to a well or test hole described in clause (1)(c) or (d) if the person knows or ought to know

(a) that the well or test hole is a contaminated well, even if it has not been declared to be a contaminated well; or

(b) that there is suspected contamination of groundwater in the well or test hole or in soil adjacent to the groundwater.

Sensitive groundwater areas

34          No person shall, except in accordance with the regulations or as authorized by a permit issued under section 38, do any work in relation to the construction or sealing of a well or a test hole in an area designated by regulation as a sensitive groundwater area.

Injection wells

35          No person shall construct or seal an injection well, or do any work in relation to the construction or sealing of an injection well, except as authorized by a permit issued under section 38.

Permit and other requirements not applicable to a minor modification or repair

36          The requirements of sections 33 to 35 do not apply to work that consists only of a minor modification or repair.

Process for applying for permits

37          An application for a permit under sections 33 to 35 is to be made in accordance with the regulations.

Director may issue permit

38(1)       The director may issue a permit for the purposes of sections 33 to 35, and the permit may be issued subject to any terms and conditions that the director considers necessary to provide for the protection of water in the well or test hole or groundwater in the area of the well or test hole.

Permit may contain expiry date

38(2)       A permit may state that it expires unless the construction or sealing is begun or completed by a specified date.

FLOWING ARTESIAN CONDITIONS

Control of flow from a flowing artesian well or test hole during and upon completion of construction

39(1)       If, during construction of a well or test hole, it becomes a flowing artesian well or a flowing artesian test hole, the person constructing the well or test hole must ensure that, for the remainder of the construction period and upon completion of construction, any uncontrolled flow of water from the well or test hole is promptly brought under control.

Uncontrolled flow during and upon completion of construction

39(2)       If, during the remainder of the construction period or upon completion of construction, any uncontrolled flow of water from the flowing artesian well or flowing artesian test hole cannot promptly be brought under control, the person performing — or who has completed — the construction

(a) must immediately notify the director or a well drilling officer about the situation; and

(b) is, for greater certainty, responsible for bringing the flow under control and for all costs related to bringing it under control.

Property owner to ensure no uncontrolled flow

39(3)       An owner of land on which a flowing artesian well or a flowing artesian test hole is located must ensure — except during construction and any period after construction necessary for the person who performed the construction to bring the flow of water under control — that water does not flow from the well or test hole in an uncontrolled manner.

Order may be made

40          The director or a well drilling officer may issue an order in relation to the uncontrolled flow of water from a flowing artesian well, a flowing artesian test hole, or at a site where either is under construction. Subsections 53(1) and 53(5) to (11), and sections 54 to 56, apply with the necessary changes.

DESIGNATED FLOOD AREAS

Well protection in designated flood areas

41(1)       An owner of land in a designated flood area on which a well is located must ensure that the well is protected to the appropriate flood protection level for that area by at least one of the following means:

(a) the well is within a designated dyking system;

(b) the elevation of the site on which the well is located is above the flood protection level;

(c) the well is within a dyke that has been constructed in accordance with the criteria illustrated in Schedule D of the Designated Flood Area Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 59/2002;

(d) the well

(i) is covered with a water-tight cap or other cover approved by the director, and

(ii) has any electrical conduit or other appurtenance connected to or associated with it, and any other opening into the well, plugged or covered in such a manner that floodwater cannot enter the well.

Transitional provision for existing wells

41(2)       Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a well in existence on the date of the coming into force of this section, until two years after that day.

WELL AND SITE MAINTENANCE

Well and site maintenance

42          Every owner of land on which a well is located must ensure that

(a) the upper open end of the well casing is covered in a manner that prevents any substance that could adversely affect the quality of water in the well from entering the well;

(b) the land around the well is satisfactorily mounded to promote drainage away from the well;

(c) the well and the well site are maintained in a manner that prevents any substance that could adversely affect the quality of water in the well from entering the well;

(d) the well is protected from flooding, if it is located in an area where it may be subject to damage by floodwater;

(e) the well is protected at the ground surface from physical damage; and

(f) the prescribed requirements for maintaining the well and well site are satisfied.

WELL CONSTRUCTION AND WELL SEALING STANDARDS

Well construction standards

43          No person shall construct a well or test hole, or do any work in relation to the construction of a well or test hole, except in compliance with the prescribed well construction standards.

Well sealing standards

44          No person shall seal a well or test hole, or do any work in relation to the sealing of a well or test hole, except in compliance with the prescribed well sealing standards.

DECLARING A WELL OR TEST HOLE TO BE CONTAMINATED OR ABANDONED

Declaring well or test hole to be contaminated

45          The director may, in writing, declare a well or test hole to be a contaminated well.

Declaring well or test hole to be abandoned

46          The director may, in writing, declare a well or test hole to be an abandoned well.

Notice to be given to owner

47(1)       Upon making a declaration under section 45 or 46, the director must give written notice of the declaration to the owner of the land on which the contaminated well or abandoned well is located.

Owner may object to declaration

47(2)       An owner of land on which a well or test hole subject to a declaration under section 45 or 46 is located who does not agree with the declaration may, within 30 days after receiving notice of the declaration or such additional time as the director may allow, file a written objection with the director

(a) that gives the reasons why, in the owner's opinion, the declaration is incorrect; and

(b) which may include written scientific or technical information that supports the owner's opinion.

Director to review decision

47(3)       After receiving an objection that meets the requirements of subsection (2), the director

(a) must review the declaration in light of the reasons given by the owner and any supporting information provided with the objection;

(b) may obtain expert advice to resolve any outstanding scientific or technical issues; and

(c) must, as soon as reasonably practicable, confirm or rescind the declaration, and notify the owner in writing of that decision.

Rescinding declaration of a contaminated well

48(1)       The director may, upon being satisfied that a well or test hole that has been declared to be a contaminated well is no longer contaminated, rescind the declaration.

Rescinding declaration of an abandoned well

48(2)       The director may, upon being satisfied that a well or test hole that has been declared to be an abandoned well is no longer abandoned, rescind the declaration.

Notice to be given to owner

48(3)       Upon rescinding a declaration under subsection (1) or (2), the director must give written notice of the recission to the owner of the land upon which the well or test hole is located.

Owner to ensure abandoned well is sealed

49(1)       The owner of land on which an abandoned well is located must ensure that the well is sealed in accordance with this Act.

Applies whether or not well declared abandoned

49(2)       Subsection (1) applies to a well or test hole that the owner of the land knows or ought to know is an abandoned well, whether or not the director has declared it to be an abandoned well.

WELL CONSTRUCTION AND WELL SEALING REPORTS

Well construction and well sealing reports

50(1)       Subject to the regulations, a person who

(a) constructs a well or test hole; or

(b) seals, or partially seals, a well or test hole;

must prepare a report in the prescribed form and containing the prescribed information, and provide a copy of it within the prescribed time to the director and to the owner of the land on which the well or test hole is located.

Work under supervision of another professional

50(2)       As an exception to subsection (1), if a well or test hole is constructed, sealed or partially sealed under the supervision of a professional engineer or professional geoscientist, the engineer or geoscientist is responsible for preparing and providing the report.

Report must also be given to contractor

50(3)       A person required to prepare a report under this section must — unless the person is the well drilling contractor or is employed by the well drilling contractor — also provide a copy of the report to the well drilling contractor performing the work, within the prescribed time.

Combined report

50(4)       If a test hole is sealed immediately after it is drilled, the required information relating to the sealing may be included in the well construction report.

Retaining copy of report

50(5)       A person required to prepare a report under this section must retain a copy of the report for the prescribed time period.

Field log

51          A person required to prepare a report under section 50 must,

(a) while constructing the well or test hole; or

(b) while sealing or partially sealing the well or test hole;

make, and have available at the site for inspection, a field log containing the information necessary to complete the report required under section 50.

PART 4

ADDITIONAL MEASURES, ORDERS

AND COMPLIANCE

Additional groundwater protection measures may be required

52          If the director or a well drilling officer determines that any work or activity relating to a well or test hole requires additional groundwater protection measures to protect the environment or human health or safety, he or she may direct the person responsible for the work or activity to carry out those measures in accordance with the instructions of the director or officer. The additional measures may include construction or sealing work not otherwise required by this Act.

WELL CONSTRUCTION AND WELL SEALING ORDERS

Well construction and well sealing orders

53(1)       The director or a well drilling officer may make a well construction order or a well sealing order under this section if he or she reasonably believes that

(a) an existing well or test hole, or a well or test hole under construction,

(i) is, may be or may become a risk to human health or safety,

(ii) is adversely affecting, or may adversely affect, any property, or any groundwater or other feature of the environment,

(iii) is, or may be, a contaminated well, or

(iv) does not comply with the requirements of this Act; and

(b) an order is necessary to investigate, prevent, remedy, mitigate or otherwise deal with the matter.

Approval of medical officer required

53(2)       The director or a well drilling officer must obtain the approval of a medical officer before making an order relating to human health under subclause (1)(a)(i).

Immediate issuance of order

53(3)       Despite subsection (2), if in the time necessary for the director or a well drilling officer to obtain the approval of a medical officer the risk to persons could increase, the director or well drilling officer may make an order under subclause (1)(a)(i) relating to human health without obtaining that approval. But a person who makes an order in this manner must notify a medical officer of the circumstances of the order as soon as reasonably practicable.

Medical officer may revoke or amend order

53(4)       Upon receiving notice under subsection (3), a medical officer may revoke or amend the order.

Oral orders

53(5)       The director or a well drilling officer may make an oral order under this section if he or she reasonably believes that, in the time necessary to make a written order, the risk to the health or safety of persons, or the threat to property or to groundwater or other feature of the environment, might worsen.

Confirming an oral order in writing

53(6)       A person who makes an oral order must confirm it in writing within 72 hours, or within any longer period as is reasonable in the circumstances.

Order may be directed to any person

53(7)       An order made under this section may be directed to any person.

Requirements of an order

53(8)       An order under this section may require the person to whom it is directed to do anything, or refrain from doing anything, that the person making the order considers necessary to investigate, prevent, remedy, mitigate or otherwise deal with the matter, including one or more of the following:

(a) investigate the situation, or undertake tests, examinations, analyses, monitoring or recording, and provide the person making the order with any information that he or she requires;

(b) construct, replace, remove, reconstruct, seal or do any other work

(i) in relation to groundwater, a well or test hole, or a well or test hole under construction, or

(ii) in an area of the environment adjacent to the well or test hole, or to the well or test hole under construction;

(c) stop any activity, or remove or remediate any contaminant or other material that is adversely affecting or may adversely affect groundwater, the well or test hole, or the well or test hole under construction.

Order may contain terms and conditions

53(9)       An order made under this section may include terms and conditions that the person making the order considers necessary to ensure

(a) the protection of human health or safety;

(b) the protection of any property, or of groundwater or other feature of the environment; or

(c) compliance with this Act.

Cost of order and deadline

53(10)      The person to whom the order is directed must, at his or her expense, complete the requirements of the order by the date specified in the order.

Director may stay, revoke or amend order

53(11)      The director may, by order, stay, revoke or amend an order made under this section by a well drilling officer. If an order is stayed under this subsection, the director may at any subsequent time reinstate the order.

Action if order not complied with

54(1)       If a person fails to comply with an order under section 53, the director may take, or cause to be taken, any action that the director considers necessary to carry out the order.

Suspending, etc., person's licence or certificate

54(2)       In addition to any action taken under subsection (1), the director may modify, suspend, cancel or refuse to renew a licence or certificate of qualification held by a person to whom the order was directed.

Order to pay costs

54(3)       If action is taken under subsection (1), the director may order a person to whom the order was directed to pay the costs of taking that action.

Appealing amount of costs

54(4)       A person to whom an order under subsection (3) is directed may appeal the amount of the costs, and section 56 applies to the appeal, with the necessary changes.

Enforcing cost-recovery order

54(5)       An order under subsection (3) to pay costs may be filed in the court and enforced as if it were an order of the Court.

Section 54 inapplicable if order stayed

55          Section 54 does not apply if the order has been stayed under subsection 53(11) or 56(3).

Appeal of order

56(1)       A person directly affected by an order made under section 53 may appeal the order to the minister. The appeal must be made by giving written notice to the minister within 14 days after the making of the order, or any further time that the minister may allow.

Content of notice of appeal

56(2)       A notice of appeal must state the reasons for the appeal and the facts relied upon.

Stay of order

56(3)       An appeal of an order does not stay the order pending the appeal, unless the minister orders a stay.

Minister's power on appeal

56(4)       As soon as reasonably practicable after receiving a notice of appeal, the minister must consider the appeal and

(a) confirm, vary or rescind the order being appealed; or

(b) refer the matter back to the director for reconsideration in accordance with directions given by the minister.

Decision is final

56(5)       The minister's decision under subsection (4) is final and not subject to appeal.

Notice of decision

56(6)       The minister must give notice of his or her decision by mailing it to the appellant at the address provided in the appellant's notice of appeal.

ENTRY AND INSPECTION

General power of entry and inspection

57(1)       Subject to subsection (2), the director or a well drilling officer may, without a warrant, enter and inspect any place or premises at any reasonable time for the purpose of administering or determining compliance with this Act.

Limited power re dwelling

57(2)       The director or a well drilling officer may enter a dwelling occupied as a residence only if

(a) the owner or occupant consents; or

(b) the director or officer does so in accordance with a warrant obtained in accordance with section 58.

Director may enter dwelling in exigent circumstances

57(3)       Despite subsection (2), the director may

(a) enter and inspect a dwelling without a warrant; or

(b) authorize a well drilling officer to enter and inspect a dwelling without a warrant;

if the director reasonably believes that the conditions for obtaining a warrant under section 58 exist but, because of exigent circumstances, it would not be practical to obtain a warrant.

Well drilling officer may enter dwelling in exigent circumstances

57(4)       Despite subsection (2), a well drilling officer may enter and inspect a dwelling without a warrant if

(a) the director has authorized the well drilling officer to do so; or

(b) the well drilling officer reasonably believes that

(i) because of exigent circumstances, it would not be practical to obtain a warrant, and

(ii) immediate action is necessary and there is no time to locate the director.

Obtaining assistance

57(5)       In exercising a power under this section, the director or a well drilling officer may call on a peace officer for assistance, who may use such force as the peace officer reasonably considers necessary.

Warrant for entry and inspection

58(1)       A justice who is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that

(a) entry into premises is necessary for the purpose of administering or determining compliance with this Act; and

(b) in the case of a dwelling,

(i) entry has been or will be refused, or

(ii) the occupant is temporarily absent;

may issue a warrant authorizing the director, a well drilling officer and any other person named in the warrant, with such peace officers as are required to assist, to enter and inspect the premises and to use such force as is necessary.

Conditions

58(2)       A warrant may be made subject to any conditions that may be specified in it.

Application without notice

58(3)       A warrant under this section may be issued upon application without notice.

Additional inspection powers

59(1)       In addition to the powers referred to in section 57, when reasonably required to administer or determine compliance with this Act, the director or a well drilling officer may

(a) make any inspection, investigation, examination, test, analysis or inquiry — including any such activity in relation to a well or test hole — that he or she considers necessary;

(b) require any substance, thing, solid, liquid or gas to be produced for inspection, examination, testing or analysis;

(c) bring testing or analytical equipment into or onto a place or premises, and use it to conduct a test or analysis;

(d) seize or take samples of any substance, thing, solid, liquid or gas;

(e) require any person to

(i) provide information, including personal information, proprietary information or confidential information, or

(ii) produce any document or record, including a document or record containing personal information, proprietary information or confidential information, for examination or copying, or to retain as evidence;

(f) take photographs or other images of a place or premises, or any condition, process, substance or thing located at or in it;

(g) use any machinery, equipment or other thing located at or in a place or premises;

(h) require that any machinery, equipment or other thing located at or in a place or premises be operated, used or dismantled under specified conditions; or

(i) excavate or cause an excavation to be carried out on or at a place or premises.

Authority of assistant

59(2)       A person assisting the director or a well drilling officer acting under subsection (1) may, if so directed by the director or well drilling officer, exercise any of the powers that the director or officer may exercise under that subsection.

Owner or occupant to provide assistance

60          The owner, occupant or person in charge of a place or premises, and any other person found there, must

(a) give a person exercising a power under this Part all reasonable assistance to enable the person to carry out his or her duties; and

(b) provide the person with any information that he or she reasonably requires.

Cost recovery

61(1)       The director or a well drilling officer may require a person to whom an order was issued under section 53 to pay the costs of testing, sampling or analysis carried out in relation to that order under subsection 59(1).

Order for cost recovery

61(2)       If a person does not pay the costs as required under subsection (1), the director may issue an order to the person to pay the costs.

Appealing amount of costs

61(3)       A person to whom an order under subsection (2) is directed may appeal the amount of the costs, and section 56 applies to the appeal, with the necessary changes.

Enforcing cost-recovery order

61(4)       An order under subsection (2) to pay costs may be filed in the court and enforced as if it were an order of the court.

Identification to be shown

62          A person carrying out an inspection under this Part must show his or her identification if requested to do so.

Use of data processing system and copying equipment

63(1)       A person carrying out an inspection under this Part may

(a) use a data processing system at a place or premises where records, documents or things are kept, to examine any data contained in or available to the system;

(b) reproduce, in the form of a printout or other intelligible output, any record from the data contained in or available to a data processing system at the place or premises; and

(c) use any copying equipment at the place or premises to make copies of any record or document.

Assistance to officials

63(2)       A person who has custody or control of a record, document or thing referred to in subsection (1) must give the director or well drilling officer

(a) all reasonable assistance to enable the director or well drilling officer to carry out his or her duties; and

(b) any information he or she may reasonably require.

Removal of records, etc. to make copies

63(3)       If a person carrying out an inspection is not able to make copies of records or documents at the place or premises being inspected, he or she may remove them from the place or premises to make copies. The person must make the copies as soon as practicable and return the original records or documents to the place or premises from which they were removed.

Copies as evidence

64          A record or document certified by the director to be a printout or copy of a record or document obtained under this Part

(a) is admissible in evidence without proof of the office or signature of the person purporting to have made the certificate; and

(b) has the same probative force as the original record or document.

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

Offences

65(1)       A person is guilty of an offence who

(a) contravenes a provision of this Act;

(b) fails to comply with an order made under this Act or with a term or condition of a well drilling contractor licence, certificate of qualification, permit, or any other authorization issued under this Act;

(c) knowingly makes a false or misleading statement to the minister, the director, a well drilling officer or any other person acting under the authority of this Act;

(d) knowingly makes a false or misleading statement in an application, report, record or any other document given or required under this Act;

(e) hinders, obstructs or interferes with, or attempts to hinder, obstruct or interfere with, the minister, the director, a well drilling officer or any other person acting under the authority of this Act; or

(f) conceals or destroys, or attempts to conceal or destroy, any record, information or thing relevant to an inspection or investigation under this Act.

Continuing offence

65(2)       When an offence under this Act continues for more than one day, the person is guilty of a separate offence for each day the offence continues.

Directors and officers of corporations

65(3)       If a corporation commits an offence under this Act, a director or officer of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the commission of the offence is also guilty of the offence.

Penalties for individuals

65(4)       Except as provided in subsection (5), a person who is guilty of an offence under this Act is liable on summary conviction,

(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $50,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both; and

(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or both.

Penalties for corporations

65(5)       A corporation that is guilty of an offence under this Act is liable on summary conviction,

(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $500,000; and

(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $1,000,000.

Limitation period

65(6)       A prosecution for an offence under this Act may not be commenced later than one year after the day on which evidence sufficient to justify a prosecution for the offence came to the knowledge of the director or a well drilling officer. A certificate of the director or well drilling officer as to the day on which the evidence came to his or her knowledge is evidence of that date.

Certificate of analyst admissible

66(1)       A certificate appearing to be signed by an analyst — or a copy or extract of the certificate certified by the analyst as a true copy or extract — stating that the analyst has analyzed a sample of water or other substance, and giving the results, is admissible in evidence in any proceeding as proof of the facts stated, unless the contrary is shown. Proof of the analysts's appointment or signature is not required.

Serving certificate on other parties

66(2)       A party intending to produce a certificate in a proceeding must give notice of that intention and a copy of the certificate to each other party at least seven days before the date fixed for the proceeding.

REPORTING VIOLATIONS

Persons may report suspected violation

67(1)       Any person who reasonably believes that a violation of this Act has occurred, or may occur, may report the circumstances leading to that belief to the director or a well drilling officer.

If information is personal, proprietary or confidential

67(2)       A person may make a report under subsection (1) even if

(a) it requires the disclosure of personal information; or

(b) the information on which the person's belief is based is proprietary information or confidential information.

Protection from liability

67(3)       No action or other proceeding may be brought against a person for providing information in good faith under this section.

Adverse employment action prohibited

67(4)       No employer shall take adverse employment action against an employee because that person provided information in good faith under this section.

No interference or harassment

67(5)       No person shall interfere with or harass a person who provides information under this section.

PART 5

MANAGEMENT OF AQUIFERS

AND GROUNDWATER

SURVEYS AND STUDIES

Surveys and studies

68(1)       The director may carry out a survey or study of any aquifer or groundwater in the province to better understand, manage, conserve, protect, improve, develop or use the aquifer or groundwater.

Right of entry for survey or study

68(2)       For the purpose of carrying out a survey or study under subsection (1), any person authorized by the director for that purpose may, at all reasonable times, enter upon any land — not including entry into a dwelling unless the occupant consents or in accordance with a warrant obtained under subsection 58(1) — to conduct tests, take samples or inspect a well.

AQUIFER MANAGEMENT PLANS

Designating aquifer management zones

69          The minister may by regulation designate a geographic area containing one or more aquifers or portions of aquifers as an aquifer management zone for the purposes of this Part, and specify its boundaries.

Appointing aquifer planning authorities

70          For each aquifer management zone, the minister may

(a) appoint an aquifer planning authority whose membership may include

(i) the board of a conservation district,

(ii) the board of a planning district,

(iii) the council of a municipality,

(iv) any other entity or person, or

(v) two or more entities or persons described in subclauses (i) to (iv);

(b) specify the date by which the authority must submit an aquifer management plan for approval, the terms of reference for the preparation of the plan and any other terms or conditions that the minister considers necessary.

Considerations in preparing a plan

71          In preparing an aquifer management plan, an aquifer planning authority must consider the following:

(a) water quality standards, objectives and guidelines established under section 4 of The Water Protection Act;

(b) drinking water quality standards established under section 3 of The Drinking Water Safety Act;

(c) whether the aquifer management zone, or any portion of it, is within a water quality management zone established under Part 2 of The Water Protection Act, and if so, any regulations made under clause 5(1)(b) of that Act respecting the zone;

(d) whether the aquifer management zone, or any portion of it, is within an area subject to a watershed management plan approved under Part 3 of The Water Protection Act, and if so, any part of the watershed management plan that applies to or affects the zone;

(e) studies that the authority considers relevant relating to water, land use, demographics, the capacity of the environment to accommodate development, and any other matter related to present or future physical, social or economic factors;

(f) comments received through public consultation or public meetings held under section 73;

(g) prescribed groundwater management principles;

(h) relevant provincial land use policies, development plans and zoning by-laws;

(i) any other information that the authority considers relevant.

Content of an aquifer management plan

72(1)       An aquifer management plan must

(a) identify issues relating to the protection, management, conservation or restoration of groundwater within the aquifer management zone;

(b) specify objectives and recommendations respecting some or all of the following:

(i) the protection, management, conservation or restoration of groundwater,

(ii) the prevention, control and abatement of groundwater pollution, including wastewater and other point-source discharges, and non-point sources of pollution,

(iii) activities that may affect groundwater in the aquifer management zone, including activities in the following areas located in or near the aquifer management zone:

(A) water quality management zones,

(B) areas subject to watershed management plans,

(C) riparian areas,

(D) wetlands,

(E) frequently flooded areas and flood plains,

(F) groundwater recharge areas,

(iv) water demand management, water use practices and priorities, the conservation of water supplies, and the reduction of water use and consumption during droughts and other periods of water shortage;

(c) specify linkages between aquifer management and land use planning so as to facilitate the adoption in a development plan, a watershed management plan or other planning instrument, of some or all of the objectives and recommendations of the aquifer management plan; and

(d) identify ways in which the aquifer management plan can be implemented, monitored and evaluated, recognizing the need to implement the plan with the assistance of individuals, groups and organizations.

Plan may contain review date

72(2)       An aquifer management plan may also specify a date by which the plan must be reviewed.

Consultation

73(1)       In preparing an aquifer management plan, the aquifer planning authority must consult with the following:

(a) if the aquifer management zone or any portion of it is in a conservation district or planning district, the board of that district;

(b) if the aquifer management zone or any portion of it is in an area subject to a watershed management plan approved under Part 3 of The Water Protection Act, the water planning authority for the watershed;

(c) the council of any municipality within which the aquifer management zone or any portion of it is located;

(d) an association that represents the water well construction industry in Manitoba;

(e) a band, as defined in the Indian Act (Canada), if the aquifer management zone or any portion of it is in that band's reserve land;

(f) any other person or entity specified by the minister.

Public meetings

73(2)       An aquifer planning authority must hold one or more public meetings to consult with residents of the aquifer management zone on the preparation of the plan.

Plan to be submitted to minister for approval

74          An aquifer planning authority must submit its proposed aquifer management plan to the minister for approval.

Referring plan to the water council

75(1)       After receiving a proposed aquifer management plan, the minister may refer it to the Manitoba Water Council established under section 24 of The Water Protection Act for its review and advice.

Approval of the minister

75(2)       If the contents of the proposed plan are satisfactory to the minister, the minister may approve the plan as submitted by the aquifer planning authority.

Referring plan back to authority

75(3)       If the proposed plan is not satisfactory to the minister, the minister may refer it back to the authority to be revised in accordance with any directions that the minister makes.

Revising the plan

75(4)       The aquifer planning authority must revise a proposed plan that is referred back to it in accordance with the minister's directions, if any, and re-submit it to the minister, within the time required by the minister, for approval.

Amending a plan after approval

76(1)       If an aquifer planning authority wishes to make any amendments to an approved aquifer management plan, it must submit them to the minister for approval.

Minister may require amendments

76(2)       In addition, the minister may require an aquifer planning authority to make amendments to an approved plan about any matter the minister specifies, and the authority must prepare the amendments and submit them to the minister for approval.

Section 75 applies

76(3)       Section 75 applies, with necessary changes, to amendments under this section.

Notice of an approved plan

77          The minister must provide notice of the approval or amendment of an aquifer management plan in accordance with any prescribed requirements.

Periodic review

78          An aquifer planning authority must review its approved aquifer management plan, in accordance with the regulations,

(a) when directed to do so by the minister; and

(b) on or before any review date specified in the plan.

Sections 71 to 77 apply to the review of a plan, and its approval, with the necessary changes.

Plan to be considered in decision-making

79          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, require that an approved aquifer management plan be considered before a prescribed decision is made or a prescribed approval is issued under this or any other prescribed Act or regulation.

PART 6

PUBLIC REGISTRY OF

GROUNDWATER INFORMATION

Public registry of groundwater information

80(1)       The director must establish and maintain a public registry of groundwater information, which may be in electronic form, containing the following information relating to groundwater that is to be made available to the public:

(a) a copy of each permit issued under Part 3;

(b) a listing of all wells and test holes, which may include location and ownership information, declared to be contaminated wells under section 45;

(c) a listing of all wells and test holes, which may include location and ownership information, declared to be abandoned wells under section 46;

(d) a copy of each order issued under section 53, and all documents relating to an appeal of an order under section 56;

(e) a copy of each aquifer management plan approved by the minister under Part 5;

(f) information respecting each proposed regulation or amendment to a regulation that is subject to public consultation under subsection 86(6);

(g) any other information that the director considers in the public interest to be made available under this section.

Availability of information in the public registry

80(2)       The information contained in the public registry of groundwater information must be made available to the public during normal business hours.

Director may make other information available

81          The director may, in accordance with the regulations, make available to the public or to specified classes of persons or entities, any groundwater information, including information collected or obtained under this Act or the former Act — including reports prepared under section 50 — that is not otherwise available to the public under this Act.

Public reports

82          The director may issue public reports, which may be in electronic form, containing any information — including information respecting the location or ownership of wells or test holes — that the director considers to be in the public interest for the purpose of this Act.

PART 7

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Release of rights void

83          The provisions of this Act apply despite any agreement to the contrary, and any waiver or release given of the rights, benefits or protections provided under this Act is void.

Protection from liability

84          No action or proceeding may be brought against the minister, a director, a well drilling officer or any other person acting under the authority of this Act for anything done or omitted to be done, in good faith, in the exercise or intended exercise of a power or duty under this Act.

Act binds the Crown

85          This Act binds the Crown.

PART 8

REGULATIONS

Regulations — well construction standards

86(1)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing well construction standards, which may include, without limitation, standards respecting the following:

(a) steps to be taken before beginning construction of a well or test hole to determine whether flowing artesian conditions exist or may be encountered, and measures to be taken if these conditions exist or are encountered before, during or after construction;

(b) the siting or locating of wells and test holes;

(c) setback distances from other structures, boundaries, sources of contamination, or any other feature or thing;

(d) the source and quality of drilling water;

(e) drilling additives;

(f) measures to be taken if brackish or saline groundwater, contamination or other matters of concern are detected or encountered before or during construction of a well or test hole;

(g) measures to be taken when constructing a well or test hole in a sensitive groundwater area;

(h) the manner of construction, including materials to be used and required specifications;

(i) the flow or output of water during the construction of a well or test hole;

(j) well casing requirements;

(k) well screen requirements;

(l) grouting or backfilling the annular space;

(m) conditions that require immediate sealing;

(n) well covers, seals, venting and hand-pumps;

(o) well yield testing;

(p) well disinfection;

(q) installation of pumps and related equipment used to obtain water from a well or test hole;

(r) connections for water distribution purposes;

(s) measurement and reporting of global positioning system (GPS) coordinates;

(t) well and test hole identification tags;

(u) site drainage work and site cleanup.

Regulations — well sealing standards

86(2)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing well sealing standards, which may include, without limitation, standards respecting the following:

(a) the manner of sealing wells and test holes, including materials and mixtures of materials to be used, and required specifications relating to such materials;

(b) measures to be taken in relation to the sealing of contaminated wells, wells and test holes that contain saline water, injection wells, flowing artesian wells, flowing artesian test holes, and wells and test holes in sensitive groundwater areas;

(c) the source and quality of water to be used in the sealing of a well or test hole;

(d) removal of well pits, equipment, debris or obstructions within a well or test hole;

(e) measurement and reporting of global positioning system (GPS) coordinates;

(f) well and test hole identification tags.

Regulations — other matters

86(3)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing anything referred to in this Act as being prescribed;

(b) respecting closed loop geothermal wells, geotechnical wells and injection wells, including modifying, limiting or waiving the application of any provision of this Act in relation to any of those wells or to a class of any of those wells;

(c) respecting the licensing and licence renewal of well drilling contractors, including information to be included in an application, qualifications or requirements for licensing or the renewal of a licence, terms or conditions that may be imposed on a licence, and the establishment of one or more classes of licences;

(d) respecting the issuing and renewal of certificates of qualification, including information to be included in an application, qualifications or requirements for certification or the renewal of a certificate, terms or conditions that may be imposed on a certificate, and the establishment of one or more classes of certification;

(e) respecting the issuing of temporary certificates of qualification, including establishing the qualifications for eligibility;

(f) for the purpose of section 12, respecting the issuing of identification plates and annual validation strips, and requirements for affixing them;

(g) for the purpose of clause 29(2)(a), respecting the depositing, discharging or placing of a material, substance or thing in or near a well or test hole;

(h) for the purpose of section 31 or 32,

(i) specifying circumstances that are excluded from the application of section 31 or 32, as the case may be, or

(ii) specifying an emergency response telephone number;

(i) designating sensitive groundwater areas;

(j) respecting the issuing of permits under Part 3, including applications for permits, factors the director is to consider in determining whether to issue a permit, and terms and conditions to be included in permits;

(k) respecting the declaration of wells and test holes as contaminated or abandoned wells, including factors that may be considered in determining whether to make these declarations;

(l) for the purpose of subsection 50(1), specifying circumstances in which a representative report for multiple wells in close proximity to each other (well clusters) may be provided to the director, and varying other requirements of sections 50 and 51 in relation to well clusters in those circumstances;

(m) respecting the review of an approved aquifer management plan under section 78;

(n) for the purpose of section 81, respecting the making of groundwater information available to the public or to specified classes of persons or entities, which may include information respecting the location or ownership of a well or test hole;

(o) respecting the certification of installers of equipment related to wells, including prohibitions against uncertified persons installing equipment;

(p) respecting the installation of pumps and related equipment used to obtain water from a well or test hole;

(q) regulating the spacing and depths of wells;

(r) respecting well sealing contractors, including the licensing of well sealing contractors;

(s) requiring well drilling contractors or well sealing contractors to furnish bonds in the prescribed amount and form;

(t) respecting recharge of an aquifer other than as part of an open loop geothermal well;

(u) prescribing groundwater management principles that are consistent with the purpose of this Act;

(v) respecting the establishment of groundwater conservation programs, and for the purposes of such programs, restricting or regulating the use of groundwater, or the flow or output of water from wells;

(w) respecting fees to be paid under this Act;

(x) respecting the manner in which any notice, order or other document under this Act may be served, given or provided to any person;

(y) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;

(z) respecting any matter relating to the transition from the former Act to this Act;

(aa) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purpose of this Act.

Incorporation by reference

86(4)       A regulation may incorporate by reference, in whole or in part, any code, standard or guideline, and the regulation may incorporate it as amended from time to time, and subject to any changes that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary.

Scope of regulations

86(5)       A regulation may be general or particular in its application, may apply differently to different classes of persons, wells or test holes, and may apply to the whole of the province or any part of it.

Public consultation in regulation development

86(6)       Except in circumstances that the minister considers to be of an emergency nature, in the formation or substantive review of regulations made under this Act, other than regulations made under section 69, the minister must provide an opportunity for public consultation regarding the proposed regulation or amendment.

Varying of requirements by minister

87(1)       The minister may, when authorized by a regulation, vary certain requirements of the regulation or grant equivalent status to a code or standard made by a non-governmental body, for the purposes of that regulation, and the variation or granting of equivalent status must be complied with as if it were a part of the regulation.

Reasons for certain ministerial actions

87(2)       When the minister acts in accordance with subsection (1), the minister must provide written reasons, and make those reasons available to any person upon request.

PART 9

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Persons licensed to carry on the business of drilling wells

88(1)        Subject to subsection (2), a person who is licensed to carry on the business of drilling wells under the former Act on the day this Act comes into force is deemed to be licensed to engage in the business of constructing wells or test holes under this Act.

Licence continued

88(2)        A licence to carry on the business of drilling wells under the former Act is deemed to be a well drilling contractor licence issued under this Act, valid for the period indicated on the licence and subject to the same terms and conditions indicated on the licence.

Application for licence continued

88(3)        An application for a licence to carry on the business of drilling wells made under the former Act, but not concluded before the coming into force of this Act, is to be dealt with under this Act.

PART 10

RELATED AND CONSEQUENTIAL

AMENDMENTS

C.C.S.M. c. D101 amended

89          Subsection 26(3) of The Drinking Water Safety Act is amended by adding the following after clause (a):

(a.1) a director or well drilling officer as defined in The Groundwater and Water Well Act;

C.C.S.M. c. P80 amended

90(1)       The Planning Act is amended by this section.

90(2)       The centred heading before section 62.1 is replaced with "APPLICATION OF WATER STATUTES".

90(3)       Section 62.1 is amended

(a) by replacing the section heading with "Consideration of water statutes"; and

(b) by adding the following after clause (a):

(a.1) any aquifer management plan approved under The Groundwater and Water Well Act;

C.C.S.M. c. W65 amended

91(1)        The Water Protection Act is amended by this section.

91(2)       Subsection 1(1) is amended by adding the following definition:

"approved aquifer management plan" means an approved aquifer management plan as defined in The Groundwater and Water Well Act. (« plan de gestion d'aquifères approuvé »)

91(3)       Clause 5(3)(b) is amended by adding "and approved aquifer management plans" after "plans".

91(4)       Section 15 is amended by adding the following after clause (b):

(b.1) if land within the watershed is subject to an approved aquifer management plan, any part of the plan that applies to or affects the watershed;

91(5)       Subsection 17(1) is amended by adding the following after clause (a):

(a.1) if land within the watershed is in an area subject to an approved aquifer management plan, the aquifer planning authority for the aquifer management zone;

91(6)       Clause 25(a) is amended by striking out "watershed management plans" and substituting "approved watershed management plans and approved aquifer management plans".

91(7)       Clause 29(3)(b) is amended by striking out "watershed management plans" and substituting "approved watershed management plans, approved aquifer management plans".

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. W70

92           Clause 2(3)(b) of the English version of The Water Resources Administration Act is replaced with the following:

(b) The Groundwater and Water Well Act.

PART 11

REPEAL, C.C.S.M. REFERENCE

AND COMING INTO FORCE

Repeal

93          The Ground Water and Water Well Act, R.S.M. 1987, c. G110, is repealed.

C.C.S.M. reference

94          This Act may be cited as The Groundwater and Water Well Act and referred to as Chapter G110 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

95          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill replaces the existing Ground Water and Water Well Act. The purposes of the Bill are

  • to protect groundwater;
  • to regulate the construction and sealing of wells in order to protect the quality of Manitoba's groundwater and aquifers as well as human health and safety; and
  • to allow for the collection and sharing of information about wells and groundwater for the better management of Manitoba's groundwater and aquifers.

Well drilling contractors are required to be licensed, and individual well drillers and sealers are required to be certified. They must meet prescribed requirements and conduct their work in accordance with standards prescribed by regulation.

The minister may establish aquifer management zones, and may require aquifer management plans to be prepared for these zones. An aquifer management plan, which is to be created with public consultation and submitted to the minister for approval, will allow for enhanced protection of groundwater in these zones.

A public registry of groundwater information is to be established. It will contain information collected under the Bill about wells and test holes, copies of permits issued and orders made under the Bill, aquifer management plans and other information. Anyone will be able to access the information in the registry.

Related amendments are made to other Acts.

  • The Drinking Water Safety Act — to allow information obtained under that Act to be shared with officials under this Bill.
  • The Planning Act — to require aquifer management plans to be considered when making or amending a development plan.
  • The Water Protection Act — to require aquifer management plans to be considered when making a watershed management plan or certain regulations, to require the Manitoba Water Council to monitor aquifer management plans and to enable the Water Stewardship Fund to be used to support the implementation of aquifer management plans.

A consequential amendment is made to The Water Resources Administration Act.