Environmental buffer zones were introduced in 1999 to protect watercourses and wetlands in PEI. Under the Watercourse and Wetland Protection Regulations, a grass headland is required where row crops are grown within 200 metres (656 feet) of a watercourse or wetland.
When do I need to establish a grass headland?
Within 200 metres of a watercourse or wetland, all row crops must end at a grass headland or at a buffer zone. For grass headland purposes, corn and soybeans are not considered row crops.
Are there exceptions to this requirement?
A Grass Headland Variance or Exemption can be issued by the Department in cases where run-off from a row-cropped field would not travel through the area where a grass headland would normally be required.
How do I apply for a Grass Headland Variance or Exemption?
There is no application form to request a variance or exemption. You must contact the Department staff listed below. A request for a variance or exemption (including renewals of existing paperwork) can be completed with a single visit to the farm.
You will need to provide the property number for the field(s) for which a variance or exemption is being requested. The steps required to obtain a Grass Headland Variance or Exemption are as follows:
- The producer identifies an area(s) within the 200 metre zone where a grass headland may not be required (where no run-off from the field will pass through the headland area).
- The producer contacts the Department with a property identification number and requests an inspection.
- Departmental staff view the property on GIS maps to identify potential issues.
- Departmental staff visit the property and inspect the area(s) of the field(s) where a variance or exemption is requested.
- If there are no concerns about approving a variance or exemption (little or no chance of run-off through the headland area in question), staff can issue one at the time of their visit.
Is there a cost to obtain a Grass Headland Variance or Exemption?
No, there is no fee.
Who can I contact for more information?
Areas west of Hunter River:
Kevin Arsenault (Watercourse and Wetland Alteration Supervisor)
Communities, Land and Environment
Western Forest District Office
Telephone: (902) 854-7260
Fax: (902) 854-7448
Hunter River and east: