Toronto, ON – June 3, 2014 – CSA Group, a leading provider of standards development services, today announces that the fourth of four new standards to help address the impact of climate change in Northern Canada, as part of the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative (NISI), is now available for a 60-day public review online. The draft Community drainage system planning, design, and maintenance in northern communities standard is available for public and stakeholder feedback by visiting

The effects of climate change on infrastructure in northern Canada may be significant, particularly with earlier springs, reduced ice on land and in the sea and lower levels of permafrost. The subsequent changes in the natural environment may cause changes to water drainage patterns which will have a detrimental effect on infrastructure such as roads, bridges and building foundations. To help address this issue, CSA Group announced in 2012 that it had been selected by SCC to develop four new standards as part of NISI, a joint project being led by SCC with support from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). Through NISI, standards are being developed to address the effects of climate change on new infrastructure, as well as retrofits, maintenance, and repairs to existing infrastructure.
Changes to the environment in the north will have a large impact on northern communities. Melting of the ice and permafrost, rapid spring melting, changes in the frequency of extreme precipitation events, and greater weather instability in general can cause changes in water drainage patterns resulting in altered landscapes. Most small northern communities have not developed or implemented drainage plans that address current and future snow melt, ice melt or rainfall runoff conditions. There is no generally accepted standard for developing community-wide drainage systems and the lack of uniform development is considered to have increased the degradation of existing infrastructure.
This draft Community drainage system planning, design, and maintenance in northern communities standard is intended to specify the minimum planning, design, and maintenance requirements for community drainage systems in Canada’s northern communities. The purpose of the standard is to increase the capacity of communities and individuals to prepare and implement effective community drainage plans. These plans address both existing and anticipated drainage management challenges arising from deficiencies in past practices, as well as the need to adapt to future changes in climate.
The other three standards in development by CSA Group as part of NISI include:
  • Thermosyphon foundations for buildings in permafrost regions;
  • Managing changing snow load risks in Canada’s North; and
  • Moderating the effects of permafrost degradation on existing structures
The standards developed as a result of this initiative will address current built infrastructure challenges, but will also contribute to reinforcing the fabric and quality of life in Canada’s North.
CSA Group procedures require that a standard be made available for a 60-day public review to permit individuals and organizations materially affected to have an opportunity to participate in its development. This helps ensure the standard reflects the consensus of opinion of experts and interested parties. Upon consideration of the feedback, decisions will be made on which changes are required, if any, before the standard is approved by CSA Group’s Northern Built Infrastructure (NBI) technical committee and then submitted to SCC. CSA Group appreciates and welcomes the involvement and feedback of affected individuals, organizations and stakeholders.
About CSA Group CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. Its knowledge and expertise encompass standards development; training and advisory solutions; global testing and certification services across key business areas including hazardous location and industrial, plumbing and construction, medical, safety and technology, appliances and gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability; as well as consumer product evaluation services. The CSA certification mark appears on billions of products worldwide. For more information about CSA Group visit


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