01/11/2012 01:52 EST | Updated 03/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Saskatchewan changes how it regulates pollution with environmental code

REGINA - Saskatchewan is changing the way it regulates and manages impacts on the environment and natural resources.

The province is initiating a public review of the draft of its new Saskatchewan Environmental Code.

Environment Minister Dustin Duncan says the code will make it easier for industry to understand the standards for projects.

He says some low-risk projects could go ahead without waiting for ministerial approval, which would free up environmental protection officers to spend more time in the field.

The Opposition NDP says it's a mistake to get rid of the requirement for many operations to have provincial permits.

The code will also establish baseline levels for air polluters so the government can track their progress on reducing emissions.

Those who don't meet targets will have to pony up a carbon compliance payment.