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Government launches consultations on regulatory proposals to implement new Impact Assessment Act

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The federal government recently announced a public consultation process to solicit input on key regulations that would be established under its proposed Impact Assessment Act (IAA).

According to the government, the IAA signals a shift from environmental assessment as practiced under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA 2012) to a new impact assessment process that promises to take into consideration the whole range of environmental, health, social and economic effects of projects. "This new regime will shift away from decisions based solely on the significance of effects and focus instead on whether the adverse effects in areas of federal jurisdiction are in the public interest.” To further discussion, consultations on specific aspects of the IAA were recently launched

Proposed approach to listing projects
On April 4, 2018, the government formally launched public consultations on what type of projects would be subject to impact assessment under the proposed Impact Assessment Act (IAA). The aim is "to establish clear criteria and a transparent process to periodically review and update the Project List to ensure that projects with the greatest potential to cause effects in areas of federal jurisdiction are assessed”.

To this end the government has proposed a criteria-based approach to guide the review and revision process of the existing list of projects as laid out in the current Project List.
Access the proposals at:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/conservation/assessments/environmental-reviews/environmental-assessment-processes/consultation-paper-approach.html

Proposed Information Requirements and Time Management Regs
The government has also launched consultations on proposed new Information Requirements and Time Management Regulations to be developed under the IAA. The proposed regulations would prescribe:

  • the information that the proponent is required to provide to the new Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) at the early planning phase of the potential impact assessment;
  • the documents the Agency is required to provide to proponents if it is determined that an impact assessment is required; and
  • the circumstances in which the Minister could ‘stop the clock’ for the legislated timelines during the impact assessment process.

The proposed regulations would replace the existing Prescribed Information for the Description of a Designated Project Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

Details can be found at:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/conservation/assessments/environmental-reviews/environmental-assessment-processes/consultation-paper.html

Comment and stakeholder consultations deadlines


Comments on these proposals should be sent on or before June 1, 2018 to:
www.impactassessmentregulations.ca

CWWA will be reviewing the proposed changes with our Technical Committees and interested members and submitting comments.