The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s Policy on Providing Guidance on Regulatory Requirements

This policy outlines the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s (the Agency) approach to helping regulated parties understand their regulatory obligations.

Agency context

The Agency is a federal body accountable to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. It administers the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) and its regulations, which establish the legislative basis for federal environmental assessment in most regions of Canada.

The Agency provides high-quality environmental assessments that contribute to informed decision making in support of sustainable development. It is responsible for conducting environmental assessments of designated projects, except those that are regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission or the National Energy Board. Under CEAA 2012, the Agency provides advice to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the establishment of review panels and issuing decision statements.

The regulations under CEAA 2012 define the types of projects subject to CEAA 2012; the information to be provided in project descriptions; and cost recovery. The Agency's objective is to interpret and apply the regulations under CEAA 2012 in a fair and consistent manner. The Agency is committed to facilitating awareness and clear understanding of its regulatory requirements.

Building an awareness of regulatory requirements

The Agency develops and maintains various resources to help guide stakeholders and the public with respect to the interpretation and application of federal environmental assessment requirements.

Policy and guidance materials on federal environmental assessment requirements are available on the Agency's website. For example, the Guide to Preparing a Description of a Designated Project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 is a tool that assists project proponents in preparing a project description that meets the requirements of the regulations.

Supplemental support can be obtained by participating in training opportunities.

Responding to enquiries

The Agency provides written responses to written questions and, if requested, provides written responses to verbal questions.

Stakeholders and the public may send enquiries about CEAA 2012 and the regulations to ceaa.information.acee@canada.ca or they may contact the nearest regional office.

Internal procedures are in place to help ensure that Agency staff interpret the regulations in a fair and consistent manner.

The Agency makes responses to Frequently Asked Questions available on its web site to provide additional clarity on the regulations.

Commitment to professional service

The Agency is committed to delivering reliable, professional and timely services to Canadians and businesses, including providing information to explain the regulations and policies.

Agency staff are provided with up-to-date policies, guidance material and training opportunities in relation to the implementation of CEAA 2012 that support delivery of quality professional services, including regulatory interpretation.

Stakeholder engagement

The Agency will engage stakeholders in relation to the practices and materials used to provide information and guidance on regulatory compliance.

The Agency, in relation to the online policy instruments that support the implementation of CEAA 2012, invites feedback from users. The Agency maintains a general enquiry email address (ceaa.information.acee@canada.ca) to which comments can be submitted at any time.

The Agency welcomes feedback on the quality of interpretation guidance or service quality at any point in time and addresses issues as soon as possible. Feedback can be provided by email to the Agency's general enquiry email address (ceaa.information.acee@canada.ca) or by contacting one of our regional offices.

The Agency makes every effort to respond to enquiries within two business days.

Date of last revision of this policy

April 2019

Consult the Agency’s Acts and Regulations for:

  • a list of acts and regulations administered by the Agency
  • further information on the Agency’s implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:

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