Regulatory Stock Review Plan: 2023-2025

This Regulatory Stock Review Plan is a public list and description of planned reviews of regulations that the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) is proposing over a two-year period (2023 to 2025). It is intended to give Canadians, including business, Indigenous Peoples, and trading partners, greater opportunity to inform the reviews of regulations and to plan for the future.

The Impact Assessment Act (IAA) and its regulations form the legal framework for federal impact assessments. The list of current regulations under the IAA can be found here: Legislation and Regulations.

For the period 2023-2025, the Agency intends to review the following existing regulations under the IAA, alongside proposed new regulatory initiatives, which are outlined in the Forward Regulatory Plan.

Cost Recovery Regulations

These regulations set out the services and amounts for which the Agency can recover costs from the proponent of a project that undergoes an assessment by review panel. The Cost Recovery Regulations made under CEAA 2012 will continue to apply until such time as new Cost Recovery Regulations are developed under the IAA. The intent is that these regulations be repealed on the coming into force of the new proposed Cost Recovery Regulations. More details on this regulatory proposal can be found in the Forward Regulatory Plan.

Designated Classes of Projects Order

Under section 88 of the Impact Assessment Act, the Minister of the Environment can designate, by order, classes of projects that, if carried out, will cause only insignificant effects. The Designated Classes of Projects Order sets out such classes of projects. For these projects, authorities would not be subject to the requirements under the IAA for projects on federal lands and outside Canada.

The existing Order is currently being reviewed as part of a regulatory initiative to make amendments to include additional classes of projects in the Order. More details on this regulatory proposal can be found in the Forward Regulatory Plan.

Physical Activities Regulations

The Physical Activities Regulations, also known as the Project List, is a Governor in Council regulation that identifies the physical activities that constitute the "designated projects" that are subject to the Impact Assessment Act and may require an impact assessment.

The IAA requires the Agency to review the Physical Activities Regulations within a prescribed period, which has been set at five years after the day on which these Regulations came into force (i.e. by August 2024).

The objective of the review is to continue to focus federal assessment on projects with the greatest potential for adverse environmental effects in areas of federal jurisdiction, and in areas where federal assessment adds value beyond federal regulatory oversight and provincial processes.

Opportunities for stakeholder engagement and input will be made available as part of the review.

If following the review, changes to the Project List are contemplated, this would be added to the Agency’s Forward Regulatory Plan. Regulatory amendments would then be subject to the regulatory development and approval process for Governor in Council regulations.

Other Regulations

Other regulations under the IAA, including the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulation and the Regulations Respecting Excluded Physical Activities (Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Exploratory Wells), will be reviewed on a longer time-frame and will be added to a future iteration of the Regulatory Stock Review Plan.

Furthermore, the following regulations, made under the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, are considered spent, and, having no legal effect, will be expressly repealed under the Repeal of Spent Regulations and Minor Corrections: Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations:

Further details on this regulatory proposal can be found in the Forward Regulatory Plan.

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