The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada’s Policy on Providing Guidance on Regulatory Requirements

This policy outlines the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada’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 Impact Assessment Act (IAA) and its regulations, which establish the legislative basis for federal impact assessment in most regions of Canada.

Impact assessments under this new regime will be led by the Agency. Where projects links to life-cycle regulators such as the Canada Energy Regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Offshore Boards, the Agency will work collaboratively with the lifecycle regulator to draw upon their expert capacity and ensure that safety and other key regulatory factors are considered as part of a single, integrated review. Under IAA, 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 IAA define the types of projects subject to IAA, the information to be provided in project descriptions, and cost recovery. The Agency's objective is to interpret and apply the regulations under IAA 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 impact assessment requirements.

Policy and guidance materials on federal impact 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 IAA and the regulations to 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 IAA 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 IAA, invites feedback from users. The Agency maintains a general enquiry email address ( 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 ( 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

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