2019-2020 Reports by Federal Authorities with Obligations under Section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 2020.

This publication may be reproduced for personal or internal use without permission, provided the source is fully acknowledged. However, multiple copy reproduction of this publication in whole or in part for purposes of redistribution requires the prior written permission from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3, or iaac.information.aeic@canada.ca

Catalogue No.: En104-13E-PDF

ISSN: 2292-2385

This document is issued in French under the title: Rapport des autorités fédérales ayant des obligations au titre de l’article 71 de la Loi canadienne sur l’évaluation environnementale (2012) pour l’année 2019-2020

Alternative formats may be requested by contacting: iaac.information.aeic@canada.ca

Foreword to the 2019-2020 Reports by Federal Authorities with Obligations under section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

On August 28, 2019, the Impact Assessment Act (IAA) came into force and repealed the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). However, for activities carried out on federal lands and outside Canada for the 2019-2020 period to which CEAA 2012 applies, reports under section 71 of CEAA 2012 will continue to be provided.

Federal authorities must table an annual report in Parliament in order to meet their section 71 obligation under CEAA 2012. This consolidated report entitled “2019-2020 Reports by Federal Authorities with Obligations under section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012” is being tabled on behalf of federal authorities to ensure that Parliament receives information on activities on federal lands and outside Canada in a timely, efficient and transparent manner. The federal authorities that have included their reports in this consolidated report satisfy this obligation. Other federal authorities that have an existing mechanism for reporting to Parliament, typically an annual report, should have satisfied this obligation through that mechanism. This is the eighth consolidated report tabled in Parliament since the implementation of CEAA 2012. For activities that continue under CEAA 2012, future reports may be tabled. Under the IAA, project-specific notification is required. As a result, annual reporting to Parliament is not required under the IAA.

The majority of CEAA 2012 focusses on environmental assessments of ‘designated projects’. However, CEAA 2012 also includes provisions to ensure that projects on federal lands and outside Canada are considered in a careful and precautionary manner. Sections 66-69 of CEAA 2012 require authorities to determine the likelihood of significant adverse environmental effects that might result from a project being carried out on federal lands or outside Canada. Authorities must make this determination prior to making a decision in relation to a project that would enable the project to proceed in whole or in part. If an authority concludes that a project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, the authority may refer the project to the Governor in Council. The Governor in Council will determine whether the significant adverse environmental effects are justified in the circumstances.

CEAA 2012 does not specify how authorities are to conduct their analysis for determining significant adverse environmental effects. An evaluation tool was developed by authorities, with support from the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, setting out a framework for a consistent approach and facilitating the joint analysis of projects involving multiple authorities. Authorities, however, define the process by which they conduct their analysis, and the breadth of their governance activities are reflected in the enclosed reports.

Section 71 reports have been provided by federal authorities to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada for consolidation. A number of federal authorities have highlighted a project to demonstrate how the policies and approaches they use to assess the potential impacts of proposed projects are being implemented to ensure that there are no significant adverse environmental effects. Questions with respect to the information provided in these reports are best answered by the relevant federal authority.


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

This is Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) eighth report to be tabled in Parliament, for activities on federal lands and outside of Canada, in accordance with section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

To facilitate compliance with sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012, AAFC implements a risk-based approach to the environmental evaluation of departmental activities on federal lands and outside Canada. The approach is based on guidance provided by the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. The approach ensures consistency in the application of CEAA 2012 to departmental activities, and that environmental risks are assessed in advance of any project being carried out. AAFC categorizes projects into those having low, moderate or high environmental risk. Based on risk criteria, departmental officials make a determination on the potential for significant adverse environmental effects for individual projects, and incorporate mitigation measures, as appropriate, to minimize environmental impacts.

Between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, AAFC completed 22 environmental risk determinations and determined no projects were likely to have significant adverse environmental effects and as such no projects were referred to the Governor in Council. All projects assessed were on AAFC land located in Canada.

Alberni Port Authority

The Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) has zero projects in 2020 that are under the guise of CEAA 2012.

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) serves Canada as a responsible steward of the environment. AECL is committed to assess the impacts of all of our activities on the environment through rigorous internal processes. Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Ltd. (CNL) operates facilities on behalf of AECL. Many of these facilities are licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), and as such, the CNSC’s regulatory requirements must be met.

CNL has implemented a risk based approach to address the requirements of sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012. Environmental Reviews for low risk projects where conventional mitigation measures can be applied undergo a streamlined review. Reviews for moderate risk projects where there is greater potential for impacts on the environment or humans undergo a more rigorous review. Criteria used to distinguish moderate risk projects include the size of the building footprint, potential for airborne or liquid effluents, potential for effects on species at risk and potential for Indigenous communities and public concern.

An example of a project reviewed in 2019-20 involved the proposed decommissioning of multiple sewage treatment buildings on AECL’s Chalk River Laboratory (CRL) site, located 200km west of Ottawa in the province of Ontario. The scope of decommissioning work involved the removal of building structures, foundations, and any services/processes within the buildings and a reference area extending one meter from the perimeter of the Sewage Treatment Plant footprint.

In making a determination under section 67 of CEAA 2012, the CNL Environmental Review process identified categories of risk during proposed project activities. These items included hazard abatement, demolition activities, waste disposal, transportation activities and fuel equipment operation which may cause hazardous releases and non-radiological particulate air emissions; and activities of draining, pumping and transporting residual liquid and sludge from piping, tanks and sumps which have the potential to cause radiological and non-radiological releases to land/water.

The project and CNL Environmental Protection staff worked to develop appropriate mitigation measures to be implemented by the project in order for it to proceed. The measures required to mitigate risk during work included characterization surveys to confirm the presence of active liquids or sludge in the tank, pipes, vessels or drums, controls and monitoring of hazardous material abatement activities including the use of qualified asbestos abatement professionals and an approved waste management plan to establish all appropriate waste disposal routes.

In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, no projects conducted at AECL sites were determined as likely to have significant adverse environmental effects. Additional information on environmental performance at AECL sites (operated by CNL) is provided on the website www.cnl.ca.

Belledune Port Authority

The Belledune Port Authority is committed to ensuring that the Port and its clients do not negatively impact the environment. The Port has developed environmental management systems based on sound principles and measures.

The Port and its tenants adhere to the requirements of numerous acts and regulations including the Canada Marine Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (now the Impact Assessment Act), the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Canadian Shipping Act, 2001, and the Fisheries Act, among others.

Projects undertaken by the Port, its clients or its tenants within the jurisdictional area of the Belledune Port Authority undergo environmental reviews by experts to determine potential adverse environmental effects to air, land, and water and to identify methods of mitigation if necessary. These assessments, in addition to review and continual improvement of policies and legislation, ensure the Belledune Port Authority meets its environmental responsibilities.

During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the Port of Belledune initiated or completed the following project(s):

Environmental assessments were completed for each project. No adverse residual environmental effects were identified for these projects.

Additional information is available at the Port of Belledune’s website: http://www.portofbelledune.ca/index.php

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has developed and is utilizing a comprehensive guideline on Environmental Effects Evaluations (EEE) to facilitate compliance with sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012. The guideline provides the detailed process for decision makers to effectively include considerations of environmental risk and appropriate mitigation measures into real property projects.

By adopting a risk-based approach, a determination is made whether projects have low, moderate or high environmental risk. CFIA decision-makers are able to implement appropriate mitigation measures for projects of varying risks. Once the risk level is defined, the guideline specifies the next steps for projects that require an EEE to determine the potential for significant adverse effects. Each authority needs to provide information on their governance activities. The information to be included is to be determined by the authority. It may consist of providing the information relevant to the processes that facilitate compliance with sections 67-69. It may be helpful to describe any risk-based approach that was used to simplify implementation of the obligations for the lower-risk projects. The purpose is to indicate how each authority is fulfilling its obligations.

In 2019-2020, the CFIA undertook an EEE for a project that involves the replacement of a loading dock overpass at CFIA’s laboratory in Ottawa, Ontario. The construction site is adjacent to the building, surrounded by pavement, grass, and ornamental trees. The work involves demolition, abatement, construction of a temporary access road, and building of a structure. The project has not yet been completed.

The EEE was conducted based on potential effects of the project on the soil and air quality, and biological environment of the site. The EEE concluded that the undertaking of the project would not result in significant adverse environmental effects, and mitigation measures were implemented to minimize potential effects. Such mitigation measures included, but are not limited to: installing sediment and erosion control measures, monitoring the site daily for species at risk, and conducting demolition activities outside of the bird breeding season.

In 2019-2020, no assessed projects were determined to be likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. No referral to Governor in Council was required.

Canadian Heritage

In response to its obligations outlined in CEAA 2012, Canadian Heritage (PCH) had developed and implemented a risk-based approach to evaluate the environmental effects of its activities and funded projects. The approach was based on guidance provided by the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and ensured consistency in the application of CEAA 2012 for all projects on federal lands.

Departmental officials make the determination on the potential for significant adverse environmental effects of proposed projects that fall under the definition of a project under CEAA 2012 and incorporate mitigation measures as appropriate to minimize environmental impacts. In most cases, these are considered to be small projects and are unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Such projects could include the erection of a monument, installation of public art, the construction, renovation or expansion of sporting facilities, schools or cultural buildings.

No determinations were made, under CEAA 2012, in 2019–2020 with regard to environmental effects. Therefore, no PCH projects were likely to have significant adverse environmental effects and, as such, the Department did not refer any projects to the Governor in Council.

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is mandated under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) to regulate all nuclear facilities and nuclear-related activities in Canada. Before any person or company can prepare a site, construct, operate, decommission or abandon a nuclear facility – or possess, use, transport or store nuclear substances – they must obtain a licence from the CNSC.

Protecting the environment is part of the CNSC’s mandate. The CNSC requires the environmental effects of all facilities or activities to be evaluated and considered when licensing decisions are made. Before a licence can be granted, the Commission (or a designated officer) must be satisfied, pursuant to subsection 24(4) of the NSCA, that the applicant or licensee is qualified and will make adequate provision for the protection of the environment and the health and safety of persons.

For projects proposed to be carried out on federal lands, as defined in section 66 of CEAA 2012, and requiring a decision by the CNSC as the federal authority, the Commission must also determine, in accordance with section 67 of CEAA 2012, whether the completion of a proposed project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, taking into consideration the implementation of mitigation measures.

In fiscal year 2019-2020, the Commission did not make any section 67 determinations.

Department of National Defence

Under the CEAA 2012, the Department of National Defence (DND) is required to conduct a determination of the significance of adverse environmental effects associated with planned projects on federal lands and outside of Canada. For fiscal year 2019-2020, all DND projects requiring a determination of significance were evaluated to confirm that adverse environmental effects were unlikely. There was no referral to Governor in Council.

DND’s policy instruments and guidance facilitates compliance with sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012 and promotes thorough analysis of all potential significant adverse environmental effects and developing effective mitigation measure to address them. For lower risk activities, an Abbreviated Reporting Criteria has been established to streamline compliance of frequently recurring projects.

Project Example:

A review of the potential significant adverse environmental effects was conducted for the modification and upgrade of the aboveground fuel tank farm at the DND property at 19 Wing Comox in Comox, British Columbia. The project consisted of installing a new product transfer area which included a new receiving station and pump house and other modifications including a widening of the road and modifications to the fence. The Project site is located within a secured chain-link fenced compound along the north side of Knight Road in the Town of Comox, BC on Vancouver Island. The project site consists mainly of manicured grasses with some mature tress outside of the perimeter fence.

Potential significant adverse environmental effects of the project were assessed and mitigation measures have been identified to minimize or eliminate these effects on soil and water quality and preventing sediment from reaching aquatic habitat. On the basis of the Environmental Effects Determination (EED), it has been determined that the project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Environment and Climate Change Canada

This is Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) eighth report tabled in Parliament for activities on federal lands and outside of Canada in accordance with section 71 of CEAA 2012.

During fiscal year 2019-2020, ECCC undertook 18 projects that triggered a review under S.67 of CEAA 2012. No projects were determined likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects, in some cases environmental mitigation measures were applied to reduce effects.

Pursuant to CEAA 2012, ECCC has followed internal operational processes to evaluate projects on federal lands or outside Canada in relation to a physical work and that are not designated projects. These projects are assessed to determine if there is the potential for significant adverse environmental effects, and to identify measures to mitigate adverse effects, if required. To ensure effective determination of environmental effects, each project was reviewed by an environmental assessment expert. This approach is aligned with ECCC’s mandate for the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the natural environment, conservation of Canada’s renewable resources and coordination of environmental policies and programs.

Project Highlight:

The Exeter Weather Radar Replacement is an example of a project assessed during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The Canadian Weather Radar Replacement Program (CWRRP) replaced the old Exeter radar as part of the Meteorological Service of Canada’s plan to upgrade the existing network of aging and obsolete weather radars.

Given that this project was carried out on federal lands and involved construction and decommissioning of radar systems, the department assessed potential adverse environmental impacts to land, water and air. During the radar replacement, some effects were mitigated, including minimizing vegetation destruction and noise emissions.

The environmental assessment included expert advice from Corporate Services and Finance Branch regarding greening and environmental programs. It is determined that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects with implementation of mitigation measures. This project will ensure ECCC can continue to provide Canadians with the weather information they need to make informed decisions to protect their health, safety, and security.

Employment and Social Development Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) funding does not typically support large scale economic capital ventures that are likely to create environmental impacts. Examples of projects ESDC typically support include:

In order to facilitate compliance with sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012, ESDC ensures that:

The projects that were assessed in the fiscal year 2019-2020 are not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has developed internal operational guidance that outlines an overarching risk-based approach for the assessment and reporting of environmental effects of projects proposed on federal lands that are subject to Section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

In the last year, staff have reviewed and completed Project Effects Determination Reports for projects subject to Section 67 of CEAA 2012. The Reports are a means to record the predicted environmental effects and the proposed mitigation measures that are applied to minimize the potential negative environmental effects of medium- to high-risk projects on federal lands.

The Department’s Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Program owns and manages a national database that is used for collecting information on various program activities. This system, called the Program Activity Tracking for Habitat (PATH), has been made available to all programs in the Department who have responsibilities for projects on federal lands under CEAA 2012. PATH can be used to obtain statistical reports for projects that the Department has evaluated under Section 67 of CEAA 2012.

For fiscal year 2019-2020, there have been no determinations made where a project on federal lands was likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) supports a broad range of international projects including, but not limited to, international development assistance program funding, the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOP), the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and the International Science & Technology Partnerships Program. GAC’s environmental review processes contribute to the success of Departmental priorities such as strengthening the rules-based international order, advancing Canada’s feminist foreign policy, pursuing a progressive trade agenda and maintaining constructive relations with the United States.

We demonstrate due diligence in decision-making under sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012 and support the Department’s mandate, including Canada’s reputation abroad for projects it funds or undertakes. Environmental reviews required for projects outside Canada respect foreign sovereignty, international law, and international agreements to which Canada is party.

The processes articulate roles and responsibilities to emphasize accountability within the Department for ensuring environmental reviews are conducted as appropriate, that decisions are documented, and that results are reported. Tailored processes have been implemented for specific GAC programs. For example, consistent with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy – Action Area Policy: Environment and Climate Action, the Environmental Integration process ensures that appropriate environmental sustainability considerations (including in accordance with Canada’s legislative requirements for projects outside Canada) are integrated into the design, implementation and monitoring of all of Canada’s international assistance projects.

The level of effort and analysis undertaken corresponds with the level of anticipated environmental effects or risks of the proposed project. Environmental reviews conducted during the 2019-2020 fiscal year concluded that carrying out the projects were not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects with mitigation measures implemented as proposed. Further information can be found on GAC’s Sustainable Development website.

Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority, Hamilton Port Authority, Oshawa Port Authority

The Minister of Transport amalgamated the Hamilton Port Authority (HPA) and the Oshawa Port Authority (OPA) to form the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA), effective June 18, 2019. This report covers all three organizations. For the review of projects as defined under CEAA 2012, the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority and its predecessors use an Environmental Management Approach for planned projects on federal lands under its administration and control. The management approach enables HOPA to conduct appropriate Environmental Effects Evaluations and Determinations for projects located on HOPA federal lands, to satisfy the requirements of section 67 to 69 of CEAA 2012.

Lower-risk activities that are routine and predictable, which incorporate effective and established mitigation measures and environmental best practices, may require less analysis, while higher-risk activities will require more detailed review and scrutiny. This approach ensures that projects receive a risk assessment and review that is commensurate with the level of risk and likelihood of significant adverse environmental effects associated with the carrying out the project.

There were no projects determined as likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects during the reporting period of April 1, 2019 to August 27, 2019. HOPA did not have any projects in progress under CEAA 2012 when the Impact Assessment Act came into force on August 28, 2019.

Health Canada

Health Canada continues to ensure that it is meeting its obligations under Section 67 of CEAA 2012 for activities related to real property on federal lands.

An internal procedure has been implemented that outlines the approach that project managers are to take in determining a project’s likelihood to cause significant adverse environmental effects and in identifying proper mitigation measures. The procedure also identifies roles and responsibilities of the relevant parties.

Health Canada determined that there were no projects likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects during this reporting period.

Indigenous Services Canada

Pursuant to CEAA 2012, Indigenous Services Canada reviewed projects and considered their environmental effects including effects on Indigenous peoples, prior to the issuance of a permit, lease, license or other authorizations.

For projects south of 60° on-reserve, the department’s Environmental Review Process (the Process) consists of a suite of policy tools informed by the perspectives of various stakeholders, including First Nations and industry representatives. In the few cases where CEAA 2012 applied in the North (areas within Nunavut, but excluded from the Nunavut Settlement Area, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories), Indigenous Services Canada reviewed each project on a case-by-case basis to determine if there were any adverse environmental impacts or impacts to Indigenous peoples as per paragraph 5 (1)(c) of CEAA 2012.

The Process ensures that projects receive a risk assessment and scrutiny commensurate to the level of risk and the likelihood of significant adverse environmental effects associated with carrying out the project. For the fiscal year 2019-2020, the Department determined that none of the projects they reviewed were likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. No referral to Governor in Council was required.

For further information on the process, please visit the website: www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1345141628060/1345141658639

Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated

The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) ensures the mobility of users, the safety and the longevity of infrastructure using a systemic management approach based on sustainable development. JCCBI ensures a safe drive for thousands of users by managing, maintaining and repairing important infrastructure for the Greater Montreal.

JCCBI conducts several maintenance projects annually to ensure the durability of the assets under its supervision. This work is carried out following an evaluation conducted in accordance with the applicable regulations. In addition, JCCBI evaluates projects that are carried out by third-party on its properties because of their realization on federal lands.

JCCBI’s project management processes include environmental risk analysis at the early stages of projects and depending on the level of project risk, environmental assessments are conducted internally or externally.

During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, two projects were assessed according to CEAA 2012 since the environmental assessment process had started before August 28, 2019, the date of the entry into force of the Impact Assessment Act. Those two project are:

  1. REM project: Construction of a railway bridge over the L’Île-des-Sœurs channel
    This project involves the construction of a new railway bridge over the Île-des-Sœurs channel as well as the construction of the western and eastern approaches by air. This work will require the temporary construction of jetties in the L’Île-des-Sœurs channel. These temporary jetties are required to make the caisson piles for the bridge and thus proceed with the installation of the beams and slabs of this new structure.
  2. REM project: Samuel-De Champlain Bridge Corridor (from L’Île-des-Sœurs to Brossard)
    This project involves the construction of the L’Île-des-Sœurs REM to Brossard, using the central deck of the Samuel-De Champlain Bridge. No work on the bank or on the coast of a watercourse is planned during this work.

The construction project for a railway bridge over the Île-des-Sœurs channel was assessed jointly with various responsible authorities: the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada. The Samuel-De Champlain Bridge Corridor Project was assessed jointly with Infrastructure Canada.

Since the proposed construction of a railway bridge over the L’Île-des-Sœurs channel was likely to have negative environmental effects on fish habitat and indirectly on the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada, Aboriginal consultations were conducted in which the Mohawk community of Kanahwake participated. Their constructive participation coupled with an exhaustive analysis by experts of the potential effects of the project on fish habitat made it possible to develop mitigation and compensation measures to avoid generating significant negative effects.

For these two projects, the potential effects on the human environment were studied in depth in order to limit the effects on the soundscape, air quality and traffic. Several specific mitigation measures have been developed in order to respond effectively to the specific challenges of these projects. These specific measures, combined with other current measures, allowed JCCBI to authorize the implementation of these projects since they did not risk generating significant negative effects on the environment.

Montreal Port Authority

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA)’s environmental management system secure compliance with the requirements of sections 67 to 69 of CEAA 2012. Procedures have been developed to ensure that issues, regulatory requirements and environmental aspects are taken into account as part of the management of contracts and leases signed with tenants, and also where work is executed by tenants.

In addition, there is a similar procedure for all projects executed by the MPA. These procedures ensure that environmental effects are assessed for any project or work executed on Port of Montreal’s territory.

For example, in 2018, the MPA completed the first phase of a $78-million project for the rehabilitation of Alexandra Pier and Iberville Passenger Terminal. The main objectives of this project were to rehabilitate these century old infrastructures and to improve the reception for cruise passengers arriving in Montreal. The MPA relied on a concept for a better way to integrate the terminal and the pier, now called Grand Quay, into the urban fabric of Old Montreal. Furthermore, it meets the expectations of citizens who seek better access to their river, by clearing the end of the Grand Quay so that the far end has been lowered closer to the river, and by adding a green rooftop terrace. In addition, the MPA has completed an innovative electrical shore power supply system project for cruise ships, thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, the MPA began the second phase of the project, the construction of a tower that will complete this Montreal maritime signature for 2021.

An evaluation of environmental effects has been completed and it was determined that the environmental issues were, among others, the level of noise and visual integration aspects. To minimize impacts associated with the works taking place in the heart of Old Montreal, a very busy tourist area, trucks with a higher load capacity were favored to reduce the number of trucks circulating, a ship was docked near the building site to serve as a visual screen and a noise barrier, and the work schedule has been adapted. In addition, the MPA has established channels of communication with the neighboring community to maintain harmonious relationships by listening to their needs and concerns.

For all the projects analyzed by the MPA during the period, none were to cause significant adverse environmental effects. The review of these projects has shown that environmental effects could be managed through well-established and effective mitigation measures.

Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) classifies projects using its Environmental Effects Evaluation process to evaluate the potential environmental effects of projects that it enables to be carried out on federal lands and outside of Canada. When appropriate, NRCan collaborates with other departments on joint projects and projects requiring broader federal review, to make determinations under section 71 of CEAA 2012. Six projects were reviewed in 2019-2020 including subject areas such as the construction and operation of solar and wind power, road repairs, biofuels production, and a variety of battery storage technology systems. All of the projects assessed in the 2019-2020 reporting period were determined to have negligible environmental risk.

Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada’s mandate is to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations. Parks Canada’s Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) process supports achievement of this mandate as well as the requirements of CEAA 2012.

Parks Canada’s EIA process matches the depth of analysis to project risk, maximizing both effectiveness and efficiency of assessments. Best management practices are pre-approved impact assessments for a group of similar, routine projects with predictable effects. Basic impact analysis is used for projects of low-complexity, and detailed impact analysis is undertaken for complex projects with high levels of public concern. Alternate process is an integrated means of meeting CEAA 2012 requirements when a proposal is subject to another planning or permitting process approved by Parks Canada. No projects with likely significant adverse environmental effects were identified in 2019-2020.

With the new Impact Assessment Act (IAA) coming into force in August of 2019, Parks Canada does not have any CEAA 2012 governance activities to report as efforts were largely focused on preparing staff for the transition from CEAA 2012 to the IAA in 2019-2020.

Project Highlight 2019-2020

Project: The construction of a new artificial turtle nesting platform adjacent to a wetland in Thousand Islands National Park. This project was designed to help reduce turtle mortality from car strikes due to nests being located on the gravel highway embankment. The artificial nesting platform provides attractive alternative nesting habitat. Basic Impact Analysis was used to assess this project.

Potential adverse effects and mitigations: This project is representative of many Parks Canada projects which are designed to have positive ecological outcomes, but use EIA to ensure there will be no inadvertent negative effects. In this case, the construction activities had the potential to affect individuals and habitat of several species at risk; to facilitate the spread of Japanese Knotweed, a highly invasive plant species; and to have local impacts on water quality. Mitigation included identifying a location for the nesting structure that would avoid Western Chorus Frog critical habitat; identifying protocols for construction crews on chance encounters with species at risk individuals; actions to minimize the spread of seeds, roots, and plant material from Japanese Knotweed in the construction zone, and construction materials, practices, and containment strategies to prevent and minimize construction effects on wetland water quality.

Prince Rupert Port Authority

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is responsible for managing federal property at the Port of Prince Rupert and for evaluating the environmental effects of projects to satisfy the requirements of Section 67 of CEAA 2012. Reference material developed by the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency guides the environmental effects evaluation process.

For the 2019-2020 reporting period, all projects reviewed by the PRPA were considered unlikely to result in significant adverse environmental effects or were considered unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects with the application of appropriate environmental mitigation.

An example of a project that was assessed pursuant to Section 67 of CEAA 2012 is the construction of a second berth at a marine terminal which was proposed on land administered by the Port Authority. Potential environmental effects associated with the project included construction related noise and effects to water quality. For mitigation, best management practices for construction were employed and activities that could result in potential effects to water quality were minimized.

Public Service Services and Procurement

To ensure Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) complies with its obligations under Sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012, the Department continues to implement the PSPC National CEAA 2012 framework as a component of the departmental Environmental Compliance Management Program.

In order to render a CEAA 2012 determination the environmental services assessor reviews and analyzes the project information against established PSPC project risk criteria. Risks are divided into three categories: high, medium, and low. The level of assessment and subsequent mitigation measures correspond to the level of risk. All determinations are documented in the Environmental Services Ledger.

For the reporting period of 2019-20, no PSPC projects have been determined to pose significant adverse environmental effects, and no projects have been referred to the Governor in Council.

PSPC will continue to provide advice and services to other federal departments and agencies related to the new Impact Assessment Act.

Québec Port Authority


In 2020, the Quebec Port Authority (QPA) is in its third year of implementing its five-year sustainable development action plan. This action plan includes a total of 27 actions divided into the three categories prescribed by the guide of good practices of the Worldwide network of port cities (AIVP); representing entrepreneur ports, citizen ports and the urban ports. The QPA’s 2019 review of the Sustainable Development Action Plan can be found at: https://www.portquebec.ca/pdf/bilans/Plan-action-2019.pdf

Project evaluation

In order to meet the requirements of federal authorities under section 67 of CEAA 2012, the QPA has evaluated all projects carried out on its territory by using the environmental citizen participation process (ECPP), implemented in 2015. Although the majority of projects were considered to have no significant environmental effects between April 1st, 2019 and March 31st, 2020, at the QPA level, one new project required an environmental impact assessment or public consultation under the ECPP. This is the next project to repair and stabilize wharf 49 and wharfs 50-53. In addition, the projects started last year have continued; the construction of a second permanent cruise terminal and the upgrade of the Anse au Foulon sector.

In the case of the proposed repair and stabilization of wharf 49 and wharfs 50-53, a notice was filed with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) as the work required water intervention. Specifically, wharf 49 required several repairs in order to become functional and safe again. Work to establish a berm at the foot of the wharf was planned and was the subject of a letter of notice from DFO, stating that such a structure and its implementation do not require authorization under the Fisheries Act or permits under the Species at Risk Act.

Environmental monitoring studies were conducted to identify and implement mitigation measures as required during the work and increased monitoring of the work was conducted to secure compliance with prescribed mitigation measures to reduce serious damage to fish and prohibited effects on listed aquatic species at risk.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) continued to implement the RCMP Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) process for evaluating the environmental effects of projects on federal lands in compliance with the CEAA 2012.

The RCMP had no projects outside Canada in fiscal year 2019-2020. In addition, there were no projects on federal lands where it was determined that significant adverse environmental effects were likely to occur.

In terms of the approach used in the RCMP, the organization has developed a risk based approach whereby projects considered to be very low risk of causing significant adverse environmental effects undergo a screening process and are excluded from further evaluation. This includes routine repairs and maintenance to existing buildings and projects that are conducted inside a building or structure.

Projects requiring a detailed evaluation are further broken down into levels of risk depending on various factors, including location, ecological sensitivity, physical activity (project type) or potential impact to indigenous peoples. A follow up letter or report is required to document the implementation of mitigation measures. All projects must be in compliance with federal environmental legislation such as CEAA 2012, the Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.

As an example of this approach, during fiscal year 2019-2020, the RCMP completed the construction of a Detachment in New Minas, Nova Scotia. The site area was covered by grass, gravel, shrubs and pavement. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) impacted soil, present on the steep slope on the Northern edge of the property was surrounded by trees. This soil was capped in-place to avoid unnecessary damage to the trees and consequential erosion of the bank. Given the site cover, no disruption to species at risk or related critical habitat was expected to be disturbed as a result of the construction and auxiliary site development activities. The work involved grading, excavation, building the structure, backfilling and landscaping. Environmental impacts such as increased runoff/sedimentation resulting from soil disturbance and changes to landscape, disturbance of PAH impacted soil, and accidental spills had the greatest likelihood to result in adverse environmental effects. An environmental protection plan was created and approval was obtained from Storm Drainage Works, Nova Scotia Department of Environment, to mitigate the potential impact of increased runoff and sedimentation. A risk management plan was implemented to mitigate the capped PAH impacted soil and monthly inspections were documented to ensure the capped soil was not disturbed throughout construction. Lastly a site specific spill response plane was prepared to mitigate the impacts of accidental spills.

Sept-Îles Port Authority

The Sept-Iles Port Authority (SIPA) relies on the approach set out in the guidance document regarding section 67 of CEAA 2012 to determine whether a proposed project on federal land is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. SIPA authorizes basic projects that have no anticipated environmental effects or those for which effective and established mitigation measures can be applied. Projects likely to present a risk of releasing a polluting substance into the environment, to damage, disturb or destroy marine species, migratory birds, endangered species or their habitats, to deteriorate human health, property or land use, or raise public concerns are subject to further assessment. The following projects have been authorized by SIPA for the period from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020:

Transport Canada

Transport Canada (TC) continues to meet its federal land obligations under CEAA 2012 through the implementation of its Federal Lands Framework (FLF). The FLF clearly identifies the roles and responsibilities of all relevant parties in the completion of Environmental Effects Determinations (EEDs) for projects subject to section 67 of CEAA 2012. The EEDs are used to identify potential environmental effects of a proposed project involving federal lands and include measures to mitigate those effects. Of the projects TC assessed during the 2019-2020 fiscal year, none were determined likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects.

For example, TC conducted a federal lands assessment for the reconstruction of the Christian Island and Cedar Point wharfs. The project was proposed by the Beausoleil First Nation in order to improve the existing ferry terminal structures to accommodate a new ferry. Works involved dredging, followed by the reconstruction of both docks, including new steel sheet pile piers, concrete ramps and an armour stone breakwater. This project required authorization from TC under the Navigation Protection Act.

An environmental review was conducted to identify potential environmental risks of the proposed works, such as disturbance of fish spawning, sediment movement and loss of riparian vegetation. Mitigation measures included the application of appropriate in-water work timing, installation of turbidity curtains and silt barriers, restrictions on the removal of riparian vegetation, installation of tree protection and emergency provisions to mitigate the risk of fuel spills. In addition, fish habitat compensation plans were proposed in consultation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (the port authority) is committed to conducting its operations in a responsible, environmentally sustainable, and transparent manner that safeguards and, where feasible and practicable, promotes continuous improvement.

As required by the port authority’s policies, environmental reviews are conducted on all projects, physical works and activities within or partially within port authority managed lands and waters to address the port authority’s responsibilities under the Canada Marine Act and meet the requirements of CEAA 2012, as applicable. Reviews consider the potential adverse environmental effects on land, air and water quality as a result of a project. Based on the scope of a project, the review includes assessment of effects on fish and fish habitat, aquatic species, migratory birds, health and socio-economic conditions, physical and cultural heritage and the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes.

The port authority applies its Project and Environmental Review process to projects within its jurisdiction, which enables the port authority to undertake effective, robust and transparent environmental reviews to meet regulatory obligations under CEAA 2012.

Between January 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 all of the projects reviewed by the port authority were considered unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, or were considered unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects with the application of appropriate environmental mitigation. A full list of projects reviewed is provided on the port authority’s website at: https://www.portvancouver.com/environmental-protection-at-the-port-of-vancouver/leading-with-environmentally-responsible-practices/project-environmental-reviews/.

By way of example, in December 2019, the port authority issued a project permit for the Canadian Pacific Railway expansion project in Port Moody. The project included expanding the existing railway infrastructure to allow for an increase in rail capacity along a section of the Cascade Subdivision from Port Moody to Burnaby, British Columbia. Growth in freight volumes into and out of port facilities along the south shore of Burrard Inlet has resulted in increased demand for rail capacity. Key mitigations considered in the Canadian Pacific Railway expansion project review were protection of surface water through a turbidity monitoring plan, the use of a silt curtain during infilling and excavation activities, implementation of sediment and erosion controls measures, storm water management, and marine habitat offsetting. Marine habitat offsetting was authorized by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and included the construction of spawning habitat and subtidal reefs in two locations near the project area. Through the port authority’s Project and Environmental Review process, the project was approved subject to 67 permit conditions, some of which ensure the project does not result in significant adverse environmental effects. Project related information is available at: https://www.portvancouver.com/permitting-and-reviews/per/project-and-environment-review-applicant/status-of-permit-applications/canadian-pacific-cascade-capacity-expansion/

Western Economic Diversification Canada

The department of Western Economic Diversification (WD) has employed guidance circulated by the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to ensure a consistent approach to assessments under sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012.

WD assesses each project to secure compliance with CEAA 2012 before approving a funding contribution. If required, WD accesses expertise and guidance from partner organizations to conduct environmental effects evaluations under section 67 of CEAA 2012 for all projects on federal lands. The assessments and guidance obtained inform WD’s determinations under the CEAA 2012.

In fiscal year 2019-2020, WD approved funding for 2 projects that fell on federal lands. All projects on federal lands that have received a contribution from WD were determined not likely to have significant adverse environmental effects.

Further information on WD’s projects can be found at https://open.canada.ca/en.

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