2015-2016 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 the Environment, 2016.

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 Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3, or info@ceaa-acee.gc.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 2015-2016

Alternative formats may be requested by contacting: info@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

Foreword to the 2015-2016 Reports by Federal Authorities with Obligations under section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

I am pleased to table the attached report entitled “Reports by Federal Authorities with Obligations under section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). This consolidated report 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. Federal authorities must table an annual report in Parliament in order to meet their section 71 obligation under CEAA 2012. The federal authorities that have included their reports in this consolidated report satisfy this obligation. Other federal authorities who have an existing mechanism for reporting to Parliament, typically an annual report, should have satisfied this obligation through that mechanism. This is the fourth consolidated report tabled in Parliament since the implementation of CEAA 2012.

CEAA 2012 is focused on environmental assessments of designated projects conducted by one of three responsible authorities (the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the National Energy Board or the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency). CEAA 2012 also includes provisions to ensure that projects on federal lands and outside Canada are considered in a careful and precautionary manner. Sections 66-72 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 Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, setting out a framework for a consistent approach and facilitating the joint analysis of projects involving multiple authorities. However, authorities define the process by which they conduct their analysis, and the breadth of their selected governance activities are reflected in the enclosed reports.

Section 71 reports have been provided by federal authorities to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency for consolidation. This year, 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. If you should have questions with respect to the information provided in these reports, please contact the appropriate federal authority.

Table of Contents

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

To facilitate compliance with sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) implements a risk-based approach to the environmental evaluation of departmental activities. The approach is based on guidance provided by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and ensures consistency in the application of CEAA 2012 to departmental activities, and that environmental risks are assessed in advance of any project taking place on federal lands. AAFC categorizes projects into those having low, moderate or high environmental risk. Departmental officials make the 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, 2015 and March 31, 2016, AAFC determined that no project was likely to have significant adverse environmental effects and did not refer any projects to the Governor in Council.

An example of a project subject to AAFC’s risk-based approach is the rehabilitation of a water supply dam in southern Saskatchewan. The reservoir is used to supply water for irrigation, municipal and domestic uses and provides habitat and recreational value. The project involved construction activities related to lining a low-level concrete outlet structure that runs through the embankment, and releases water from the reservoir into a downstream irrigation canal. Work within the reservoir was done underwater to avoid de-watering and disturbing aquatic habitat. Any dredging was done by suction with silt deposited on shore, and a floating sediment curtain was installed to isolate the work area. Potential environmental risks from the project included erosion and sedimentation, a decline in the quality of water and aquatic habitat, and disturbance to vegetation, wildlife, and/or wildlife habitat. AAFC’s Environmental Effects Evaluation included obtaining a permit from the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency, and a review by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Appropriate mitigation measures, including following DFO timing restrictions, were incorporated into project design, and the project was completed with no significant adverse environmental effects.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) has implemented a thorough approach to evaluating environmental impacts under sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). ACOA assesses each project to ensure compliance with the CEAA 2012. An analysis of all potential environmental effects of projects on federal lands is completed and a determination is made before a project is approved for funding. ACOA has a contract with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to conduct environmental effects analyses under section 67 of CEAA 2012. PSPC provides ACOA with the expertise and guidance that allows it to make an informed determination.

To date, all projects on federal lands that have received a contribution from ACOA were determined not likely to have significant adverse environmental effects.

Further information on ACOA’s projects can be found at www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) serves Canada as a responsible steward of the environment. AECL is committed to assessing the impacts of all of our activities on the environment through rigorous internal processes. The 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 the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (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 public concern.

One example of a project reviewed in 2015‐2016 is the proposed construction of a natural gas pipeline to AECL’s Chalk River Laboratory Site (CRL) which is located 200 kilometers west of Ottawa in the Province of Ontario. The project will enable conversion of oil heated buildings to natural gas and thereby reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions at Chalk River Laboratories by approximately 8700 tonnes. Approximately 7 kilometers of the pipeline is on the CRL Site and is subject to a section 67 determination.

The proposed pipeline is located along the main access road to the CRL site and is adjacent to wetlands that provide habitat and nesting sites for several turtle species at risk, including the Blanding’s and Eastern Musk Turtles. Activities related to construction of the pipeline may adversely affect nesting sites and harm individuals of the species. Mitigation measures were implemented in accordance with terms and conditions of a permit under section 73 of the Species at Risk Act. These included measures to prevent Blanding’s and Eastern Musk turtles from entering the work site and worker training to reduce the likelihood of harm to individuals from construction activities.

In fiscal year 2015‐2016, no projects were determined to have likely significant adverse environmental effects. Additional information on environmental performance at AECL sites (operated by CNL) is available at 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 effective 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, 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.

No projects were undertaken during the 2015 fiscal year.

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

Business Development Bank of Canada

Given its mandate to support entrepreneurs, and recognizing that most businesses entail some degree of environmental risk, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has a rigorous governance structure in place.

BDC’s governance structure comprises a Board-approved Policy on the Environment. Emanating from this Policy are detailed procedures, business rules, processes, and tools that ensure that these principles and objectives are achieved. BDC’s Policy, business rules, processes and procedures are subject to regular review to ensure consistency with evolving legislation and best practices. Compliance is monitored as a part of BDC’s Quality Review and Internal Audit processes.

Funding of certain projects designated by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and listed in BDC Procedures can only be approved upon receipt of an assessment confirming that the project is unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Internal assessments and site visits are also conducted to identify and classify possible environmental liabilities and environmental effects associated with a property’s past and present use. BDC makes use of third party environmental consultants in cases where an internal assessment is deemed insufficient, inconclusive or where serious concerns are identified.

Projects undertaken on Federal Lands and in jurisdictions outside Canada are subject to the same principles and activities outlined above. To the best of its knowledge, BDC attests that it has not, including in the past fiscal year that ended March 31, 2016, financed any projects that could have significant adverse environmental effects.

Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is committed to the protection of the environment and as such conducts its operations and activities in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. Under section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, the CBSA is required to conduct a determination of the significance of adverse environmental effects of its projects. CBSA maintains an internal environmental assessment process to meet this requirement.

The CBSA approach consists of an Environmental Effects Checklist, a screening tool that evaluates proposed projects to ensure their environmental effects are assessed. If the screening checklist identifies sensitive environmental receptors, or the scope of the project is of a magnitude such that there is a greater potential for environmental effects, a more detailed evaluation is required.

All assessments are reviewed internally by the CBSA Infrastructure and Environmental Operations Directorate and the CBSA maintains an inventory of all the assessments, including records of decision.

In 2015-2016, assessed projects were determined to be unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) assesses all projects carried out on federal lands to determine the environmental effects, and to ensure compliance with sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) before approving a financial contribution. Generally, the projects funded by CED do not have significant environmental impact.

During the year 2015-2016, five (5) active projects on federal lands were assessed and had no significant, non-desirable environmental impact.

Governance Activities

CED ensures that the governance mechanism established to enforce CEAA 2012, including projects on federal lands, is consistent with the approach and interpretations of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. The recommended approach examines each project to ensure its conformity with the law. CED has produced a Program Management Manual that provides guidelines to staff to ensure a consistent and comprehensive approach to environmental assessments under sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012.

CED has established a contract with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to conduct environmental impact assessments under section 67 of CEAA 2012, for all projects covered by the law, including those on federal lands where potential adverse environmental effects were previously identified by CED. Assessments conducted by PSPC allow CED to ensure that projects comply with CEAA 2012. When required, PSPC also supports CED in evaluating mitigation measures to validate environmental monitoring and to answer any other questions relating to the application of CEAA 2012.

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 the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). The guideline provides the necessary tools and detailed process for decision-makers to effectively include considerations of environmental risk and appropriate mitigation measures into real property projects. The guideline ensures that environmental effects are considered when project decisions are made.

By adopting a risk-based approach, a determination is made as to 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 environmental effects.

In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, assessed projects were determined to be unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. No referral to Governor in Council was required. In 2015-2016, the CFIA oversaw the conduction of three EEEs for projects that were deemed “medium” risk.

An example of a project that was reviewed is a parking lot resurfacing project at the CFIA’s Ottawa Fallowfield Laboratory. The project consists of reconstructing the majority of the paved areas on-site. It also entails replacing storm sewers and associated manholes, drains and outlets as well as parking lot light standards. The surrounding environment is comprised mainly of urban agricultural land.

An EEE was conducted based on the proximity of the project to a water body and the potential for impacts to species at risk, migratory birds or fish/fish habitat. The EEE concluded that the undertaking of the project would not result in significant adverse environmental effects, and mitigation measures were implemented by the construction contractor to minimize potential effects. Mitigation measures include actions such as: implementation of sediment and erosion control measures, covering excavated material stockpiles, proper disposal of waste materials, and installation of silt fencing.

Canadian Heritage

In response to its obligations outlined in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), Canadian Heritage (PCH) has developed and implemented a risk-based approach to evaluate the environmental effects of its activities and funded projects. The approach is based on guidance provided by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and ensures 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, and the construction, renovation or expansion of sporting facilities, schools or cultural buildings. Determinations made in 2015-2016, with regard to environmental effects, indicated that 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.

For example, the Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial was a project for which it was determined that, with the implementation of mitigation measures; it was not likely to cause adverse environmental effects.

The project on Transport Canada federal lands involved the design, fabrication and installation of a memorial to the 137 men who died while building the Welland Ship Canal. The memorial included the development of a small park on the site as well as installation of hard surfaces, memorial components and other park elements. The immediate area surrounding the project includes a granular surface, asphalt and grass.

Environmental impacts such as the removal of ornamental vegetation, ground disturbance and the exposure of soil had the greatest likelihood to result in adverse environmental effects. Mitigation measures of protecting, preserving and replanting vegetation as well as controlling the dust and refueling areas were incorporated in the project design and were implemented during construction.

Canadian Institute of Health Research

The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) has determined there is minimal risk that the organization will carry out or financially support projects that fall under sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). Given that CIHR is a federal health research funding agency and does not conduct its own research, projects falling under the Act would be research proposals submitted to CIHR for funding. CIHR has made compliance with CEAA 2012 a requirement for obtaining agency funding. As such, it has implemented a mandatory field within its research funding application forms whereby research proposals that potentially fall under the Act are identified and flagged in CIHR’s database at the application intake stage. Should the research proposal be successful, CIHR then follows up with the applicant to obtain the information necessary to make a determination following the guidelines and criteria set out in Projects on Federal Lands: making a determination under section 67 of CEAA 2012. Database controls are in place to ensure that no federal funds are released until CIHR is fully satisfied that the project is unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on federal lands or outside Canada. This process is actively monitored for continuous improvement.

In fiscal year 2015-2016, CIHR did not support projects that fell under sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012.

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) reports to Parliament through the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and supports the development and diversification of the economy in the territories.

Further to requirements to report activities under sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, CanNor does not undertake or provide funding for projects on federal lands or outside Canada.

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 corresponding licence from the CNSC.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) submitted requests for approval to decommission (1) the Fuel Rod Storage and Handling Facility and (2) the Plutonium Recovery Laboratory. CNSC staff assessed these applications against CNSC regulatory guidance and CSA standards and found that both meet the requirements.

In considering the applications, the Commission is required to decide, pursuant to subsection 24(2) of the NSCA, that the applicant is qualified to carry out the activity and will in carrying out that activity make adequate provisions for the protection of the environment, the health and safety of persons and the maintenance of national security and measures required to implement international obligations to which Canada has agreed.

The Commission considered the information and submissions from CNL and CNSC staff and is satisfied that the projects will not cause significant adverse environment effects, taking into consideration the implementation of mitigation and control measures. Pursuant to section 24 of the NSCA, the Commission approved the requests from CNL for the decommissioning of the Fuel Rod Storage and Handling Facility and the Plutonium Recovery Laboratory.

Canadian Space Agency

Pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has implemented a rigorous approach for reviewing all its projects and considering their potential for significant adverse environmental effects prior to undertaking them. This approach is entrenched within the CSA’s Investment Governance and Monitoring Framework (IGMF), which establishes the governance structures, accountability, standard practices and processes directing the planning and oversight of CSA’s investments throughout their lifecycle.

The IGMF sets out a multi-phased approach to investment decision-making and associated gating. Once selected for further development, proposed projects enter their initial planning phase, which requires a preliminary assessment of project activities, founded on Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) Environmental Compliance Management Program (ECMP) checklist. Projects involving listed activities are then referred to PSPC for complete review and analysis. As necessary, PSPC provides CEAA 2012 advice and services to the CSA, including the performance of environmental assessments. Based on the assessed level of risk, appropriate risk response strategies are defined, implemented, monitored, and controlled throughout the project and investment lifecycle.

The CSA’s organizational project management capacity and the IGMF are subject to regular mandatory assessments and audits, which form the basis of a three-year continuous improvement plan.

For fiscal year 2015-2016, no CSA projects have been determined to pose significant adverse environmental effects, and, no projects have been referred to the Governor in Council.

Canadian Tourism Commission

Destination Canada, the operating name for the Canadian Tourism Commission, is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. We work in partnership with our tourism industry in 12 countries around the world to promote Canada as a premier travel and meetings destination.

To facilitate compliance with sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), Destination Canada uses an established process to determine the adverse environmental effects resulting from any projects it undertakes on federal lands or outside Canada.

In accordance with section 71 of CEAA 2012, Destination Canada has determined that, for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, it did not undertake any projects on federal lands or outside Canada which were likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Copyright Board of Canada

The Copyright Board of Canada (the Board) is a quasi-judicial tribunal that establishes royalties to be paid for the use of copyrighted works. As part of this mandate, the Board does not initiate or participate in any physical activity that is carried out on federal lands or outside Canada in relation to a physical work.

Consequently, for fiscal year 2015-2016, no projects were determined likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects.

Correctional Service Canada

Correctional Service Canada (CSC) uses a risk-based approach to comply with its legislative requirements under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). CSC’s approach involves screening proposed projects using an internal checklist to separate projects that require further investigation from routine low-risk projects whose environmental effects are known and can be easily controlled with standard mitigation measures. Projects that require further investigation undergo an Environmental Effects Evaluation which systematically evaluates and documents the anticipated environmental effects of a proposed project and determines the need to modify the project plan or recommend further mitigation to eliminate or minimize the adverse environmental effects.

In fiscal year 2015-2016, CSC did not have any projects that were found to have significant adverse environmental effects nor were any projects referred to the Governor in Council for a determination on the justification of effects.

Project Highlight 2015-2016

The following is an example of a project that was assessed using our internal CEAA process. The project involved the installation of a ultra-violet (UV) treatment system at the wastewater treatment plant at Warkworth Institution in Campbellford, Ontario. The project included the replacement of a UV disinfection system as well as excavation, grading, concrete work, backfilling, and installation of an elevated platform and railing system. The immediate area surrounding the plant consists primarily of grass, and a few shrubs, as well as a number of storm drains in a nearby sloped asphalted area with drainage to Salt Creek, a tributary to Trent River and a groundwater recharge zone.

The potential environmental effects identified were accidental spills either from stored chemicals, vehicular fluids, temporary storage tank, or partially treated effluent into the soil or to Salt Creek via the storm drains, the outdoor UV channel or the plant’s outfall. Mitigation measures incorporated into the project design included a temporary disinfection and bypass plan and an environmental protection plan consistent with identified risks. The implemented temporary disinfection plan eliminated the need for chemical and diesel fuel use and storage as well as reduced the potential risk of wastewater spillage. UV channel and storm drains were protected with covers against inflow from any vehicular fluids from machinery or trucks.

More information about CSC’s approach to assessing potential environmental impacts of projects is outlined in an internal policy document entitled Internal Service Directive 318-11 – Environmental Assessment of Projects which can be found at http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/acts-and-regulations/005006-0001-eng.shtml

Department of National Defence

Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (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 2015-2016, 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 has recently updated its departmental direction and guidance to better align with CEAA 2012 requirements. DND’s policy instruments and guidance facilitate compliance with sections 67-69 of CEAA 2012 and promotes thorough analysis of all potential significant adverse environmental effects and the development of effective mitigation measures 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 Removal of Tank 83 located at DND 5 Wing property in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. The project consisted of removing the contents from the tank, dismantling the tank and disposing of the waste at an approved facility able to accept the material. Immature vegetation comprising of small alders and weeds cover the surrounding ground at the project site and a wetland is located less than 30 miles north of the project site.

Potential significant adverse environmental effects of the project were assessed and mitigation measures have been identified to minimize or eliminate these effects on groundwater, wetland, soil, vegetation and on human health. On the basis of the Environmental Effects Determination, it was determined that the project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. It was anticipated that removing the tank will benefit the environment by removing a potential contamination source.

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 supports include:

  • Employment recruitment, training and placement for targeted client groups
  • Small scale renovations (i.e. building wheelchair-accessible ramps for a First Nation band office)
  • Full building renovations (homelessness projects)
  • Smaller-scale, new building construction – typically one or two story buildings for homeless shelters

In order to facilitate compliance with sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, ESDC ensures that:

  • projects are tracked through ESDC’s Common System for Grants and Contributions (CSGC); and
  • when a project has been identified, it is assessed to determine whether it will likely cause significant adverse environmental effects. This assessment is conducted through a series of questions and guidance provided in the CSGC as well as the Department’s Operational Guide. The assessment must be completed before a funding decision is made

It was determined that the projects that were assessed this past fiscal year were not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) mandate is to protect the environment, conserve the country's natural heritage, and provide weather and meteorological information to keep Canadians informed and safe.

To fulfill its obligations under sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), ECCC determines the environmental impacts of projects on federal lands by reviewing each proposed project on a case-by-case basis. To do so, ECCC uses a standard approach for reviewing projects and considering their potential for significant adverse environmental effects, prior to carrying out a project, or issuing a grant or permit.

The department has developed guidance documents and reporting tools based on guidance provided by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to support the implementation of these environmental reviews. A tracking system is also used to record project data and decisions. Ongoing communications ensure effective and consistent application of this process, which is actively monitored for continuous improvement.

This is ECCC’s fourth report tabled in Parliament for activities on federal lands and outside of Canada in accordance with section 71 of CEAA 2012. For fiscal year 2015-2016, the Department reviewed 35 projects and determined that none of these projects were likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects or were considered unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects with the application of appropriate environmental mitigation.

For example, a project involving moving a trail located in the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area has been evaluated. Flora and fauna are present on this site, so environmental impacts – such as destruction of the vegetation, risk of spill in the event of breakage of machinery, and disturbance of wildlife could have resulted in adverse environmental effects. However, mitigation measures have been incorporated in the design of the project and put in place during the work. A survey was taken to confirm that rare or endangered plant species were not found at this site. The trail was routed to a former access road, to avoid the need for cutting trees. Work was carried out in winter on snow-covered frozen ground to limit impacts on the ground and on wildlife species. Finally, an anti-spill kit has been installed on site, to mitigate effects of a spill.

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) assesses all projects on federal lands for environmental effects to ensure compliance with sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) before approving a funding contribution. Direct recipients of FedDev Ontario funding that have third-party funding agreements are required to submit any projects on federal lands to FedDev Ontario for determination under CEAA 2012 before finalizing a funding contribution with the third party.

FedDev Ontario established a contract with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to conduct environmental effects evaluations under section 67 of CEAA 2012 for all projects on federal lands involving a physical activity in relation to a physical work. These assessments inform FedDev Ontario’s determinations under CEAA 2012. Where required, mitigation measures are included in contribution agreements with recipients.

For fiscal year 2015-2016, no projects were determined likely to result in 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).

For the past year, staff have reviewed and completed Project Effects Determination Reports for projects subject to section 67. 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 Fisheries 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 under CEAA 2012. PATH can be used to obtain statistical reports for projects that the Department has evaluated under section 67 of CEAA 2012.

In the last year, 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 and Technology Partnerships Program.

GAC’s environmental review processes contribute to the success of Departmental priorities such as global governance and prosperity, Canada-U.S. relations, international security and stability, and reducing poverty and inequality. We demonstrate due diligence in decision-making under sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 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 and that decisions are documented and results are reported. Tailored processes have been implemented for specific GAC programs such as international development assistance. The level of effort and analysis undertaken corresponds with the level of anticipated environmental effects or risks of the proposed project. During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, no project that underwent environmental reviews resulted in the potential for significant adverse environmental effects. Further information can be found on GAC’s Sustainable Development website.

Halifax Port Authority

The Halifax Port Authority is required by section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) to determine whether projects on federal lands are likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. This obligation applies when a Federal Authority proposes to carry out a project or before it exercises a power or performs a duty or function that could permit the project to proceed.

The Halifax Port Authority has developed a Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Environmental Form to provide potential proponents with a user friendly process which will meet the intent of CEAA 2012 for proposed projects on Halifax Port Authority Property. Federal department coordination and consultation with the subject matter experts at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Transport Canada, and the Department of National Defense also factor in to the determination process.

The Halifax Port Authority carried out a small number of environmental effects determinations within the specified time period. Projects reviewed within the timeframe were determined not to have significant adverse environmental effects.

Hamilton Port Authority

The Hamilton Port Authority (HPA) manages property comprised of federal lands and federal lands held in HPA’s name along the shores of Hamilton Harbour in Lake Ontario. As a responsible steward of the lands in its care, HPA conducts Environmental Effects Evaluations (EEEs) and determinations for both its own projects and those proposed by prospective tenants.

HPA conducts in-house EEEs for routine construction projects that are not likely to result in significant environmental effects with the use of standard mitigation measures. Evaluations of projects involving an industrial or manufacturing process are conducted by qualified consultants, with the input of the appropriate authorities as required.

No projects were determined to have the potential for significant adverse environmental effects within the Hamilton Port Authority’s fiscal year, ending December 2015.

Health Canada

Health Canada continues to ensure that it is meeting its obligations under section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 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.

The following example demonstrates how a risk-based approach is used for Health Canada projects on federal lands subject to section 67 determinations:

Health Canada is planning a multi-year project involving the deconstruction and demolition of a two-storey building located in an urban setting. The area surrounding the building includes grass, shrubs and trees. The deconstruction work involves the stripping-out of interiors, the decommissioning of mechanical and electrical equipment and the removal of non-structural building envelope material, followed by the demolition of the remaining concrete structure, excavating, backfilling and landscaping.

The section 67 determination performed during this reporting period established that environmental impacts such as tree removal, increased traffic and noise levels, dust emissions, deconstruction and demolition waste, and accidental spills and/or releases of hazardous substances into air, surface water, soil and/or groundwater, had the greatest likelihood to result in adverse environmental effects.

The mitigation measures identified will be incorporated into the project design and implemented during the deconstruction and demolition phases.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) reviews projects and considers their environmental effects including effects on Indigenous peoples, prior to issuance of a permit, lease, licence or other authorizations.

For projects south of 60° on-reserve, the INAC 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 the Act applies in the North (areas within Nunavut, but excluded from the Nunavut Settlement Area, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories), INAC reviews each project on a case-by-case basis to determine if there are any adverse environmental impacts or impacts to Indigenous peoples as per section 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 fiscal year 2015-2016, the department determined that none of the projects it 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

Infrastructure Canada

During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, an internal environmental determination process continued to be carried out on infrastructure projects submitted for federal funding approval. This process was used to identify a project’s legislative (Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012)) requirements and to ensure that these requirements were fulfilled prior to flowing federal funds. With respect to fulfilling section 67 requirements, the process involved the following activities:

  • Reviewing, analyzing and synthesizing information provided by funding applicants to verify whether CEAA 2012 applied to each prospective project.
  • Determining, based on research conducted and on information provided, whether a project was proposed to be constructed, in whole or in part, on federal lands.
  • Informing the appropriate federal authority if a project was found to be proposed to be constructed, in whole or in part, on federal lands.
  • If required, verifying that control mechanisms were in place, such as including requirements in the contribution agreement, to ensure the completion of the Environmental Effects Evaluation (EEE) and that all conditions specified in the EEE were implemented.

Over the course of the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Infrastructure Canada refined its internal procedures based on experience gained during the project evaluation process.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

To fulfill its obligations under sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) determines the environmental impacts of projects on federal lands by using a process that provides an analysis of potential significant adverse environmental effects resulting from the projects funded, or implemented by ISED.

The process enhances operational effectiveness and strengthens departmental accountability and governance with the implementation of procedural requirements to determine whether significant adverse environmental effects will be caused using a process described in guidelines.

The environmental impact of projects is assessed prior to making a decision on their implementation. Measures to mitigate the environmental impacts are included in the authority documents allowing the project to proceed. For fiscal year 2015-2016, no projects were determined likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects.

Montreal Port Authority

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA)’s environmental management system ensures compliance with the requirements of sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Indeed, 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 the Port of Montreal’s territory.

For example, the MPA with Termont Montréal Inc., the operator of the Maisonneuve container terminal, are achieving the construction of a container terminal in the Viau sector to increase the Port of Montreal’s container-handling capacity. The project includes the demolition of buildings, site preparation and soil reinforcement, as well as the installation of container-handling equipment.

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. Effective and proven mitigation measures have been integrated from the project design to the construction phase to minimize impacts, including modulation of work schedules and optimization of site organization as well as the use of a neutral colour for gantry cranes.

For all the projects analyzed by the MPA during the period, none were determined 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.

Nanaimo Port Authority

The Nanaimo Port Authority uses an environmental management approach for review of projects on federal lands under its administration and control as defined under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. This risk-based approach enables the Nanaimo Port Authority to conduct appropriate environmental effects evaluations and assessments of projects, and determine if any significant adverse environmental impacts are likely to occur, thus satisfying the requirements of section 67 of the Act.

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 with carrying out the project.

There were no projects determined as likely to result in having significant adverse environmental effects during this reporting period.

National Research Council

The National Research Council Canada’s (NRC) organizational and reporting structure helps ensure compliance with sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). Design and implementation of all projects and real property activities fall under the direction of the Director General of the Administrative Services and Property Management Branch (ASPM). The Environmental Operations Office (EOO) works with groups within ASPM and across the NRC to ensure environmental issues are considered at the project proposal phase, in the project design and implementation, and includes consideration of alternatives.

The NRC adopted a risk-based approach to determine the level of involvement and review required; standard mitigation measures are applied to lower-risk projects. In collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada and others, NRC developed protocols for review of projects and regulation/management of activities occurring in more sensitive areas (i.e., property providing habitat for species at risk, or projects of public or First Nations interest).

No NRC projects approved in 2015-2016 were determined to likely cause significant adverse environmental effects.

An example of an NRC project reviewed in 2015-2016 is the new Canadian Centre for Housing Technology. This project involves the construction of townhouses to measure building performance to evaluate new technologies in a side-by-side assessment. The project will take place on federal lands at NRC’s Montreal Road campus in Ottawa. The project area is relatively flat and grass covered. The environmental review document identified several mitigation measures that will be applied to the project to reduce the environmental impact and protect the local environment. These measures include tree replacement and readily available spill containment materials during construction.

Natural Resources Canada

To fulfill its obligations to evaluate environmental impacts under sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has implemented a tri-level Environmental Effects Evaluation (EEE) process which is informed by both internal and external guidance. Obligations for these projects are outlined on NRCan's internal communications site, and incorporated in project-approval processes within the department. NRCan also collaborates with the National Capital Commission and other departments, such as Public Services and Procurement Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to make determinations under CEAA 2012. Project proposals were reviewed across a range of subject areas, such as field testing of durable wood products, installation of a geodetic monument and water monitoring well, construction of a satellite antenna station, and the installation and maintenance of seismic stations.

A tailored process was developed and used for the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program (NLLP), a program that was implemented by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and NRCan to manage nuclear legacy liabilities at AECL sites. The NLLP focused on improving the management of legacy radioactive waste, accelerating the decommissioning of outdated, unused buildings and structures and remediating lands impacted by prior operations. CEAA 2012 determinations were made based on a thorough review of the project description, AECL's Environmental Effects Review, and other pertinent documentation. The NLLP formally ended in September 2015 when the restructuring of AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories was completed, and AECL assumed responsibility for oversight of the nuclear decommissioning and waste management work that was previously carried out under the NLLP. As a consequence, NRCan will not be reporting on NLLP EEEs in the future.

There were no projects determined as likely to result in having significant adverse environmental effects during this reporting period.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) requires applicants to self-identify on applications for funding when any proposed activities are being undertaken outdoors, and the activities take place on federal lands or outside of Canada. These applications are reviewed to determine whether they constitute a project as defined under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), and any projects are in turn assessed in terms of their likelihood of having significant adverse environmental effects as described in CEAA 2012. Applicants who are requesting funding for a project, as defined in the Act, must provide detailed information on the component(s) of the environment that will be affected, and any relevant planned mitigation measures, follow-up programs, and/or monitoring that will be put in place. NSERC’s Guidelines on Environmental Review and Assessment can be found here: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/policies-politiques/enviroassess-enviroeval_eng.asp

For the period of April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, NSERC’s review of projects concluded that none were likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects. In addition, NSERC was not the lead Federal Authority on any of the projects.

Oshawa Port Authority

For the review of projects as defined under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), the Oshawa Port Authority uses an Environmental Management Approach for planned projects on federal lands under its administration and control. The management approach enables the Oshawa Port Authority to conduct appropriate Environmental Effects Evaluations and Determination for projects located on Oshawa Port Authority federal lands, to satisfy the requirements of sections 67-69 of the Act.

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 with carrying out the project.

There were no projects determined as likely to result in having significant adverse environmental effects during this reporting period.

Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada Agency’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 the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), by providing a framework to evaluate potential adverse environmental effects of projects on the lands and waters that Parks Canada administers.

Parks Canada maximizes the effectiveness and efficiency of the EIA process by matching the depth of analysis to project risk. Best management practices are applied to routine projects with predictable effects. Basic analysis is used for projects of low-complexity, and detailed analysis is undertaken for complex projects with high levels of public concern.

In 2015-2016, Parks Canada delivered a renewed training program to managers, impact assessment practitioners, project managers, engineers and other key staff, reaching over 700 employees. A guide to Parks Canada’s EIA process was published and training sessions were also offered externally to consultants and contractors. This set Parks Canada up to successfully deliver its EIA program in a year that saw a 33 percent increase in projects due to new infrastructure rehabilitation funding.

No projects with likely significant adverse environmental effects were identified.

Project Highlight

Project: The reconstruction of Highway 117 involved a complete rebuild of the main highway that travels 24 kilometers through Kouchibouguac National Park.

Potential adverse effects and mitigations: The project had the potential to adversely affect vegetation, wildlife, fish, Species at Risk (SAR), and terrestrial and aquatic habitat. Ecological research and monitoring information had identified hotspots for amphibians along the road. The EIA made use of this scientific information and the project design was adjusted to incorporate four wildlife crossing structures. Culverts were also redesigned to improve fish passage and habitat connectivity. Other mitigation measures included daily inspections for SAR; use of appropriate erosion and sediment control mechanisms at each potential watercourse entry point; and implementation of a fish-salvaging program. A monitoring program will measure effectiveness, but it is anticipated that the mitigation measures incorporated into the design and applied during construction will actually make the completion of this project a positive conservation gain for the ecosystems of Kouchibouguac National Park.

Port Alberni Port Authority

The Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) employs an environmental management program that enables it to meet the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. The program is focused on reviewing projects and activities that occur on federal lands within PAPA’s administrative jurisdiction, thus satisfying the requirements of the Act; particularly sections 67-69. Inclusive of this environmental effects approach are contracts and leases managed between PAPA and its tenants as well as works that may be conducted by tenants.

Nearly all of the current and recent works conducted by PAPA and its tenants are deemed to be routine, low-risk and incorporate effective environmental best practices. These activities have been demonstrated to have little to no environmental impacts. The latter of which are managed through acceptable mitigation measures.

Of all the projects and activities reviewed and monitored by PAPA during fiscal year 2016, none were deemed to cause or were expected to cause adverse environmental effects that could not be managed through established and effective mitigation measures. However, a section 67 review was conducted for Cantimber Biotech, a wood bio mass conversion to activated carbon operation.

Prince Rupert Port Authority

The Prince Rupert Port Authority 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 the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). Reference material developed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency guides the environmental effects’ evaluation process.

For the 2015 reporting period, all projects reviewed by the Prince Rupert Port Authority 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. Further information on major projects reviewed during this period is available on the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s website at: http://www.rupertport.com/documents

An example of a routine project undergoing an environmental review pursuant to section 67 of CEAA 2012 included the construction of a steel pile barge moorage berth within a waterlot leased from the Port Authority. Potential environmental impacts associated with the project included effects to fish habitat and effects resulting from pile driving. For mitigation, best management practices for pile driving and working near water were employed and construction was completed during the least-risk timing window for the protection of fisheries resources.

Public Health Agency of Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to ensure that it is meeting its obligations under section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (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.

The Agency did not have to perform section 67 determinations during this reporting period. The activities undertaken did not meet the definition of a project under section 66 of CEAA 2012 since they only involved maintenance, repairs, or upgrades to existing facilities and did not expand the footprint of any physical works; hence, there were no projects determined likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects during this reporting period.

Public Services and Procurement Canada

To ensure Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) complies with its obligations under sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (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.

To date, no PSPC projects have been determined to pose significant adverse environmental effects, and no projects have been referred to the Governor in Council. PSPC continues to provide CEAA 2012 advice and services to other federal departments and agencies.

Québec Port Authority

Québec Port Authority (QPA) ensures that activities carried out on its federal land are considered in a careful and precautionary manner to avoid significant adverse environmental effects. In 2015, QPA had established an environmental citizen participation process (ECPP) that allows the QPA to analyze and to regulate all types of projects carried out on its territory through comprehensive environmental and social procedures. Some examples of projects reviewed by QPA last year were:

  • the establishment of a septic system, installation of two (2) tanks of petroleum products;
  • installation of a pit of retention;
  • ship loader equipment modification;
  • withdrawal of a used oil tank;
  • contaminated soil management; and
  • establishment of a sedimentation pond.

Construction of a sedimentation pond: In order to comply with an Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) directive, QPA and one of QPA’s clients undertook the construction of a sedimentation pond to treat the terminal’s rainwater before it is discharged into the environment. The project included land excavation and the installation of the pond, water pipeline system and pumping stations. A discharge pipe leading to the St. Lawrence River was also installed.

Environmental governance: As part of the environmental management system (EMS) implementation, QPA continues to require from its users the achievement of independent Environmental Compliance Audit (ECA). These audits have to be performed on a three (3) year cycle and an action plan is required for some specific points raised during the audits.

Finally, the QPA as a proponent of the development project of a multifunctional platform in deep water in the sector of Beauport (Beauport 2020) took the initiative to request that the Minister of Environment and Climate Change designate the project under section 14 (2) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) so that an environmental assessment would be conducted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. On July 31, 2015, the Minister of the Environment designated the Beauport 2020 project on the property of the Port of Quebec because of the risk that the project would lead to negative environmental impacts that can be generated under the terms of section 5 of CEAA 2012.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

During fiscal year 2015-2016, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) formalized its approach to evaluating the environmental effects of projects on federal lands in compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Initially, projects where work was conducted outdoors were analyzed based on the following risk factors: project location (e.g. proximity to bodies of water frequented by fish), project scale and scope (e.g. significant footprint) and type of operations that pose a higher risk of release of polluting substances. All projects carried out indoors, were considered ‘routine’ projects and determined to be of low risk with very little or no impact to the external environment. These projects were therefore not further evaluated.

Late in 2015, training was provided in support of the new RCMP process. The new documentation was developed using the basis of the process developed under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in 2014. An important difference was the identification of excluded activities for low-risk projects that have been pre-determined to be unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, such as projects interior to a building, projects associated to the envelope of an existing building and projects associated with new ancillary structures, unless they are in ecologically sensitive areas.

An example of a project in 2015-2016 is the Twillingate Detachment project in Newfoundland and Labrador. The project involved the construction of a new detachment, a garage and a generator on federal lands. The area was vacant and is zoned commercial. The construction and surrounding area contained trees and plants. The work involved grading, building a slab for the garage and the detachment, backfilling and landscaping.

Environmental impacts such as tree removal, terrestrial habitat disturbance, noise disturbances, management of construction waste, disturbance of adjacent contaminated soil and accidental spills had the greatest likelihood to result in adverse environmental effects. The following mitigation measures: a spill response plan, regular equipment maintenance to minimize fuel leaks, covering dry and stockpiled soil to minimize dust and prevent contamination, replanting disturbed areas as soon as possible minimizing traffic during wet conditions and restricting parking to designated areas were incorporated into the project design and implemented during construction.

The RCMP had no projects outside Canada in fiscal year 2015-2016. In addition, there were no projects on federal lands where it was determined that significant adverse environmental effects were likely.

Saguenay Port Authority

In all its activities, the Saguenay Port Authority (PSA) ensures that its environmental policy is complied with. This policy establishes the environmental principles to be applied in the management of its facilities, activities and operations on its territory and the planning of future developments. It aims to ensure that activities are planned and implemented according to the following criteria: compliance with the law; preventing and reducing to a minimum any environmental impact; protecting the quality of the environment, and a concern to promote sustainable development.

To this end, each new project, which may have a negative impact on the environment is the subject of a detailed assessment and a study of the potential environmental impacts is performed using independent experts.

During 2015, no project was deemed likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Sept-Îles Port Authority

The Port of Sept-Îles (PSI) based itself on the approach set out in the guidance document with regards to section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) to determine whether a proposed project on its land is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Following this process, PSI authorizes basic projects that have no anticipated environmental effects or for which effective and established mitigation measures can be applied. Projects likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects are subject to further assessment, especially when they 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.

Projects having been the subject of an Environmental Effects Evaluation between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016 are:

  • The dismantling of Shell pipelines on Pointe-aux-Basques terminal, authorized in June 2015, involved removing three pipelines used to transport oil products to Shell’s storage area. The excavation presented a risk of soil and surface water contamination. Constant monitoring of the work, the characterization of the trenches and piles and the disposal of contaminated residues (pipes, asphalt, contaminated soil) at an authorized site, as the work progressed, the implementation of a procedure in case of a spill and a nearby kit, helped to minimize the risk of negative impacts on the environment;
  • The rehabilitation of Arcand dock situated adjacent to the winter boat storage area in Sept-Îles, authorized in September 2015 and amended in 2016, involved rock fill bank work, the installation of watertight chambers and excavation of marine sediments, concreting and paint works, as well as the use of machinery and equipment operating near water. The use of equipment converted to biodegradable and non-toxic oils, installation of sediment barriers and compliance with a limitation period for marine mammals helped to minimize the risk of occurrence of potential adverse environmental effects.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. The management of SSHRC grants and awards funding is governed by the Tri-agency Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions (the Agreement), which outlines the responsibilities of institutions that are eligible to administer funding on behalf of SSHRC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Eligible institutions include, but are not limited to, Canadian universities, colleges and research hospitals. The Agreement includes a requirement (section 3(10)) that research institutions assist SSHRC in carrying out its responsibilities under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) by assisting applicants in preparing or commissioning documentation or reports that may be required and providing information upon request to assist SSHRC in meeting its obligations under the Act.

Applicants to SSHRC’s funding opportunities, whose proposed research or research-related activities may constitute a project as defined in section 66 of CEAA 2012, review a list of questions, including whether the activities take place on federal lands or outside of Canada. If applicants answer positively to any of the series of questions, they must then complete the corresponding sections in the application material, which include providing details about the component(s) of the environment that will be affected and any relevant planned mitigation measures, follow-up and/or monitoring programs. This information assists SSHRC staff in determining whether the research meets the definition of a project and, if so, the likelihood for significant adverse environmental effects as detailed in the Act. SSHRC’s Corporate Strategy and Performance Division is responsible for the review process of funded applications, utilizing internal verification forms and tracking tools. In this past fiscal year, no research funding administered by SSHRC was found to be a project as defined in CEAA 2012. This is consistent with SSHRC’s reports for the past three fiscal years.

St. John’s Port Authority

The St. John’s Port Authority (SJPA) is committed to the protection of the environment; to that end, all projects undertaken by the Port Authority, or those projects undertaken by others which the Port Authority must grant approval, are reviewed in accordance with a comprehensive Environmental Checklist. This review is to confirm that there will not be any significant adverse environmental effects from the project, and that short term effects are mitigated through the use of proven practices and procedures.

In the calendar year 2015, the following projects were reviewed:

  • Storm Drainage Replacement Oceanex – Phase II
  • Fendering Replacement Piers 20 and 21
  • Structural Repairs Marginal Wharf 2015
  • Pier 12 Redevelopment

Standards Council of Canada

The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is a federal Crown corporation. It has its mandate to promote efficient and effective standardization in Canada. The organization reports to Parliament through the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and oversees Canada's national standardization network.

Further to requirements to report activities under sections 67- 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, note that the SCC does not undertake projects on federal lands or outside Canada.

Statistics Canada

While Statistics Canada (the Agency) does not typically support large scale economic capital ventures that would likely create environmental impacts, to ensure compliance with its obligations under sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), it has developed an internal operational process for evaluating project environmental impacts using the Treasury Board Policy on the Management of Projects and the Project Complexity and Risk Assessment (PCRA).

The process outlines a risk-based approach for the assessment and reporting of environmental effects of projects proposed on federal lands that are subject to section 67 of CEAA 2012.

The Agency has determined that no projects carried out in 2015-2016 had cause for any significant environmental impact.

Thunder Bay Port Authority

The Thunder Bay Port Authority’s Environmental Pledge guides its decisions and actions for the planning and development of the Port of Thunder Bay and commits its members and staff to environmental responsibility in the workplace.

The Thunder Bay Port Authority is required by section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 to determine whether projects on federal lands are likely to cause significant effects.

This obligation applies when a Federal Authority proposes to carry out a project, or before it exercises a power or performs a duty or function that could permit the project to proceed.

No project had the potential for significant adverse environmental effects during the 2015 calendar year.

Transport Canada

Transport Canada continues to ensure that it is meeting Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) federal lands obligations by implementing and reviewing its Federal Lands Framework (FLF). The framework is used by environmental staff in meeting obligations under CEAA 2012 and clearly identifies the roles and responsibilities of all relevant parties. As part of this framework, Transport Canada staff complete Environmental Effect Determinations (EEDs) for projects subject to section 67 of CEAA 2012. The EEDs are used to identify potential environmental effects of a proposed project and include measures to mitigate those effects, if necessary. Transport Canada completed 189 EEDs during the 2015-2016 fiscal year and no projects were determined likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects.

Under the department’s internal National Environmental Management System, Transport Canada has developed and is currently undertaking a Federal Lands Framework Quality Assurance Program (QAP). The QAP is designed to review the implementation of the FLF, identify efficiencies and provide recommendations to improve the framework itself. Systematic evaluations are conducted across Transport Canada regions to highlight the types of projects that are being carried out, determine procedural best practices, support regional improvement, identify areas where additional guidance may be needed, ensure reviews are compliant with CEAA 2012, and ensure consistency across all Transport Canada regions.

As part of the FLF, Transport Canada has also developed and integrated a mapping tool for its Environment Information System that identifies lands and waters of federal jurisdiction. This mapping tool has become an essential part in determining if projects are subject to CEAA 2012 section 67 reviews. In instances where this is the case, Transport Canada regularly collaborates with other federal departments to ensure that the assessment of significant adverse environmental effects are identified so that the appropriate mitigation measures can be implemented in support of sustainable project development.

Trois-Rivières Port Authority

The Trois-Rivières Port Authority’s (TRPA) environmental management system enables ensuring compliance with the requirements of sections 67-69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). Thus, in accordance with section 71 of CEAA 2012, the TRPA advised that three projects managed by this administration from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2015 did apply.

Determinations are based on the Interim guidance as distributed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and on a review of policies, plans, processes or procedures, roles and responsibilities, audit and feedback and continual improvement mechanisms. A procedure exists for all projects undertaken by the TRPA to ensure that environmental effects are assessed for any project or work executed on port of Trois-Rivières property.

Although two projects were completed in 2015 for the construction of two sheds, another one was finalized in 2016, for which assessment began in 2015 for the Extension project of the Wharf 10 to the east. These projects are all carried out on federal lands. The TRPA has mandated external consultants to conduct these environmental assessments (EAs).

In summary of these EAs, the construction activities related to these projects generate some negative effects, like any construction activities, but these will be mitigated by specific measures established for each one, and will reduce their importance. The potential effects are primarily associated with risks of oil spills during transport, traffic and operations of construction machinery, the loss of fish habitat, or the temporary fish habitat’s deterioration during the works construction. Thus, after the application of good common practice of environmental protection and specific and applied mitigation measures, the findings show that the construction projects will not cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Indeed, 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.

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) is committed to conducting its operations in a responsible and sustainable manner that safeguards and, where feasible and practicable, promotes continual improvement of the environment to its employees, customers and community partners.

As required by VFPA’s Environment Policy and its Project and Environmental Review Policy, environmental reviews are conducted on all projects, physical works, and activities within VFPA jurisdiction or authority. The review considers the potential adverse environmental effects on land, air or water as a result of the project. Based on the scope of the project, the review includes assessment of 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.

Between January 1 and December 31, 2015, all of the projects reviewed by VFPA 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 the projects reviewed is provided on VFPA’s website at: http://www.portvancouver.com/environment/environmental-reviews/.

On July 13, 2015, VFPA launched a new Project and Environmental Review (PER) process, the culmination of a two-year initiative undertaken to provide greater clarity, efficiency, transparency, accountability, consistency and responsiveness in VFPA’s permitting process. Enhancements to VFPA’s Project and Environmental Review process include:

  • four new categories of review with timelines matching the scale and potential impacts of the project under review: Categories A, B, C and D;
  • a new Application Guide, including supplementary guidelines on environmental reviews, public, Aboriginal and stakeholder consultation, and other topics to assist applicants in preparing applications and to increase the transparency of the PER process; and
  • a revised web presence to increase transparency and accessibility so that applicants can find information about the new process and make applications.

The VFPA PER process enables the Port to undertake effective and robust environmental reviews to meet important regulatory obligations under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. More information on the PER process can be found at: http://www.portvancouver.com/development-and-permits/project-and-environmental-reviews/.

Western Economic Diversification Canada

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

WD assesses each project to ensure 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 CEAA 2012.

In 2015-2016, WD approved funding for 11 projects that fell on federal lands (or outside Canada). 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 www.wd.gc.ca

Windsor Port Authority

In accordance with section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, (CEAA 2012), the Windsor Port Authority (WPA) advises that from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, projects administered by the WPA, took into account the implementation of mitigation measures as prescribed by expert advisors/consultants, were determined to not likely cause significant adverse environmental effects. Determinations are based on the Interim guidance as distributed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency; and on a review of policies, plans, processes or procedures, roles and responsibilities, audit and feedback and continual improvement mechanisms.

An example of a project reviewed during the reporting period by WPA includes having received an application from a local marina requesting a permit to remove and replace fixed docks on steel pilings, including maintenance dredging, installing new steel sheet pile walls with new electrical and water services, concrete and asphalt paving to complete. The marina is located along the Detroit River within WPA jurisdictional boundaries. The application was reviewed, including a permit attained from the Ministry of Natural Resources (Essex Regional Conservation Authority), and was determined that the proposed project did not have any adverse environmental effects. Additional information is available at the WPA office on request.

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