2016-2017 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, 2017.

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 2016-2017

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

Foreword to the 2016-2017 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 fifth consolidated report tabled in Parliament since the implementation of CEAA 2012.

CEAA 2012 is focused on environmental assessments of designated projects. 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. 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 to 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. It 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, 2016 and March 31, 2017, 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 an AAFC project that required an environmental effects evaluation in 2016-2017 is the completion of work related to 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 rehabilitation work included construction of a toe berm along the downstream side of the embankment, raising a local rural road crossing the upstream reach of the reservoir, and enhancements to the lower portion of a spillway channel. Potential environmental risks from the project included erosion and sedimentation, impacts on water quality and aquatic habitat, and disturbance to vegetation, wildlife, and/or wildlife habitat. Project work was completed after receiving permits from the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Heritage Conservation Branch of Saskatchewan. Environmental risks were minimized by following the Fisheries and Oceans Canada timing restrictions for in water work, the Saskatchewan Activity Restriction Guidelines for Sensitive Species, and having an environmental monitor inspect work prior to, during and after construction. The implementation of an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for the site minimized the risk of sedimentation of the water body during all phases of the project. 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 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

ACOA assesses each project to ensure compliance with 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 a significant adverse environmental effect.

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 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 to 69 of Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 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 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 project reviewed in 2016-17 was the removal of selected non-nuclear buildings and sheds at the Chalk River Laboratory site. The project will reduce existing liabilities associated with aging and redundant structures and will facilitate the construction of new and replacement facilities.

During the section 67 review, a number of established barn swallow nests were identified in some of the structures scheduled for demolition. Barn swallows are a protected species under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. Because building demolition would permanently remove barn swallow nesting habitat, mitigation measures will be implemented to prevent potential harm to the species. These measures will include timing restrictions on building removal activities and construction of four purpose built barn swallow shelters in nearby unaffected areas to provide replacement nesting habitat.

In fiscal year 2016-2017, no projects were determined to have likely significantly adverse environmental effects.

Additional information on environmental performance at AECL sites (operated by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories) 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 impact negatively on 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, 1999, 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.

Two projects were undertaken during the 2016 fiscal year:

  1. Construction of a round wood storage site (pad), and
  2. Construction of an asphalt salt storage pad on Terminal 3.

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

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 part of BDC’s Quality Review and Internal Audit processes.

Funding of certain projects designated by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 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 the past fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, 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 (CEAA 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 process, which has been integrated with the CBSA Real Property Investment Board, is a risk-based approach that considers scope and complexity of proposed projects to ensure that careful assessments are conducted and any potential environmental effects considered.

The 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 by the CBSA Environmental Operations Division, and the CBSA maintains an inventory of all assessments, including records of decision.

Project Highlight: Replacement of Primary Pump for Domestic Potable Water

The scope of work included demolition work to remove existing plumbing, the design and installation of a new concrete base for the pump, and installing new plumbing and a high-efficiency electric motor.

As all work was to be completed indoors, the project was considered to be low-risk and not likely to cause any adverse environmental effects as long as applicable regulations and best practices were respected.

In 2016-17, 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 the environmental impacts of all projects being carried out on federal lands, in accordance with sections 67 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), before approving funding. The projects funded by CED do not generally have an environmental impact.

In the 2016–2017 fiscal year, twenty-eight (28) active projects carried out on federal lands were assessed. No undesirable environmental impacts requiring mitigation measures were identified.

Governance activities

CED ensures that the governance mechanism established to enforce the CEAA 2012, including projects on federal lands, is consistent with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s approach and interpretations. The recommended approach involves examining each project to ensure its compliance with the Act. To this end, CED has produced a Program Management Manual that provides guidelines for employees in order to ensure a consistent and comprehensive approach to environmental assessment, as provided for in sections 67 to 69 of the CEAA 2012.

CED has contracted Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to conduct environmental impact assessments—pursuant to section 67 of the CEAA 2012—for all projects subject to the Act, including projects being carried out on federal lands where potential adverse environmental effects had been previously identified by CED. PSPC’s assessments allow CED to ensure that the projects comply with the 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 the CEAA.

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 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (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.

In 2016-17, the CFIA oversaw three EEEs for projects that were deemed “medium” risk.

An example of a project that was reviewed was a building demolition project at the CFIA’s Laboratory in Sidney, British Columbia. The project consisted of the demolition of a residence and two smaller storage buildings. The demolition activities included the capping of utilities, removal and disposal of fixtures, and the removal and disposal of the above-ground structures, such as their roofs and walls.

An EEE was conducted based on the potential effects of the project on the water quality, 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: implementing proper erosion and sediment control measures; excavated soils were properly stabilized and measures were taken to avoid sediment laden runoff into the storm water system; burning activities were kept to a minimum; effects on air quality from vehicular emissions were mitigated by minimizing idling; spill prevention was addressed by managing on-site drainage; and the protection of Species at Risk was ensured where vegetation removal was considered.

In 2016-2017, assessed projects were determined to be unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. No referral to Governor in Council was required.

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, the construction, renovation or expansion of sporting facilities, schools or cultural buildings. Determinations made in 2016-2017, 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, in 2016, the Rideau Canal interpretive nodes 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 involves excavation and the construction for seven interpretive nodes along the shorelines of the Rideau Canal. Project components include excavation to an approximate depth of 1.5m to install the foundation, landscaping and ground treatments. The immediate area surrounding the project includes pathways, manicured lawns, deciduous and coniferous trees, shrubs, and floral beds, which are used as recreational and open space.
  • Environmental impacts such as removal of soil, some minor vegetation and disturbance of species at risk had the greatest likelihood to result in adverse environmental effects. Mitigation measures of protecting, preserving and replanting vegetation as well as controlling the removal and disposal of soil will be incorporated in the project design and will be implemented during construction.

Canadian Institute of Health Research

The Canadian Institutes 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 to 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 the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 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 2016-2017, CIHR did not support projects that fell under sections 67 to 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 northern economy in the territories. CanNor’s Northern Projects Management Office provides support to industry and indigenous organizations to advance resource management projects at all stages of resource development; however the Agency does not fund nor provides authority to projects on federal lands or outside of Canada. CanNor does not fund or authorize projects under sections 67 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012); CanNor does not have any activities to report.

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 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 the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (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 2016-2017, the Commission did not receive any application for projects that fell under section 67 of CEAA 2012.

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 2016-17, no CSA projects have been determined to pose 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 11 countries around the world to promote Canada as a premier travel and meeting destination.

To facilitate compliance with sections 67 to 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 2016-2017 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 2016-17, no projects were determined likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects.

Correctional Service Canada

Correctional Service of 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 2016-2017, 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.

More information about CSC’s approach to assessing potential environmental impacts of projects is outlined in an internal policy document entitled Internal Services 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 2016-2017, 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 updated its departmental direction and guidance. DND’s policy instruments and guidance facilitates compliance with sections 67 to 69 of CEAA 2012 and promotes thorough analysis of all potential significant adverse environmental effects and developing 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 Highlight:

A review of the potential significant adverse environmental effects was conducted for the demolition of buildings #DY29 and DY11 at DND CFB Esquimalt in Victoria, British Columbia. The project consisted of preparing the building for demolition by removing identified hazardous materials within the building (asbestos, lead, mercury and PCBs) for disposal at an approved facility, the actual demolition of the buildings, followed by backfilling and grading the site. The project site is situated within the CFB Esquimalt Dockyard, in a highly developed area which is surrounded by other buildings, roads and some ornamental trees and other vegetation. The buildings are situated approximately 150m from Esquimalt Harbour.

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 groundwater, vegetation and surface water and aquatic habitat. On the basis of the Environmental Effects Determination (EED), it was determined that the project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

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 to 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.

The projects that were assessed this past fiscal year did not cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Environment and Climate Change Canada

This is Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) fifth report 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).

During fiscal year 2016-2017, 38 projects were reviewed. No projects were determined likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects, or with the application of appropriate environmental mitigation measures, were considered not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Pursuant to CEAA 2012, ECCC has developed internal operational processes to evaluate projects that are not designated projects. These projects are assessed to avoid significant adverse environmental effects or include measures to mitigate adverse effects, if required. To ensure effective and consistent environmental assessments, the following elements were implemented: guidance documents, central document repository, and 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 construction of a prefabricated bathroom at the Big Creek and St. Clair National Wildlife Areas (NWA) in Ontario is an example of a project assessed under this process. In this project, potential adverse environmental impacts to flora and fauna were likely and needed to be assessed to avoid or mitigate adverse effects.

The prefabricated bathroom was transported on a flat-bed truck and installed at the public entrance of the Big Creek and St. Clair National Wildlife Areas. The construction was done offsite to avoid on-site impacts. The prefabricated bathroom was installed in an already human disturbed gravel site to minimize adverse effects on wildlife and the environment. All waste materials were removed from the site and appropriately disposed of at a local waste facility. The environmental assessment included expert advice from Canadian Wildlife Service scientists and concluded that this project would not negatively impact wildlife or the local environment.

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 to 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 2016-17, 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 & Technology Partnerships Program.

GAC’s environmental review processes contribute to the success of Departmental priorities such as inclusive Canadian and global prosperity, Canada-U.S. relations, international peace, security and humanitarian assistance, and reducing poverty and inequality. We demonstrate due diligence in decision-making under sections 67 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (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 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. Environmental reviews conducted during the 2016-2017 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.

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 CEAA 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 within 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 and determinations for both its own projects and those proposed by prospective tenants.

HPA conducts in-house environmental effects evaluations 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 2016.

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.

Project Highlight

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-story building located in an urban setting. The area surrounding the building includes grass, shrubs and trees. The deconstruction work involves stripping out of interiors, decommissioning of mechanical and electrical equipment, and 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 CEAA 2012 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 the fiscal year 2016-2017, 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 2016-2017 fiscal year, there were no projects for which Infrastructure Canada was the lead federal authority, as per section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). However, Infrastructure Canada continued to carry out their internal environmental determination process on infrastructure projects submitted for federal funding approval. This process was used to identify legislative CEAA 2012 requirements related to projects on federal lands and to ensure that these requirements were fulfilled to the satisfaction of the federal authority prior to flowing federal funds.

With respect to fulfilling section 67 requirements, the process continued to involve 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 it was found that a project was 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.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

To fulfil its obligations under sections 67 to 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 2016-2017, 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 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 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 as well 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.

Project Highlight

For example, since 2016, the MPA is working on a project of 78 M$ to restore Alexandra Pier and the Iberville Passenger Terminal. The main objectives of this project are to rehabilitate these century old infrastructures and to improve the reception for cruise passengers arriving in Montreal. In addition, the choice of the concept aimed for a better way to integrate the terminal and the pier into the urban fabric of Old Montreal. Furthermore, it will meet the expectations of citizens who seek better access to their river, by clearing the end of the pier so that the far end can be lowered closer to the river, and by adding a green rooftop terrace to the terminal.

The project includes excavation, utilities hook up under the street, the upgrading of the structure, the finishing work on the pier and landscaping.

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 touristic 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 was 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 of Canada’s (NRC) organizational and reporting structure helps ensure compliance with sections 67 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). NRC’s Environmental Stewardship Office (ESO) is dedicated to working with project managers and researchers to ensure that construction and maintenance projects undertaken at NRC facilities across the country take into consideration environmental effects at the onset of project development and planning. It is through the internal Project Environmental Review process that alternatives and potential environmental effects are considered and mitigated.

As part of the Project Environmental Review process NRC has 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 (ECCC) and others, NRC has developed protocols for review of projects and regulation/management of activities occurring in more sensitive areas (e.g. property providing habitat for species at risk, or projects of public or First Nations interest).

NRC continues to build and strengthen its structural and process controls by integrating the existing Project Environmental Review process into our newly launched Environmental Management System (EMS). This will allow for NRC to continue fostering a culture that includes environmental stewardship while fulfilling its mandate as Canada’s premier research organization.

No NRC projects approved in 2016-2017 were determined to have the potential for significant adverse environmental effects.

Natural Resources Canada

To fulfill its obligations to evaluate environmental impacts under sections 67 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has implemented a tri-level Environmental Effects Evaluation process 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 other departments, such as Public Services and Procurement Canada, the National Capital Commission, 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 the renovation of a forest bridge, installation and maintenance of seismic stations, maintenance of geomagnetic survey observatories, and the construction of an explosives storage magazine.

No projects were determined as likely to result in 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 funds 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, 2016, to March 31, 2017, NSERC’s review of 19 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, 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 section 67 to 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’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 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. Twenty-four new Best Management Practice documents were approved over the course of the year to facilitate impact assessment for routine projects with predictable effects.

Following extensive process-based training delivery in 2015-2016, Parks Canada shifted focus to building skills and capacity of impact assessment practitioners in 2016-2017 with new tools, monthly webinars, and on-line discussion forums focused on impact assessment. This set Parks Canada up to successfully deliver its EIA program in another year of enormous demand due to new infrastructure rehabilitation funding. No projects with likely significant adverse environmental effects were identified in 2016-2017.

Project Highlight

Project: The restoration of the coastal sand ecosystem project in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve involved installation of new fencing, re-routing of trails from sensitive areas, installation of new interpretive signage, removal of invasive plants and augmentation of species at risk populations.

Potential adverse effects and mitigations: The proposed project had the potential to negatively impact four species at risk associated with the coastal sand ecosystem. The project design and the EIA made use of information from species at risk status reports, recovery strategies, and the site-based action plan. Mitigation measures included: identification of project-specific timing to avoid sensitive germination and breeding windows, preparation of baseline habitat mapping for each species at risk to protect sensitive areas prior to work, phytosanitary mitigation to prevent new weed introduction, minimal-disturbance techniques for vegetation removal, and a monitoring protocol tied to the park’s Ecological Integrity Monitoring Program. Initial monitoring results show that 95% of the invasive shrubs were removed and species at risk have either increased or remained stable since project implementation, including a tenfold population increase for contorted-pod evening-primrose.

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 to 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 is being conducted as part of the development of a new marine spill response upland base (warehouse and office) and marina to moor response vessels. No real or potential adverse environmental effects are expected as a result of the construction or operational plans for this project, which is expected to commence construction in the fall of 2017.

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 2016 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.

Project Highlight

An example of a project that was assessed pursuant to section 67 of CEAA 2012 included the construction of a propane export terminal on land administered by the Port Authority. Potential environmental impacts associated with the project included construction related noise and effects on traffic. For mitigation, best management practices for construction were employed and the proponent participated in a construction coordination committee chaired by the Port Authority to ensure project effects to neighboring industrial operations were minimized.

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 Public Health Agency of Canada did not have to perform section 67 determinations during this reporting period. The activities undertaken did not meet the definition of project under section 66 of the 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 to 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.

For the reporting period of 2016-17, 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

In 2016, Quebec Port Authority (QPA) rated 33 projects under the environmental citizen participation process (ECPP), implemented in 2015. This process was developed to fulfill section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) and allows QPA to analyze and to standardize all types of projects carried out on port authority territory, using a series of comprehensive environmental and social procedures. Although the majority of projects were considered without significant environmental effects, the main projects evaluated and which required an environmental assessment study in 2016 are the following: http://consultation-citoyens.portquebec.ca/en

  • Simple repairs of the precast keys – Beauport area
  • Quebec Yacht-Club multi-year dredging
  • Grève-Gilmour street rehabilitation (Lévis)
  • Installation of an unloading system barge and construction of a ship loading station
  • Nordic spa project - Strom spa

QPA has requested the spa proponent make some adjustments to its projects based on public comments QPA received, which has been done. There will be, among others, an architectural design harmonized with the historical and maritime patrimonial history of the city and a fluvial path will be restored. As for the environmental impact of the project, there was specific concern about air quality and noise level during the construction. Based on the environmental study, QPA has requested the following mitigation measures: reduce work hours, minimize dust on site covering stockpile and humidify road on site to prevent dust emission.

Furthermore, on October 4th, QPA, acting as the proponent of the multifunctional deep-water terminal (Beauport 2020), submitted the environmental impact assessment to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) for public hearings http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/details-fra.cfm?evaluation=80107.

Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint has been using its Environmental, Health & Safety and Security Impact Assessment (EHSIA) process to meet the requirements outlined in sections 67 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

The EHSIA process is completed for all projects that involve the addition and/or modification of processes, equipment, materials, etc. The process is also completed for the addition and/or replacement of chemicals and projects involving the maintenance and/or modifications to buildings and property. As part of the environmental portion of the EHSIA process, the project’s impacts to the environment are documented. As part of the assessment process, mitigation measures are also documented (if required).

For 2016, all projects undertaken by the Royal Canadian Mint, which were evaluated under CEAA 2012, were determined to be unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

During the 2016-2017 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 2016-17. In addition, there were no projects on federal lands where it was determined that significant adverse environmental effects were likely.

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 the Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.

As an example of this approach, during fiscal year 2016-2017, the RCMP replaced the water distribution system and constructed a new water booster pump station at the Technical and Protective Operations Facility in Ottawa, Ontario. The project consisted of the installation of approximately 2,000 meters of watermain piping and accessories, construction of an underground water booster pump station and removal of the pump station with aboveground diesel storage tank. The facility is comprised of 180 hectares with a variety of habitats. Species at risk surveys were conducted prior to construction to determine if any species at risk or critical habitat were present in the project area. Tree removal and construction activities within wooded areas were undertaken outside of the migratory bird breeding period. The landscaping in this area was reinstated to preserve the ecological integrity of the site.

The aboveground diesel storage tank was removed in accordance with the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations. During excavation works in the vicinity of the tank, pre-existing contamination from hydrocarbons was found. Mitigation measures were implemented to ensure that contaminated soil and groundwater were removed.

Saguenay Port Authority

In all its activities, the Saguenay Port Authority 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 2016, 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 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.

The only project that has been evaluated for environmental effects during the period April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 is:

  • The construction of a new belt conveyor between the installations of the Société ferroviaire et portuaire de Pointe-Noire (SFPPN) and Sept-Îles Port Authority’s multi-user dock. This new conveyor should allow the handling of various bulk materials to the new multi-user dock, mainly iron ore concentrate and pellets as well as Direct Shipping Ore (DSO). The project also includes the installation of a new fire protection pipe parallel to the axis of the new conveyor. The potential environmental effects during the construction phase are related to excavation and blasting work and the use of hydraulic machinery and equipment. Several effective and established mitigation measures have been prescribed, including the setup of machinery refueling and maintenance area and various procedures to reduce the risk of accidental spills. In addition, the Guidelines for the Use of Explosives In or Near Canadian Fisheries Waters will be applied and seismographs will be installed. In the operational phase, the potential environmental effects are related to dust emissions and site runoff. The infrastructure has been designed to contain the materials handled and reduce the drop points a conveyor belt reversing system. Finally, runoff water will be directed to a treatment system.

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 funds 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.

For the period April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017, SSHRC’s review of projects concluded that none were likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects.

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 to whom the Port Authority must grant approval, are reviewed in accordance with a comprehensive Environmental Checklist. This review is to confirm there will not be any significant adverse environmental effects from the project, and that any short term effects will be mitigated through the use of proven practices and procedures.

In the fiscal year 2016-2017 the following projects were reviewed:

  • Sewer Extension Pier #1 Oceanex Terminal #1
  • Structural Analysis and Sulphate Resistant Bacteria and Cathodic Protection Assessment Pier 18
  • 2016 Structural Investigation Piers 19/20/21, Small Boat Basin and Harbourside Park
  • Operational Modifications Piers 19/20/21
  • Building Envelope Repairs Port Administration Building
  • Marginal Wharf Fendering Repairs and Mooring Cleat Installation
  • Finger Pier Construction Pier 17 West

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 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), note that the SCC does not undertake projects on federal lands or outside Canada.

Statistics Canada

While Statistics Canada does not typically support large scale economic capital ventures that would likely create environmental impacts, to ensure compliance with its obligations under sections 67 to 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.

Statistics Canada has determined that no projects carried out in 2016-2017 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 2016 calendar year.

Transport Canada

Transport Canada continues to meet its federal land obligations under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (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 an Environmental Effects Determination (EED). The EEDs are used to identify potential environmental effects of a proposed project involving federal lands and include measures to mitigate those effects. Transport Canada completed 211 EEDs during the 2016-17 fiscal year. None of the assessed projects were determined likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects.

For example, Transport Canada conducted a federal lands assessment for the lease of a portion of its owned and operated Port of Churchill lands and navigational permitting requirements under the Navigational Protection Act (NPA) for the building of a marine observatory and water intake. The project is located within the high subarctic and the climate is marked by short, cool summers and long, cold winters. The federal lands assessment included detailed review of air quality, soils, groundwater, surface water, fish and fish habitat, wildlife and vegetation, health and well-being, and worker safety. Mitigation consisted of implementing environmental best management practices and follow-up activities including conducting monitoring, surveillance, inspection, data collection and analysis where appropriate, evaluation, and reporting to Transport Canada environmental officers to ensure mitigation measures were adequately implemented.

Under the department’s internal Environmental Management System, Transport Canada continues to improve its FLF and quality of its EEDs by undertaking project reviews through its 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 regional evaluations are conducted across Transport Canada 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.

Trois-Rivières Port Authority

The Trois-Rivières Port Authority’s (TRPA) environmental management system enables ensuring compliance with the requirements of sections 67 to 69 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). Thus, in accordance with section 71 of the CEAA 2012, the TRPA advises that two projects managed by this administration from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016 did apply.

Determinations are based on the Interim guidance as distributed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), 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 the TRPA began the planning in 2015, it is in the summer of 2017 that Extension project of the Wharf to the east will be completed. The extension of the new wharf will be built with a combined wall of steel piles and sheet piles held by anchors and tie rods. In the second, the TRPA mandated an external consultant to carry out an environmental assessment (EA) for the development of a new storage site on Bellefeuille lands. These two projects are carried out on federal lands.

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 construction works. 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

The 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 Project and Environmental Review Policy, environmental reviews are conducted on all projects, physical works and activities within or partially within port authority managed lands and waters to address VFPA’s responsibilities under the Canada Marine Act and meet the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, as applicable. The review considers the potential adverse environmental effects on land, air and water quality as a result of a project. Based on the scope of the 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.

Of the projects reviewed by the port authority between January 1 and December 31, 2016, all were either considered unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects with the application of appropriate mitigation measures, or were considered unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. A full list of the projects reviewed is provided on VFPA’s website at: http://www.portvancouver.com/environment/environmental-reviews/.

Project Highlight

By way of example, on May 30, 2016, the port authority issued a project permit to G3 Terminal Vancouver Limited Partnership to construct a new bulk grain terminal in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The project includes the construction of new buildings, conveying systems, 48 concrete grain storage silos, a new berth for vessel loading, and a rail loop which can accommodate three trains of up to 150 cars each per day. The maximum capacity of the terminal is estimated at eight million metric tonnes per year, with onsite storage of up to 200,000 tonnes in silos. The project is located on a previously developed industrial site.

Key mitigations were integrated into project design to address potential effects. Telescoping ship loader spouts, enclosed conveyors with filtered dust collectors, and point-of-generation capture at receiving points were added to manage dust emissions. Noise control mitigation measures included a site layout that allows continuous unloading practices and avoids most rail shunting, use of exhaust silencers on dust extractors, and installation of baffles and shielding on equipment that is a significant noise source.

The project was approved subject to 74 permit conditions G3 must meet to ensure the project does not result in significant adverse environmental effects. Project related information is available at www.portvancouver.com/development-and-permits/status-of-applications/.

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 to 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 the CEAA 2012.

In 2016-2017, WD approved funding for 38 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 http://www.wd-deo.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, 2016 to December 31, 2016, projects administered by the WPA, that 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 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 the WPA includes having received an application from a local organization requesting a permit to remove and replace fixed docks on steel pilings, including maintenance dredging, installation of new steel sheet pile walls with new electrical and water services, concrete and asphalt paving for completion. The organization is located along the Detroit River within WPA jurisdictional boundaries. The application was reviewed, including a permit attained from Ministry of Natural Resource (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 upon request.

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