Ministerial Order to Support New Impact Assessment System – Public Comments Invited

News release

July 22, 2019 — Ottawa — Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

A strong economy depends on a healthy environment. Through the new Impact Assessment Act, the Government of Canada is putting in place better rules for major projects to protect the environment and communities, advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and ensure good projects can go forward, creating good jobs and economic opportunities for middle-class Canadians.

The new Impact Assessment Act does this by focusing federal impact assessments on projects with the potential to cause significant adverse environmental effects rather than on routine, low-risk activities, such as maintenance and repair to existing structures, or replacing equipment within a building.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) is therefore seeking public comments on a consulation paper on a Ministerial Order that will set out classes of projects on federal lands and outside Canada that will cause only insignificant adverse environmental effects. The Ministerial Order will be issued under subsection 88(1) of the Act.

The classes of projects being proposed to be included in the Ministerial Order are the most common and straightforward projects that are likely to cause only insignificant adverse environmental effects. An authority seeking to carry out work in one of these classes of projects on federal lands and outside Canada would not be subject to the Act's provisions. This will help to ensure efficiency in the impact assessment process and direct resources at assessing proposals with greater potential for adverse environmental effects.

The following criteria were considered when determining whether a class of projects should be proposed for inclusion to the Ministerial Order:

  • the project type is non-complex and has minimal interaction with the environment;
  • no referral to another federal or provincial authority for approval is required;
  • the experience of federal authorities with the project type has resulted in a good understanding of any associated potential environmental effects;
  • any potential adverse effects can be reduced to an insignificant level through standard design and by the routine application of effective and established mitigation measures;
  • federal authorities have determined that the adverse environmental effects for the class of project are insignificant.

Written comments in either official language must be submitted by August 21, 2019.

The public and Indigenous peoples are invited to share their views on the consultation paper by visiting

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