Basics of Environmental Assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

This document provides guidance on federal environmental assessments commenced under the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). It is retained for the completion of transitional environmental assessments that commenced prior to the Impact Assessment Act and explains the process for those designated projects remaining under that Act. For more information on transitional environmental assessments, please consult the Legislation and Regulations page.

Episode 1: Federal environmental assessments in a nutshell - Transcript

Major projects are developed in communities all across Canada.

At the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, we work to make sure they are safe and sustainable.

Before a project is built, an environmental assessment examines its potential effects on the environment and works to reduce or eliminate them.

Your participation is key. At many stages of the process, Canadians – including Indigenous Peoples – are invited to share their views.

Throughout the process, we gather information and scientific evidence, including Indigenous Traditional Knowledge.

Many factors are looked at including effects on fish and fish habitat, marine mammals, Indigenous use of lands, and air quality, to name a few.

A report is then produced with the science behind what was examined and ways to minimize impacts on the environment. It also includes public and Indigenous input received.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change decides whether a project may proceed. If it does, enforcement officers monitor the project to make sure the conditions are being met so the environment is being protected.

That's environmental assessment in a nutshell!

Learn here about federal environmental assessments, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, and how environmental assessments work. Please note: This page focuses on environmental assessments applied to designated projects and led by either the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (now the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada) or a review panel. With the coming into force of the Impact Assessment Act, some of the processes for transitional projects have been revised. For more information on impact assessment, consult the Basics of impact assessment.

In the event of any inconsistency between this content and CEAA 2012 or its regulations, CEAA 2012 or its regulations would prevail except in specified circumstances.

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