Guide to Preparing an Initial Project Description and a Detailed Project Description

Table of Contents


Introduction

Under the Impact Assessment Act (the Act), an impact assessment may be required for designated projects. A designated project includes one or more physical activities that are listed in the Physical Activities Regulations (commonly known as the Project List), as well as any physical activity incidental to those listed physical activitiesFootnote 1.

Proponents of designated projects are required to submit two documents during the planning phase, which will be used to inform the decision by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) on whether an impact assessment of the designated project is required. These documents are:

  1. An Initial Project Description of the designated project. The 180-day planning phase of the impact assessment process starts when the Agency posts a copy of the Initial Project Description on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry Internet Site (the Registry), which is expected to be 10 days following the receipt of the Initial Project Description, provided that the Initial Project Description conforms with the requirements of the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulations;
  2. A Detailed Project Description of the designated project, which provides more detailed information about the designated project and updates the information provided in the Initial Project Description in response to issues raised by provincial, territorial and Indigenous jurisdictions, Indigenous groups, the public, federal authorities and other participants during consultations and engagement and includes the proponent’s response to the Summary of Issues.

If an impact assessment is required, the Detailed Project Description, the Summary of Issues and other information will also be used to inform the development of the Public Participation Plan, Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan, Cooperation Plan, Permitting Plan and Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines.

Both an Initial Project Description and a Detailed Project Description (the Project Descriptions) must include the prescribed information set out in the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulations.

Information received from a proponent is subject to public disclosure through the Registry. If the confidentiality of any information is an issue, proponents must contact the Agency prior to making any submission.

This document provides guidance for developing and submitting the Project Descriptions, and details the information requirements for an Initial Project Description (Annex I) and a Detailed Project Description, including response to the Summary of Issues (Annex II), and additional information requirements for linear energy projects regulated by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) (Annex III).

Description of the Process under the Impact Assessment Act

Prior to Submission of an Initial Project Description

Proponents of designated projects are strongly encouraged to communicate directly with the Agency prior to submitting an Initial Project Description. The objective of this pre-submission engagement with the Agency is to facilitate development of documentation and to support a more timely and efficient planning phase. Proponents should also contact other federal regulatory agencies, the provincial government(s) and any other relevant jurisdictions, regarding project information that may be required by these authorities.

Submission of an Initial Project Description (Annex I)

Once the proponent of a designated project submits an Initial Project Description, the Agency must decide whether the information provided meets the requirements set out in section 3 and Schedule 1 of the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulations. Within 10 calendar days after receiving the Initial Project Description, the Agency will determine whether the document is complete. If required information is missing, the Agency will notify the proponent and request that a revised Initial Project Description be submitted.

The requirements of an Initial Project Description are set out in Schedule 1 of the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulations. The information contained in the Initial Project Description must be representative of the project at the time the Initial Project Description is submitted to the Agency and must include information related to any alternatives that the proponent is considering in respect of any item in the description of the project.

Once the Agency accepts the Initial Project Description and posts it on the Registry, the planning phase commences (180-day time limit).

For linear energy projects regulated by the CER, the proponent should provide the additional information set out in in Annex III. The proponent should also indicate when greater levels of details on the information (set out in Annex III) will be provided in the review process.

Engagement on an Initial Project Description

Once the Agency determines that an Initial Project Description is complete, the Agency will post the document on the Registry and will engage and consult with provincial, territorial and Indigenous jurisdictions, Indigenous groups, the public, federal authorities and other participants to inform the Summary of Issues (see below). This engagement period will generally take place over 20-30 calendar days, however the Agency may alter the mode and timing of this engagement after taking into consideration the needs of the public, Indigenous groups, and other jurisdictions.

Where the designated project is regulated by a lifecycle regulator - such as the CER, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) or an Offshore Petroleum Board - the Agency will collaborate with these lifecycle regulators to prepare for the possible impact assessment.

Summary of Issues

Following the engagement on an Initial Project Description, the Agency will provide the proponent with a Summary of Issues document that includes issues raised by provincial, territorial and Indigenous jurisdictions, Indigenous groups, the public, federal authorities and other participants. The Summary of Issues allows participants to see how their comments and concerns have been characterized.

The Agency will aim to provide the Summary of Issues document to a proponent within 10 calendar days of the close of an engagement period on an Initial Project Description. The Summary of Issues document will also be posted on the Registry.

Detailed Project Description (Annex II)

In transmitting the Summary of Issues document to a proponent, the Agency will request that a proponent submit a Detailed Project Description within 30 calendar days, or inform the Agency that more time is required. Proponents are strongly encouraged to contact the Agency soon after receiving the Summary of Issues document to discuss how much time will be required to produce the Detailed Project Description. If more than 30 days is required, the proponent should notify the Agency in writing and request that the Agency suspend the time limit until the required information is provided.

The requirements for the Detailed Project Description are set out in section 4 and Schedule 2 of the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulations. The information contained in the Detailed Project Description must be representative of the project as proposed at the time the Detailed Project Description is submitted to the Agency and must include information related to any alternatives that the proponent is considering in respect of any item in the description of the project.

As part of the Detailed Project Description, the proponent is also required to provide a response to the Summary of Issues provided by the Agency. The Summary of Issues and the proponent’s response will be used to inform the Agency’s decision on whether to require an impact assessment for the proposed project and to inform the impact statement guidelines should an assessment be required.

The Agency will review the Detailed Project Description and determine if it meets the requirements of the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulations. The Agency will aim to complete its review of the Detailed Project Description to determine if it meets the requirements within 10 calendar days of receipt. Once accepted, it will be posted to the Registry.

For linear energy projects regulated by the CER, the proponent should provide the additional information set out in in Annex III. The proponent should also indicate when greater levels of details on the information set out in Annex III will be provided in the review process.

Impact Assessment Determination

The Agency will aim to make a determination as to whether an impact assessment is required for the project within 10 calendar days of accepting the Detailed Project Description.

In making its impact assessment determination, the Agency must consider the following factors (as per subsection 16(2) of the Act):

Considering that the Physical Activities Regulations reflect those major projects that have the greatest potential for adverse environmental effects in areas of federal jurisdiction, the Agency expects that the majority of designated projects will warrant an impact assessment.

However, a determination that an impact assessment is not required may be made, if it is established that a designated project has no potential to cause adverse effects in areas of federal jurisdiction or impacts on the rights of Indigenous peoples of Canada. In addition, a decision could be made that an impact assessment is not required if the potential effects or impacts are minor and can be adequately managed or accommodated through other existing legislative or regulatory processes.

The Agency will post a notice of its decision on whether or not to require an impact assessment and the reasons for the decision on the Registry.

In the event an impact assessment is required, the information provided in the proponent’s Detailed Project Description will be taken into account in the development of the following documents:

Once finalized, the Agency will provide the documents listed above to the proponent and post them to the Registry, along with the Notice of Commencement of the impact assessment.

Information Accessibility and Public Disclosure

As required in section 6 of the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulations, any information submitted by a proponent under a requirement of the Act must

Machine readable means that a user can search for text within the document, can copy structured text, images, document information, and is not password protected. For ease of transmission and dissemination, the Agency prefers that proponents submit the Initial Project Description and Detailed Project Description as Portable Document Format (PDF) files that are machine readable.

Information received from a proponent during the planning phase is subject to public disclosure through the Registry. If the confidentiality of any information is an issue, proponents must contact the Agency prior to making any submission.

The Government of Canada accepts no liability whatsoever for any claim that might in any way arise as a consequence of the Government of Canada’s handling, use, publication or release of an Initial Project Description or a Detailed Project Description document or the information contained therein, either in whole or in part. Proponents must ensure that the Initial Project Description and Detailed Project Description documents are accurate and that nothing contained in these documents is subject to any confidentiality requirements. Proponents are not to provide confidential, personal or proprietary information in these documents and must ensure that the documents can be disclosed to the public in their entirety.

Prohibitions and Offences

Proponents are prohibited from doing any act or thing in connection with the carrying out of a designated project, in whole or in part, if that act or thing may cause an effect under subsection 7(1) of the Act. This does not apply where the Agency has determined that an impact assessment is not required or that the proponent complies with conditions stated in the decision statement issued by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change at the end of the impact assessment process.

The Agency may also determine that certain information or details are required in order to prepare for a possible impact assessment of the project or for the purpose of providing to the Agency or review panel the information or studies that the Agency considers necessary for the conduct the impact assessment. In these situations, a proponent must obtain approval from the Agency prior to undertaking any activity for the purpose of providing the information or studies required that may cause an adverse effect under subsection 7(1) of the Act.

It is an offense under the Act to make false or misleading statements or to provide misleading information to the Agency or any person who is exercising their powers or performing their duties or functions under the Act. Proponents must ensure that the Initial Project Description and Detailed Project Description documents, associated data files, and any additional information provided are accurate and do not contain false or misleading information.

How to Submit Required Documents and Data Files

To submit the documents and data files described in this Guide, visit the Agency’s website at https://www.canada.ca/iaac

For alternate means of submitting the required documents and files or for other enquiries, send an e-mail to the Agency at iaac.project-projet.aeic@canada.ca or call 1-866-582-1884.

Annex I - Contents of an Initial Project Description

For the purposes of subsection 10(1) of the Act, an Initial Project Description must contain the information set out in Schedule 1 of the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulations (detailed below), and:

Section 6 of the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulations also specifies that any information that is required to be submitted by a proponent under the Act must

Part A: General Information

1

The project’s name, type or sector and proposed location.

When naming the project, proponents are encouraged to include a unique identifier (i.e. “Moose Jaw”, “Crow’s Nest”, “Victory”), the main resource or sector that is the focus of the project (i.e. “gold”, “hydroelectric”, “all season”), and the type of project (i.e. “mine”, “marine terminal”, “road”).

2
The proponent’s name and contact information and the name and contact information of their primary representative for the purpose of the description of the project.
3

A summary of any engagement undertaken with any jurisdiction or other party, including a summary of the key issues raised and the results of engagement and brief description of any plan for future engagement.

This should include any engagement with public or other participants.

4
A list of Indigenous groups that may be affected by the carrying out of the project, a summary of any engagement undertaken with the Indigenous peoples of Canada, including a summary of key issues raised and the results of the engagement, and a brief description of any plan for future engagement.
5

Any study or plan relevant to the project that is being or has been conducted of the region where the project is to be carried out, including any Regional Assessment carried out under the Impact Assessment Act, or by any jurisdiction including by or on behalf of an Indigenous governing body, where the study or plan is available to the public.

Proponents are advised to contact the Agency during the preparation of an Initial Project Description for information regarding any regional studies that may be relevant.

6

Any strategic assessment, relevant to the project, that is being or has been carried out under section 95 of the Act.

Proponents are advised to contact the Agency during the preparation of an Initial Project Description for information regarding any strategic assessments that may be relevant.

Part B: Project Information

7

A statement of purpose of and need for the project, including any potential benefits.

The purpose of the project is what is to be achieved by carrying out the project, including any objectives the proponent has in carrying out the project.

The need for the project is the opportunity that the project is intended to solve or satisfy. That is, the “need for” establishes the fundamental justification or rationale for the project.

The “purpose of” and “need for” the project should be established from the perspective of the project proponent and provide the context for the consideration of alternatives to and alternative means (below).

8

The provisions in the schedule to the Physical Activities Regulations describing the project, in whole or in part.

Proponents must detail how the project meets the description, threshold (e.g. provide the length of new right of way) and the criteria in any of the other provisions.

Indicate whether the designated project is a component of a larger project that is not listed in the Project List.

9

A list of all activities, infrastructure, permanent or temporary structures and physical works to be included in and associated with the construction, operation, decommissioning of the project.

Include existing structures or related activities that will form part of or are required to accommodate or support the designated project.

For example, activities during planning, engineering, site preparation or construction might include, but are not limited to, land clearing, excavating, grading, de-watering, directional drilling, dredging and disposal of dredged sediments, infilling, and installing structures.

This list should make a clear distinction between any ongoing activities or existing physical works (e.g. those associated with ongoing advanced exploration) and those that form part of the designated project.

This is to include the physical activities that are incidental to the designated project. In determining such activities, the following criteria shall be taken into account:

  • nature of the proposed activities and whether they are subordinate or complementary to the designated project;
  • whether the activity is within the care and control of the proponent;
  • if the activity is to be undertaken by a third party, the nature of the relationship between the proponent and the third party and whether the proponent has the ability to “direct or influence” the carrying out of the activity;
  • whether the activity is solely for the benefit of the proponent or is available for other proponents as well; and
  • the federal and/or provincial regulatory requirements for the activity.

Should an impact assessment be required for the designated project, the Agency will take these criteria into consideration in determining the activities that are incidental to the designated project.

Should the proposed project include transportation activities, information must be provided on where transportation will join established transportation corridors (e.g. site access road connects to municipal road)

10

An estimate of maximum production capacity of the project and a description of the production processes to be used.

Capacity refers to the maximum capacity based on the project’s design and operating conditions, not the planned capacity of a project.

This information may not be relevant to all project types (e.g. highway, railway line), and the proponent should simply indicate where this is the case. The proponent may instead provide other relevant metrics of project size (e.g. area, length, usage).

11

The anticipated schedule for the project’s construction, operation, decommissioning, and abandonment, including any expansions of the project.

This information should include the schedule for the key activities of the each of those phases.

The schedule should also take into account the anticipated time required to conduct the impact assessment, should one be required.

12

A list of potential:

  • alternative means that the proponent is considering and that are technically and economically feasible, including through the use of best available technologies; and,
  • alternatives to the project that the proponent is considering and that are technically and economically feasible, and directly related to the project.

The Agency recognizes that a proposed project may be in the early stages of planning when an Initial Project Description is being prepared. Proponents may not have made final decisions and several alternatives may exist for project components (e.g. placement of infrastructure, technologies to be employed). In these situations, proponents are strongly encouraged to identify the alternatives under consideration in the Initial Project Description. Proponents should contact the Agency for further guidance in this area prior to the submission of the Initial Project Description.

Alternative means are the various technically and economically feasible ways, including through the use of best available technologies, which would allow a designated project and its physical activities to be carried out.

Alternatives to the project are functionally different ways to meet the need for the project and achieve its purpose that are technically and economically feasible.

Part C: Location Information and Context

Provide a description of the designated project’s proposed location including:

13a

Proposed geographic coordinates including, for linear development projects (e.g. pipelines, transmission lines), the proposed locations of major ancillary facilities that are integral to the project, and a description of the spatial boundaries of the proposed study corridor;

Coordinates should be provided in a form suitable for use in GIS (e.g. longitude/latitude) using international standard representation.

Coordinates should be appropriate for the project type. For example: for the centre of a facility, for the boundaries of a proposed mine site, or for the beginning and end points and path of a linear project.

For linear projects under the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, proponents should also provide the extent of the consultation corridor, if it is different from the proposed study corridor.

Indicate if you will be using an existing right of way that has been previously used for a different type of linear project.

13b
Site maps produced at an appropriate scale, in order to determine the project’s proposed general location and the spatial relationship of the project components.
13c
The legal description of land to be used for the project, including, if the land has already been acquired, the title, deed or document and any authorization relating to a water lot. The level of detail should be appropriate for the project type.
13d
The project’s proximity to any permanent, seasonal or temporary residences and proximity to the nearest affected communities.
13e

The project’s proximity to:

  • land used for traditional purposes by Indigenous peoples of Canada;
  • land in a reserve as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Indian Act;
  • First Nation land as defined in subsection 2(1) of the First Nations Land Management Act;
  • land that is subject to a comprehensive land claim agreement or a self-government agreement; and
  • any other land set aside for the use and benefit of Indigenous peoples of Canada.
13f
The project’s proximity to any federal lands.
14
A brief description of the physical and biological environment of the project’s location, based on information that is available to the public.
15
A brief description of the health, social and economic context in the region where the project is located, based on information that is available to the public and/or derived from any engagement undertaken.

Part D: Federal, Provincial, Territorial, Indigenous and Municipal Involvement and Effects

16
A description of any financial support that federal authorities are, or may be, providing to the project.
17
A list of any federal land that may be used for the purpose of carrying out the project.
18

A list of any jurisdictions that have powers, duties or functions in relation to an assessment of the project’s environmental effects.

This may include permits, licenses, or other authorizations that may be required by federal authorities or other jurisdictions.

A list of any changes to the environment or to health, social or economic conditions that may occur in Canada that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to the involvement of a federal authority that would permit or enable the project to be carried out in whole or in part.

Part E: Potential Effects of the Project

19

A list of any changes that, as a result of the carrying out of the project, may be caused to the following components of the environment that are within the legislative authority of Parliament:

  • fish and fish habitat as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Fisheries Act;
  • aquatic species, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Species at Risk Act (marine plants); and
  • migratory birds, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.
20

A list of any changes to the environment that, as a result of carrying out the project, may occur:

  • on federal lands;
  • in a province other than the province in which the project is proposed to be carried out; or,
  • outside of Canada.
21

With respect to Indigenous peoples of Canada, a brief description of any impact – that, as a result of the carrying out of the project, may occur in Canada and result from any change to the environment – on:

  • physical and cultural heritage,
  • the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes, and
  • any structure, site or thing that is of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance,

based on information that is available to the public or derived from any engagement undertaken with Indigenous peoples of Canada.

22
A brief description of any change that, as a result of the carrying out of the project, may occur in Canada to the health, social or economic conditions of Indigenous peoples of Canada, based on information that is available to the public or derived from any engagement undertaken with the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
23

An estimate of any greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the project.

This should be calculated as the net GHG emissions associated with the project and estimated based on the information available to proponents at this stage. For guidance on the calculation of GHG emissions see the draft Strategic Assessment of Climate Change developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada: https://www.strategicassessmentclimatechange.ca/

24
A list of the types of waste and emissions that are likely to be generated - in the air, in or on water and in or on land - during any phase of the project.

Part F: Summary

25

A plain-language summary of the information in parts A to E is required in English and in French.

For guidance on how to write in plain language, see the style guide available online at: www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/government-communications/canada-content-style-guide.html.

Annex II - Contents of a Detailed Project Description

The Detailed Project Description must contain the information set out in Schedule 2 of the Information and Management of Time Limits Regulations (and provided below) and must:

The proponent should attempt to keep the information concise, but it should be at a level of detail that is sufficient for the Agency to make its determination as to whether or not an impact assessment is required. The proponent may wish to point to external sources where additional supporting information is available. If the proponent has additional information beyond what is required in the regulations, it should contact the Agency to discuss the effectiveness of providing it at this stage.

Part A: Updated General Information

1

The project’s name, type or sector and proposed location.

When naming the project, proponents are encouraged to include a unique identifier (i.e. “Moose Jaw”, “Crow’s Nest”, “Victory”), the main resource or sector that is the focus of the project (i.e. “gold”, “hydroelectric”, “all season”), and the type of project (i.e. “mine”, “marine terminal”, “road”).

2
The proponent’s name and contact information and the name and contact information of their primary representative for the purpose of the description of the project.

Part B: Planning Phase Results

3

A summary of and the results of any engagement undertaken with any jurisdictions or other party, including a description of how the proponent intends to address the issues raised in the summary referred to in subsection 14(1) of the Act (Summary of Issues).

In preparing a response to the Summary of Issues, there may be some issues that, in the view of the proponent, are outside of its care and control. In these situations, a proponent may choose to identify the party or parties that may in a position to address the issue. Proponents are encouraged to provide meaningful responses to the issues raised in the Summary of Issues. For ease of reference, the Agency requests that the response to the Summary of Issues be provided in a table with reference to other parts of the Detailed Project Description, as warranted.

4

A summary of and the results of any engagement undertaken with Indigenous peoples of Canada, including:

  • a list of the Indigenous groups that may be affected by the project, including those groups that identified themselves during the planning phase as being potentially affected; and
  • a description of how the proponent intends to address the issues raised in the Summary of Issues, including the perspective of Indigenous groups regarding any potential adverse impact that the project may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act,1982.

The response to the Summary of Issues should indicate, where appropriate, any changes between the Initial and Detailed Project Description that were made as part of the response.

In preparing a response to the Summary of Issues, there may be some issues that, in the view of the proponent, are outside of its care and control. In these situations, a proponent may choose to identify the party or parties that may be in a position to address the issue.

5

Any study or plan relevant to the project, that is being or has been conducted in respect of the region where the project is to be carried out, including any regional assessment that is being or has been carried out under section 92 or 93 of the Act, or by any jurisdiction, including by or on behalf of an Indigenous governing body, if the study or plan is available to the public.

Proponents are advised to contact the Agency during the preparation of the Detailed Project Description for information regarding any regional studies that may be relevant.

6

Any strategic assessment, relevant to the project, that is being or has been carried out under section 95 of the Act.

Proponents are advised to contact the Agency during the preparation of the Detailed Project Description for information regarding any strategic assessments that may be relevant.

Part C: Project Information

7

An updated statement of the purpose of and need for the project, including any potential benefits.

The purpose of the project is what is to be achieved by carrying out the project, including any objectives the proponent has in carrying out the project.

The need for the project is the opportunity that the project is intended to solve or satisfy. That is, the “need for” establishes the fundamental justification or rationale for the project.

The “purpose of” and “need for” the project should be established from the perspective of the project proponent and provide the context for the consideration of alternatives to and alternative means (below).

8

The provisions in the schedule to the Physical Activities Regulations describing the project, in whole or in part.

Proponents must detail how the project meets the description, threshold (e.g. provide the length of new right of way) and the criteria of any of the other provisions.

Indicate whether the designated project is a component of a larger project that is not listed in the Project List.

9

A description of all activities, infrastructure, permanent or temporary structures and physical works to be included in and associated with the construction, operation, decommissioning of the project, including their purpose, size and capacity.

Include existing structures or related activities that will form part of or are required to accommodate or support the designated project.

For example, activities during site preparation or construction might include, but are not limited to, land clearing, excavating, grading, de-watering, directional drilling, dredging and disposal of dredged sediments, infilling, and installing structures. This description should make a clear distinction between any ongoing activities or existing physical works (e.g. those associated with ongoing advanced exploration) and those that form part of the designated project.

Include a description of the physical activities that are incidental to the designated project. In determining such activities, the following criteria shall be taken into account:

  • nature of the proposed activities and whether they are subordinate or complementary to the designated project;
  • whether the activity is within the care and control of the proponent;
  • if the activity is to be undertaken by a third party, the nature of the relationship between the proponent and the third party and whether the proponent has the ability to “direct or influence” the carrying out of the activity;
  • whether the activity is solely for the benefit of the proponent or is available for other proponents as well; and,
  • the federal and/or provincial regulatory requirements for the activity.

Should an impact assessment be required for the designated project, the Agency will take these criteria into consideration in determining the activities that are incidental to the designated project.

Should the proposed project include transportation activities, information must be provided on where transportation will join established transportation corridors (e.g. site access road connects to municipal road)

10

An estimate of the maximum production capacity of the project and a description of the production processes to be used.

Capacity refers to the maximum capacity based on the project’s design and operating conditions, not the planned capacity of the project.

This information may not be relevant to all project types (e.g. highway, railway line), and the proponent should simply indicate where this is the case. The proponent may instead provide other relevant metrics of project size (e.g. area, length, usage).

11

The anticipated schedule for the project’s construction, operation, decommissioning, and abandonment, including any expansions of the project.

This information should include the schedule for the key activities of the each of those phases.

The schedule should also take into account the anticipated time required to conduct the impact assessment, should one be required.

12

A description of potential:

  • alternative means of carrying out the project that the proponent is considering and that are technically and economically feasible, including through the use of best available technologies; and,
  • alternatives to the project that the proponent is considering, that are technically and economically feasible and directly related to the project

The Agency recognizes that a proposed project may be in the early stages of planning when a Detailed Project Description is being prepared. Proponents may not have made final decisions and several alternatives may exist for project components (e.g. placement of infrastructure, technologies to be employed). In these situations, proponents are strongly encouraged to identify the alternatives under consideration in the Detailed Project Description. Proponents should contact the Agency for further guidance in this area prior to the submission of the Detailed Project Description.

Alternative means are the various ways, including through the use of best available technologies, that would allow a designated project and its physical activities to be carried out.

Alternatives to the project are functionally different ways to meet the need for the project and achieve its purpose.

Part D: Location Information and Context

Provide a description of the designated project’s proposed location including:

13a

Its proposed geographic coordinates including, for linear development projects, the proposed locations of major ancillary facilities that are integral to the project, and a description of the spatial boundaries of the proposed study corridor.

Coordinates should be provided in a form suitable for use in GIS (e.g. longitude/latitude) using international standard representation.

Coordinates should be appropriate for the project type, for example, for the centre of a facility, for the boundaries of a proposed mine site, or for beginning and end points and path of a linear project.

For linear projects under the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, proponents should also provide the extent of the consultation corridor, if it is different than the proposed study corridor.

Indicate if you will be using an existing right of way that has been previously used for a different type of linear project.

13b

Site maps produced of an appropriate scale in order to determine the project’s proposed general location and the spatial relationship of the project components.

Site maps are also to be provided to the Agency as electronic geospatial data file(s) compliant with the ISO 19115 standard.

13c
The legal description of land to be used for the project, including, if the land has already been acquired, the title, deed or document and any authorization relating to a water lot. The level of detail should be appropriate for the project type.
13d

The project’s proximity to any permanent, seasonal or temporary residences and proximity to the nearest affected communities.

13e

The project’s proximity to:

  • land used for traditional purposes by Indigenous peoples of Canada;
  • land in a reserve as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Indian Act,
  • First Nation land as defined in subsection 2(1) of the First Nations Land Management Act;
  • land that is subject to a comprehensive land claim agreement or a self-government agreement; and,
  • any other land set aside for the use and benefit of Indigenous peoples of Canada.
13f
The project’s proximity to any federal lands.
14
A description of the physical and biological environment of the project’s location based on information that is available to the public.
15
A description of the health, social and economic context in the region where the project is located, based on information that is available to the public or derived from any engagement undertaken.

Part E: Federal, Provincial, Territorial, Indigenous or Municipal Involvement and Effects

16
A description of any financial support that federal authorities are, or may be, providing to the project.
17
A description of any federal land that may be used for the purpose of carrying out the project.
18

A list of the permits, licenses, or other authorizations that may be required by jurisdictions that have powers, duties or functions in relation to an assessment of the project’s environmental effects.

If the project requires a federal authority to:

  • exercise a power or perform a duty or function to permit the project to be carried out, in whole or in part; or
  • provide financial assistance to a person, to enable the project to be carried out, in whole or in part.

A description of any changes to the environment or to health, social or economic conditions that may occur in Canada that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to the involvement of a federal authority that would permit or enable the project to be carried out in whole or in part. The description should identify the specific power, duty or function of, or financial assistance from, a federal authority to which the effects are linked, and which should be identified as outlined in section 4.0 of this Annex.

This should include of any greenhouse gas policies, legislative or regulatory measures applicable to the project.

Part F: Potential Effects of the Project

The description of effects provided in the Detailed Project Description will be reviewed by the Agency in determining whether an impact assessment is required.

The information provided in this section should be at a level of detail that is sufficient for the Agency to make this determination.

If the proponent is of the opinion that the designated project is not likely to cause adverse effects in areas of federal jurisdiction it must provide evidence to support its view.

This information may also be used in developing the Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines. A more complete description of effects may allow for a more appropriate tailoring of the factors to be included in the tailored impact statement guidelines.

19

A description of any changes that, as a result of the carrying out of the project, may be caused to the following components of the environment that are within legislative authority of Parliament

  • fish and fish habitat as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Fisheries Act;
  • aquatic species, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Species at Risk Act (marine plants); and
  • migratory birds, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.
20

A description of any changes to the environment that, as a result of carrying out the project, may occur on:

  • federal lands;
  • in a province other than the province in which the project is proposed to be carried out; or
  • outside of Canada.
21

With respect to Indigenous peoples of Canada, the description of any impact – that, as a result of carrying out the project, may occur in Canada and result from any change to the environment – on:

  • physical and cultural heritage;
  • the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes; and
  • any structure, site or thing that is of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance,

based on information that is available to the public or derived from any engagement undertaken with Indigenous Peoples of Canada.

22
A description of any change that, as a result of carrying out the project, may occur in Canada to the health, social or economic conditions of Indigenous peoples of Canada, based on information that is available to the public or derived from any engagement undertaken with Indigenous peoples of Canada.
23

An estimate of any greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project.

This should be calculated as the net GHG emissions associated with the project and estimated based on the information available to proponents. For guidance on the calculation of GHG emissions see the draft Strategic Assessment of Climate Change developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada: https://www.strategicassessmentclimatechange.ca/

24
A description of any waste and emissions that are likely to be generated – in the air, in or on water, and in or on land - during any phase of the project and a description of the plan to manage them.

Part G: Summary

25

A plain-language summary of the information contained in parts A to F in English and in French.

For guidance on how to write in plain language, see the style guide available online at: www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/government-communications/canada-content-style-guide.html.


Annex III - Additional information needs for pipeline projects regulated under the Canadian Energy Regulator Act

In addition to the requirements outlined in Annex I and II, the CER expects proponents of linear energy developments to provide the following information in the Initial Project Description, in order to enhance early engagement. Refer to the CER’s Filing Manual for further guidance.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: