Environmental Assessment at NRCan

In assessing its initiatives, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) must comply with the new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

NRCan’s Role: Designated Project

For activities that are designated projects under CEAA 2012, NRCan, if requested, must participate as a federal authority if it is in possession of specialist or expert information or knowledge for the screening and, if the Agency determines that an EA is required, for the completion of the EA. Additionally, NRCan must participate as a federal authority in the case that a federal EA undergoes substitution.

NRCan’s Role: Expertise

CEAA 2012 requires that, on request, federal departments and agencies, such as NRCan, which are in possession of specialist or expert information or knowledge with respect to a designated project, ensure that information or knowledge is made available to the responsible authority, review panel, or a government or other entity that conducts an EA of the designated project under a substituted process.

NRCan’s Role: Projects on Federal Lands/Outside of Canada

The environmental analysis for which most federal authorities (departments/agencies) are directly responsible, under CEAA 2012, is the analysis required by sections 67 and 68 regarding the likelihood of significant adverse effects for projects (that are not designated projects) on federal lands or outside of Canada. In order to complete its analysis, NRCan has developed an Environmental Effects Evaluation process. Federal authorities will report annually to Parliament on the actions taken to fulfill this obligation.

NRCan’s Role: Projects commenced under the former CEAA

Comprehensive study-level environmental assessments commenced under the former CEAA, as well as selected screening-level assessments designated by the Minister of the Environment, are being completed as if the former CEAA had not been repealed.  NRCan maintains certain obligations to make decisions on the likelihood of significant adverse environmental effects, and following that decision, with regard to mitigation measures and follow-up programs.

NRCan’s Role: Environmental Assessment in the North

NRCan will have obligations under the following Acts in situations where the department has a responsibility for authorization, permitting or other approval with respect to a designated project: the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act / Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act; the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act; and, the Yukon Environment and Socioeconomic Assessment Act.

Major Projects Management Office (MPMO):

The MPMO is a Government of Canada organization whose role is to provide overarching project management and accountability for major resource projects in the federal regulatory review process, and to make improvements to the regulatory system for major resource projects.

The MPMO maintains an online project tracking system that allows the regulatory review process to be tracked in an open and transparent manner.

The MPMO's public tracking of project milestones and its dispute resolution mechanism are tools that bring accountability, transparency and efficiency to the regulatory process.

Further information on the MPMO can be found on the Major Projects Management Office site.

External Links

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet Site (CEARIS)

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

National Energy Board