Alberta Statistics 33000 KM (20,OOO mi) Provincial Roads 35 grading contracts/yr (2004) 80 base/paving contracts 38 bridge/major culverts $550 MM Capital program $170 MM Operations/Maintenance
Legislative Background Federal –Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Federal departments, agencies and crown corporations must undertake an EA before they: –Carry out a project –Provide funding for a project –Sell, lease or transfer control or administration of land to enable a project to be undertaken; or –Issue an authorization for a project
Legislative Background –Inclusion List Regulations Prescribe the physical activities and classes of physical activities subject to an EA when a federal department or agency proposes, funds or otherwise authorizes the project by issuing a permit or authorization –Fisheries Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act
Legislative Background –Comprehensive Study List Regulation Prescribe projects and classes or projects for which a comprehensive study is required because they may cause significant adverse environmental effects or generate considerable public concern –All season public highway that will be more than 50 KM (30 MI) in length and either be located on a new right-of- way or will lead to a community that lacks all-season public highway access.
Legislative Background –Law List Regulation Identifies and federal statutory and regulatory approvals that will trigger an EA. An EA may be required whenever a federal department or agency is asked to provide a license, permit, certificate or other regulatory authorization
Legislative Background –Type of Environmental Assessment Depends on the nature of the project and the potential significance of environmental effects. –Environmental Screening Report (ESR) »Relatively quick –Comprehensive Study »May also include a review panel or mediator
Legislative Background Provincial –Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act Environmental Assessment Regulation –Widening or realignment of an existing highway is exempt –Where the project is not a mandatory activity, but the potential environmental impacts warrant further consideration, the Director (AENV) will prepare a screening report to determine whether an EA is required.
Legislative Background Provincial –Water Act Code of Practice for Watercourse Crossings Details requirements for construction of bridge/culvert that may affect a watercourse. Wetlands must be either missed, impacts minimized or mitigation implemented
Alberta Transportation Process Interdepartmental Referrals –All projects where ground is to be disturbed must be referred to other provincial govt. departments through all stages of a project. –Close contact with all regulatory agencies is required. –Environmental Section of AT to receive copies of all correspondence
Functional Planning Studies –Environmental evaluation required Includes all Valued Ecosystem Components Fisheries Wildlife Vegetation Hydrology Wetlands Air Quality (if near major centers) Noise (If near major centers) Historic Resources
Functional Planning Studies –Integrate environmental aspects into preferred roadway alignment –Include mitigation/compensation requirements from regulatory agencies
Project Design –Review Functional Planning Report –Refer project to provincial regulatory agencies via interdepartmental referral system –Involve Federal regulatory agencies –Obtain approvals as required and include within tender document –Consultant must prepare an Environmental Risk Assessment
Project Construction –Contractor to prepare an ECO-Plan (Environmental Construction Operation Plan) detailing how they will meet environmental requirements of contract.
Recommendations Independent review of tender document by environmental specialist, Review by in-house staff Consultant firm that undertook preparation of EA must be on design team Audit by EMS team Environmental Inspector
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