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Environmental Assessment in Nova Scotia

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Assessment in Nova Scotia"— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Assessment in Nova Scotia

2 EA in Nova Scotia Nova Scotias EA process is defined in the Environment Act and detailed in Environmental Assessment Regulations and Environmental Assessment Review Panel Regulations. Environmental assessment (EA) is a planning and decision- making tool used world-wide to promote sustainable development.

3 EA Branch Responsibilities The Environmental Assessment Branch is responsible for coordinating the EA Process The Branch ensures that all stakeholders and the Mikmaq First Nation are provided an opportunity to comment on projects, and that a report and recommendations are provided to the Minister within time frames established in the regulations.

4 Undertakings Class I undertakings(smaller scale): –mines, quarries, some developments in wetlands, and waste dangerous goods facilities. Class II undertakings (larger scale): –solid waste incinerators, petrochemical facilities, and pulp and paper plants

5 Class I Undertakings A pit or quarry = 4 ha A facility that extracts or processes any of the following: a) minerals b) coal d) peat moss e) gypsum f) limestone g) bituminous shale h) oil shale

6 Submit Project Documents Registration 7 Days after Submission Proof of Project Notice within 7 days of Registration Ministers Decision 1 of 5 Below Focus Report Required Environmental Assessment Report Undertaking Rejected Undertaking Approved Additional Information Required 50days Public Review Period 30 days Class I Process

7 Basic Components of an EA A description of the project and its processes A description of the existing environment where the project will go (identify Valued Environmental Components VECs) A prediction of effects of the project on the environment Plans to avoid or mitigate effects on the environment

8 What gets considered in an EA? VECs such as……. Atmospheric environment Surface water and ground water Wildlife and habitat Wetlands Cultural and heritage resources Socioeconomic conditions

9 What gets considered in an EA? Adverse Effect means an effect that impairs or damages the environment, including an adverse effect respecting the health of humans Environmental Effect means, in respect of an undertaking, (i)any change, whether negative or positive, that the undertaking may cause in the environment, including any effect on socio-economic conditions, on environmental health, physical and cultural heritage or on any structure, site or thing including those of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance, and (ii)any change to the undertaking that may be caused by the environment, whether the change occurs inside or outside the Province;

10 What gets considered in an EA? Significance means, with respect to an environmental effect, an adverse effect that occurs or could occur as a result of any of the following: (i) the magnitude of the effect, (ii) the geographic extent of the effect, (iii) the duration of the effect, (iv) the frequency of the effect, (v) the degree of reversibility of the effect, and (vi) the possibility of occurrence of the effect.

11 Who Reviews the EA? The EA Branch ( or the panel when referred) The public, and stakeholder groups Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office Provincial and Federal agencies including: NSE, NSDNR, NSTIR, Energy, SNSMR, ERDT, CCH, H&W, OAA EC, NRCAN, CEAA, DFO, TC

12 One Window Process for Mining Developments The One Window process provides a proponent an opportunity to meet with government stakeholders during the project planning stage to discuss the undertaking and determine what government departments require from the proponent, including other approvals. Proponents will be expected to meet with the One Window Committee prior to registering for environmental assessment.

13 Ministers Decision Factors Location of the undertaking / sensitivity of surroundings Concerns expressed by public and aboriginal people and steps taken to address those concerns Whether environmental baseline information is sufficient to predict environmental effects Potential adverse or environmental effects*

14 Ministers Decision Factors Project schedules Planned/existing land use or other undertakings in the area Whether compliance with licenses, certificates, permits, approvals required by law will mitigate the environmental effects Such other information as the minister may require.

15 Post EA Approval Projects or undertakings are approved with conditions. These conditions are enforced by NSE regional offices Can include monitoring, requirements for an Environmental Protection Plan, Community Liaison Committees and setbacks from natural and cultural features. Industrial Approvals for operation may also be required

16 Federal-Provincial Harmonized Environmental Assessment Should an undertaking also require an environmental assessment under federal or another provincial jurisdiction, the Minister may enter into an agreement for the purpose of carrying out the environmental assessment in whole or in part.

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