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Environmental Assessment in Newfoundland & Labrador Environmental Assessment in Federations: Current Dynamics and Emerging Issues Conference Current Dynamics.

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Assessment in Newfoundland & Labrador Environmental Assessment in Federations: Current Dynamics and Emerging Issues Conference Current Dynamics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Assessment in Newfoundland & Labrador Environmental Assessment in Federations: Current Dynamics and Emerging Issues Conference Current Dynamics and Emerging Issues Conference September 13-15, 2009 Ottawa, Canada

2 2 History of EA in NL Original Legislation in 1980 with the development of the EA Act and EA Regulations 1984. Prior to 1980, province participated in FEARO process conducted by federal government.

3 3 Current Legislation Environmental Protection Act 2002 – Environmental Assessment (Part X) Environmental Assessment Regulations 2003

4 4 Mission To ensure that when development proceeds, it does so in an environmentally acceptable manner.

5 5 Purpose 1.To protect the environment and the quality of the life of the people of the province, 2.To facilitate the wise management of the natural resources of the province, through the institution of environmental assessment procedures before and after the commencement of an undertaking that may be potentially damaging to the environment.

6 6 Environmental Assessment Process A stepwise process that requires proposed undertakings that are potentially damaging to the environment to be submitted for public and government review to enable the Minister or Cabinet to determine whether or not they can proceed in an environmentally acceptable manner.

7 7 Environmental Assessment Process Goals: Promote acceptable development Facilitate project planning Ensure environmental protection Promote informed decision-making Consult with stakeholders Help proponents meet requirements

8 8 “Environment” Biophysical –air, land, water –plant & animal life (including human) Socioeconomic –social, economic, recreational, cultural and aesthetic factors

9 9 “Undertaking” An enterprise, activity, project, structure, work or proposal that, in the opinion of the Minister, may have a significant environmental effect. Includes modification, abandonment, demolition, decommissioning, rehabilitation and extension.

10 10 Undertakings All undertakings as listed in the EA Regulations, Part 3, or any undertakings that may be damaging to the environment are required to be submitted for review. Such include - agriculture, forestry & logging, mining, electric power generation, waste management, hydro developments, roads and highways, golf courses, and industrial facilities.

11 11 “Environmental Effect” A change in the present or future environment resulting from an undertaking

12 12 Steps in EA Step 1: Initial Screening Phase (Registration) Proponent submits copies of a project description which is reviewed by provincial, federal government departments and CEAA and public (35 days) and comments and advice is submitted to the Minister. Notice of registration in EA Bulletin and on web page.

13 13 Steps in EA Step 2: Analysis Information analyzed by the EA Divisional staff (EA Scientists) and recommendation submitted to the Executive and Minister.

14 14 Steps in EA Step 3: Minister’s Decision Due 45 days after submission date of registration. Minister must decide: 1. Release with conditions, if necessary, or 2. Require an Environmental Preview Report, or 3. Require an Environmental Impact Statement

15 15 Steps in EA EPR – based on deficient registration document and lacks readily available information needed to make informed decision. EIS – potential exists for significant adverse effects to occur combined with high level of public concern.

16 16 Steps in EA Cabinet can decide: 1. Reject the undertaking due to : a. unacceptable effects b. against policy or law c. in the public interest 2.Require public hearings on an EIS

17 17 Fed/Provincial EA Cooperation Why? Some proposals trigger both EPA and CEAA – therefore the need to submit additional information to satisfy legislative requirements. Avoids duplication. Promotes information sharing between departments with overlapping mandates. More efficient, less costly for proponents to submit one EA document. Public review is more efficient and complete. Ministerial decisions incorporate federal requirements and information.

18 18 Legislative Provisions for EA Cooperation EPA (Section 72) provides authority to enter into agreements on EA cooperation with other jurisdictions. No formal EA agreement exists between NL and Canada. High degree of informal cooperation with federal departments exists in NL. EPA (Section 73) provides authority to establish joint panels with other jurisdictions.

19 19 CEAA and EPA Some Contrasts Single decision making body (ENVC) versus self assessment regime. EPA process contains legislative timelines at every process step EPA triggers based project type as opposed to CEAA triggers such as funding, permitting, etc. EPA examines entire project versus limiting scope based decision making department. EPA imposes EA fees on proponents to conduct EA reviews CEAA has participant funding available on some types of EAs to enable public participation in EA.

20 20 Priorities Upcoming participation in the legislative review CEAA 2010 Develop policy on aboriginal consultation Training in areas such a cumulative effects and Regional Strategic EA

21 21 Environmental Assessments Current: 15-20 current projects going through screening phase. Lower Churchill Hydro Generation Project Lower Churchill Transmission Line Regional Waste Management Sites Iron Ore projects in northern Labrador Fluorspar mine on south coast Oil Exploration on Northern Peninsula DND Supersonic Training Forest Harvesting Plans

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