Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (S.C. 2012, c. 19, s. 52)

Act current to 2016-09-18 and last amended on 2014-12-31. Previous Versions

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

Purposes

Marginal note:Purposes
  •  (1) The purposes of this Act are

    • (a) to protect the components of the environment that are within the legislative authority of Parliament from significant adverse environmental effects caused by a designated project;

    • (b) to ensure that designated projects that require the exercise of a power or performance of a duty or function by a federal authority under any Act of Parliament other than this Act to be carried out, are considered in a careful and precautionary manner to avoid significant adverse environmental effects;

    • (c) to promote cooperation and coordinated action between federal and provincial governments with respect to environmental assessments;

    • (d) to promote communication and cooperation with aboriginal peoples with respect to environmental assessments;

    • (e) to ensure that opportunities are provided for meaningful public participation during an environmental assessment;

    • (f) to ensure that an environmental assessment is completed in a timely manner;

    • (g) to ensure that projects, as defined in section 66, that are to be carried out on federal lands, or those that are outside Canada and that are to be carried out or financially supported by a federal authority, are considered in a careful and precautionary manner to avoid significant adverse environmental effects;

    • (h) to encourage federal authorities to take actions that promote sustainable development in order to achieve or maintain a healthy environment and a healthy economy; and

    • (i) to encourage the study of the cumulative effects of physical activities in a region and the consideration of those study results in environmental assessments.

  • Marginal note:Mandate

    (2) The Government of Canada, the Minister, the Agency, federal authorities and responsible authorities, in the administration of this Act, must exercise their powers in a manner that protects the environment and human health and applies the precautionary principle.

Environmental Effects

Marginal note:Environmental effects
  •  (1) For the purposes of this Act, the environmental effects that are to be taken into account in relation to an act or thing, a physical activity, a designated project or a project are

    • (a) a change that may be caused to the following components of the environment that are within the legislative authority of Parliament:

    • (b) a change that may be caused to the environment that would occur

      • (i) on federal lands,

      • (ii) in a province other than the one in which the act or thing is done or where the physical activity, the designated project or the project is being carried out, or

      • (iii) outside Canada; and

    • (c) with respect to aboriginal peoples, an effect occurring in Canada of any change that may be caused to the environment on

      • (i) health and socio-economic conditions,

      • (ii) physical and cultural heritage,

      • (iii) the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes, or

      • (iv) any structure, site or thing that is of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance.

  • Marginal note:Exercise of power or performance of duty or function by federal authority

    (2) However, if the carrying out of the physical activity, the designated project or the project requires a federal authority to exercise a power or perform a duty or function conferred on it under any Act of Parliament other than this Act, the following environmental effects are also to be taken into account:

    • (a) a change, other than those referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b), that may be caused to the environment and that is directly linked or necessarily incidental to a federal authority’s exercise of a power or performance of a duty or function that would permit the carrying out, in whole or in part, of the physical activity, the designated project or the project; and

    • (b) an effect, other than those referred to in paragraph (1)(c), of any change referred to in paragraph (a) on

      • (i) health and socio-economic conditions,

      • (ii) physical and cultural heritage, or

      • (iii) any structure, site or thing that is of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance.

  • Marginal note:Schedule 2

    (3) The Governor in Council may, by order, amend Schedule 2 to add or remove a component of the environment.

  • 2012, c. 19, ss. 52 "5", 64, c. 31, s. 425(F).

Prohibitions

Marginal note:Proponent

 The proponent of a designated project must not do any act or thing in connection with the carrying out of the designated project, in whole or in part, if that act or thing may cause an environmental effect referred to in subsection 5(1) unless

  • (a) the Agency makes a decision under paragraph 10(b) that no environmental assessment of the designated project is required and posts that decision on the Internet site; or

  • (b) the proponent complies with the conditions included in the decision statement that is issued under subsection 31(3) or section 54 to the proponent with respect to that designated project.

Marginal note:Federal authority

 A federal authority must not exercise any power or perform any duty or function conferred on it under any Act of Parliament other than this Act that could permit a designated project to be carried out in whole or in part unless

  • (a) the Agency makes a decision under paragraph 10(b) that no environmental assessment of the designated project is required and posts that decision on the Internet site; or

  • (b) the decision statement with respect to the designated project that is issued under subsection 31(3) or section 54 to the proponent of the designated project indicates that the designated project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects or that the significant adverse environmental effects that it is likely to cause are justified in the circumstances.

  • 2012, c. 19, s. 52 "7", c. 31, s. 426(E).

Screening

Marginal note:Proponent’s obligation — description of designated project
  •  (1) The proponent of a designated project — other than one that is subject to an environmental assessment under section 13 or subsection 14(1) — must provide the Agency with a description of the designated project that includes the information prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 84(b).

  • Marginal note:Additional information

    (2) If the Agency is of the opinion, after receiving the description of the designated project from the proponent, that a decision cannot be made under paragraph 10(b) because the description is incomplete or does not contain sufficient details, the Agency may, within 10 days after receiving it, require the proponent to provide an amended description that includes the information and details that the Agency specifies.

Marginal note:Posting of description of designated project and public notice on Internet site

 When the Agency is satisfied that the description of the designated project includes all of the required information, it must post the following on the Internet site:

  • (a) a summary of the description;

  • (b) an indication of how a copy of the description may be obtained; and

  • (c) a notice that indicates that the designated project is the subject of a screening, invites the public to provide comments respecting the designated project within 20 days after the posting of the notice and indicates the address for filing those comments.

Marginal note:Screening decision

 Within 45 days after the posting of the notice on the Internet site, the Agency must

  • (a) conduct the screening, which must include a consideration of the following factors:

    • (i) the description of the designated project provided by the proponent,

    • (ii) the possibility that the carrying out of the designated project may cause adverse environmental effects,

    • (iii) any comments received from the public within 20 days after the posting of the notice, and

    • (iv) the results of any relevant study conducted by a committee established under section 73 or 74; and

  • (b) on completion of the screening, decide if an environmental assessment of the designated project is required.

 
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