Class EA for public work
Learn about a planning and approval process for realty activity and public work projects.
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You can comment on the proposed major amendment for this class environmental assessment until 5:00 p.m. on August 22, 2020.
This class environmental assessment establishes a planning and approval process for a class of realty activity projects and public works projects.
Ministry of Infrastructure and Ontario Realty Corporation (formerly Management Board Secretariat)
Dorothy Moszynski, Environmental Assessment Branch
Class environmental assessment—proposed major amendment (2020): submitted
Date submitted: May 5, 2020
Expiry of public comment period: August 22, 2020
Class environmental assessment—amendment (2012): approved
Decision date: October 31, 2012
Class environmental assessment—amendment (2008): approved
Expiry of public comment period: July 13, 2008
Decision date: September 11, 2008
Class environmental assessment (2004): approved
Date submitted: November 29, 2002
Expiry of public comment period for ministry review: December 19, 2003
Decision date: April 28, 2004
Terms of reference: approved
Date submitted: March 31, 2000
Expiry of public comment period: May 27, 2000
Decision date: February 12, 2002
Class environmental assessment—proposed major amendment (2020)
Ontario is taking the next steps to update its almost 50-year-old environmental assessment program to support strong environmental oversight and a strong economy, as committed to in our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.
We are working with holders of Class Environmental Assessments (Class EA) to propose sensible, practical changes that would ensure environmental protections while eliminating duplication and reducing delays on projects that matter most to Ontario communities.
By looking at smarter ways of working, we’re bringing important public services and infrastructure to communities of Ontario without delay.
To support the government’s modernization initiative, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has proposed amendments to the Class EA for Public Work.
The proposed amendments would better align the level of assessment with the level of potential effects associated with a project, reduce duplication and increase the efficiency of the Class EA process. The proposed amendments include:
- Changing the name from the “Class EA for Public Work” to the “Government Property Class EA”.
- Identifying 15 additional Category A project types to better align study requirements with environmental impacts. Category A projects are exempt from Class EA requirements. Some of these projects, such as severance and disposal, were made exempt from Class EA requirements through an amendment to Ontario Regulation 334 last year.
- Updating the screening process: currently, the screening process is used if a project is not listed or categorized in the Category Listing Matrix to determine its EA Category. The proposed amendments, if approved, would now allow proponents to use a screening process on Category B projects to determine if they are low-impact. If so, a screened project could become Category A (exempt).
- Replacing the Category Listing Matrix with a defined list of projects and activities that are subject to an assessment under the Class EA.
- Updating to the Class EA to:
- clarify the difference between project proponents and the applicant;
- align with current requirements, guidelines and policies, and legislation;
- create consistency with other Class EAs;
- simplify assessment of a project and clarify the process; and
- provide clarity on duty to consult and Indigenous stakeholder consultation.
Projects that meet the criteria will be required to notify the public, Indigenous communities and government agencies and perform a self-assessment on potential environmental effects in key areas.
Learn more about the proposed changes:
Submit your comments
Please submit comments directly to email@example.com by August 22, 2020. An information notice related to this public consultation opportunity is posted on the Environmental Registry of Ontario.
The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks will review and consider all comments received during the comment period.
If approved, the amended Class EA would replace the existing 2012 version.
Class environmental assessment—amendment (2012)
On October 31, 2012, the Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI) received approval from MOE of administrative amendments to the Class Environmental Assessment Process for the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MEI) for Realty Activities Other Than Electricity Projects (MEI Class EA) to update the references to the ministry and Crown agents involved in the development of MOI public work. As a result the MEI class EA will now be known as the Ministry of Infrastructure Public Work Class EA (Public Work Class EA).
Class environmental assessment—amendment (2008)
On April 18, 2008, the proponent submitted to the ministry for approval minor amendments to its class environmental assessment. The proponent also posted the proposal on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for a 30-day comment period from June 13, 2008 until July 13, 2008.
Minor amendments to the former Management Board Secretariat (MBS) and Ontario Realty Corporation (ORC) class EA were approved by the Director of the Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch on September 11, 2008. The proponent of the class EA is now the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MEI).
The Class EA was originally approved in April 2004. Except as provided by the September 2008 amendments, the April 2004 approval is still valid.
The minor amendments to the Class EA fall under 5 general areas:
- change the proponency of the Class EA from MBS to the MEI to reflect the change in the successor ministry responsible for public work. This includes a new description of MEI and its agencies authorized to act on its behalf (i.e., ORC and Infrastructure Ontario). The new title is "Class Environmental Assessment Process for the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure for Realty Activities Other Than Electricity Projects"
- removed the requirement for documentation of Category A undertakings
- clarify the naming and/or definition of 16 undertakings of activities, and three (3) facility subgroups under the Class EA and rectify inconsistencies
- remove 11 non-physical, administrative and routine Category A undertakings from the MEI Class EA
- correct typographical error in Figure 2.2 Category Listing Matrix (Category A, instead of Category B, for easements on transmission corridor lands for secondary uses)
Class environmental assessment (2004)
The Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) provides for the preparation of class environmental assessments (class EAs) for approval by the Minister of the Environment. A class EA is an approved planning document that defines a group of projects and activities and sets out the EA processes which the proponent commits to following for each of these undertakings. Provided the approved process is followed, projects and activities included in the class EA do not require individual review and approval under the EAA.
The Ontario Realty Corporation (ORC), as an agency of the Management Board Secretariat (MBS), is seeking approval under the EAA for the Class Environmental Assessment Process for Management Board Secretariat and Ontario Realty Corporation.
MBS, in support of Management Board of Cabinet, is responsible for the management of government resources, including people, money, information, technology and real estate. ORC is an agency of MBS reporting to the Chair of Management Board of Cabinet. ORC manages Ontario government real estate, accommodations, and construction projects. The proponent for this Class EA is MBS. ORC, as agent for the MBS, is responsible for proceeding with the undertakings to which the Class EA applies. ORC is the proponent of the undertakings which are subject to the Class EA and is therefore subject to the provisions of the Class EA and all conditions of approval for the Class EA. ORC has undertaken the work required to develop the new Class EA document and to submit it for approval.
Terms of reference for a new class environmental assessment process for Management Board Secretariat and Ontario Realty Corporation were approved on February 12, 2002. Since that time, ORC has prepared a new Class EA and has submitted it to the ministry for approval.
The undertaking identified is a Class EA to provide EAA approval for a class of realty activity projects. The class of undertakings included in the Class EA includes property acquisition, planning, design, leasing, letting, maintenance, repair, addition, construction, demolition, marketing and sale.
The purpose of the undertaking, as described in the Class EA, is to make sure that, in all its realty undertakings, MBS consistently takes into account the potential effects of its activities on the environment, including the natural, social, cultural, economic and built environments and their interactions.
The Class Environmental Assessment Process for Management Board Secretariat and Ontario Realty Corporation was formerly called the Class Environmental Assessment Process for MGS Realty Group Activities. The Class EA was first approved in December 1992 and it will expire on April 30, 2004, or the date that is six months after the date on which a new Class EA is approved, whichever occurs first.
Key changes to the Class EA are a reflection of: changes to the list of undertakings; an improvement to the clarity and efficiency of the environmental planning process; and provisions for record keeping, monitoring and reporting.
Terms of reference
Management Board Secretariat (MBS), in support of Management Board of Cabinet, is responsible for the effective and accountable management of government resources - people, money, information, technology and real estate. Operating much like a corporate office of a large company, MBS creates the policies, processes and standards of operation that Ministries and Agencies use across the Ontario Public Service.
Ontario Realty Corporation (ORC) is an Agency of the Management Board Secretariat (MBS) reporting to the Chair of Management Board of Cabinet. MBS manages Ontario government real estate, accommodation, and construction projects.
Following the provisions of the Environmental Assessment Act, during 1992, ORC (acting for MBS) submitted its class environmental assessment (class EA) process for MBS Realty Activities to Ontario’s Minister of the Environment for approval.
Realty activities are those that ORC manages for MBS. On December 9, 1992, the minister approved the class EA process for ORC realty activities. Approval for this class EA process was subject to review after five years. The minister recently extended the existing MBS class EA process until June 9, 2001, with the condition that the renewal of the class EA process be completed by then.
In accordance with Ontario Regulation 616/98—Deadlines, the ORC took a time-out effective June 15, 2000, in order to address concerns raised during the comment period. The ToR was subsequently re-submitted on August 8, 2000. Another time-out was taken, effective March 1, 2001, to address concerns raised by this ministry. The ToR was resubmitted, and a third time-out taken effective April 26, 2001, in order to provide the ORC and the MBS the time needed to resolve issues of proponency in the ToR.
On May 3, 2001, the ORC requested that the minister grant an extension of the approval period for the existing class EA, from June 9, 2001 to December 31, 2002. The minister is considering the request. The extension is being requested to provide the time to revise and resubmit the ToR, and prepare and submit a new class EA. This ministry is expecting the ORC to submit a new class EA by October 31, 2001. The extension will also provide the time required for this ministry to review the class EA, the minister to make a decision about the class EA, and the ORC to develop and implement a phase-in and training period to make the transition to the new class EA.
Description of the undertaking being considered
The purpose of the class EA is to establish an approved procedure that enables MBS to do environmental assessment consistently, over the wide variety of activities that fall under its responsibility. Activities covered by this Class EA include: acquisition, planning, design, leasing, letting, maintenance, repair, addition, sale, construction, demolition, and marketing.
The terms of reference (ToR) document sets out how MBS/ORC proposes to meet the environmental assessment requirements for the review and amendment of its Class EA Process. After the minister approves the environmental assessment requirements set out in the ToR, the work on the Renewal of the MBS Class EA can go on with the assurance that issues of potential environmental concern are identified.
The ToR document has been prepared following the requirements of the EA Act. Once approved by the minister (under Subsection 6(4)), the ToR will provide the framework for preparing the Class EA and serve as a benchmark for reviewing the Class EA. The revised Class EA for MBS will be prepared following the requirements as set out in Section 14(2) of the EAA as defined through the minister’s approval of the ToR. A team headed by the Ottawa firm of Jacques Whitford Environment Limited has been retained to carry out the work.