Class EA for Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects
Project information about this class environmental assessment.
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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 sets out a planning and approval process for resource stewardship and facility development projects by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, alone or in cooperation with its partners.
Resource stewardship projects involve supervision or management of a public resource. This includes:
- active management projects (for example, enhancing fisheries habitat through placement of rock rubble to improve a spawning shoal)
- more passive or less intrusive projects (for example, disposition of a dam to a municipality or conservation authority)
Facility development projects involve building or improving infrastructure and other works. These projects often support resource stewardship (for example, fishways or access points).
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Antonia Testa, Environmental Assessment Branch
Class environmental assessment—major amendment (2020): submitted
Date submitted: July 8, 2020
Expiry of public comment period: August 22, 2020
Class environmental assessment—amendment (2015): submitted
Date submitted: April 29, 2015
Expiry of public comment period: November 2, 2015
Class environmental assessment (2002): approved
Date submitted: August 31, 2001
Expiry of public comment period for ministry review: January 18, 2002
Decision date: December 11, 2002
Terms of reference: approved
Date submitted: May 31, 1999
Expiry of public comment period: July 16, 1999
Decision date: September 22, 1999
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 Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is proposing amendments to the Class EA for Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects to better align the level of assessment with the level of potential environmental impact associated with a project, reduce duplication, and increase efficiency of the assessments.
- This amendment builds on a previous proposal by MNRF that was consulted on in 2015 but put on hold. The proposed amendment includes: Identifying 18 low-impact Category A projects to better align study requirements with environmental impacts. Category A projects are exempt from requirements under the Class EA.
- Examples of the proposed exemptions include: emergency activities, installing signage, prescribed burning, and controlling invasive species.
- Exempting an additional 6 activities, provided that they are not part of an individual EA.
- Examples of the proposed exemptions include: upgrading, decommissioning or sale of existing MNRF facilities (i.e. Ontario Ranger Camps), and construction, upgrading, or decommissioning of dams, dykes, and other water control structures.
- Updating the Class EA to:
- align with current requirements, guidelines, policies and legislation;
- create consistency with other Class EAs;
- clarify screening criteria to improve efficiency and consistency during implementation.
Learn more about the proposed changes:
- Amendment Summary Table
- Clean version of Class EA for Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects with proposed changes
Submit your comments
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 2003 version.
Class environmental assessment—amendment (2015)
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has proposed a major amendment to keep its class environmental assessment (EA) consistent with the Environmental Assessment Act and Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change guidelines.
The proposed changes are based on MNRF’s experience working with the class EA and recommendations identified during its 5-year review cycles.
The proposed amendment includes:
- clarifying and revising the list of
lowest-riskprojects by identifying Category A projects (for example, emergency activities) and adding more projects to the pre-screened
Category Aprojects list
- updating the approach for dispositions of rights to Crown resources (for example, work permits, leases for roads on Crown lands) so that the evaluation process is consistent with the Environmental Assessment Act and other class environmental assessments, and to clarify that the transfer of rights triggers the class EA process and not the undertaking that prompted the transfer of rights
- updates to reflect legislative, policy and practice changes
- increasing flexibility for notice and consultation methods/opportunities
- clarification to the existing Aboriginal consultation provisions and Duty to Consult requirements
- other administrative changes and corrections
If approved, the amended class EA will replace the existing 2002 version.
The proposed amendments were posted for a public review and comment period from May 29 to November 2, 2015.
All comments received during the comment period will be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
Class environmental assessment (2002)
On November 12, 2002, the Minister of the Environment approved the Class Environmental Assessment for MNR Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects (formerly known as the Class Environmental Assessment for Small Scale MNR Projects).
This class EA provides Environmental Assessment Act coverage for resource stewardship and facility development activities, including:
- retirement or decommissioning
Project types covered by the class EA include:
- access points and docks
- access roads
- dams and dykes
- fish stocking
- shoreline and stream bank stabilization
- solid waste disposal
- canoe routes
- water related excavation
- dredge and fill activities
Some projects formerly subject to exemption or declaration orders are also covered by the class EA, including:
- plugging old oil and gas wells
- sewage systems and water works
- nuisance species control
- Ontario ranger camps
- disposition of rights to Crown resources
- acquisition of property
- capital construction and lease purchase projects
- fish culture stations
- Crown land cottage lot dispositions
Notice of approval
Proponent: Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR)
EA file number: NR-AA-03
Take notice that the period for requiring a hearing, provided for in the Notice of Completion of the Review for the above-noted undertaking, expired on January 18, 2002. Three submissions were received before the expiration date. One submission requested a hearing by the Environmental Review Tribunal.
I do not consider it advisable or necessary to hold a hearing. Having considered the purpose of the Act, the approved Terms of Reference, the Class Environmental Assessment, the Review and the submissions received, I hereby give approval to the Class Environmental Assessment, subject to conditions set out below.
My reasons for giving approval are:
- On the basis of the proponent’s Class Environmental Assessment and the ministry’s Review, the proponent’s conclusion that, on balance, the advantages of the MNR proceeding pursuant to the Class Environmental Assessment for MNR Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects outweigh the disadvantages of doing so appears to be valid.
- No other beneficial alternative method of implementing projects covered by the Class Environmental Assessment for MNR Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects have been identified.
- On the basis of the proponent’s Class Environmental Assessment, the ministry’s Review and the conditions of approval, the planning, construction, operation, maintenance and retirement of the class of undertakings will be consistent with the purpose of the Act (Section 2).
- All of the concerns raised by the Government and Agency Review Team and the public have been adequately addressed by the proponent and by Conditions of Approval.
- The submissions received after the Notice of Completion of the Review was published have been addressed by the proponent to the satisfaction of the MOE. I am not aware of any outstanding issues with respect to this undertaking which suggest that a hearing should be required.
- For the purposes of these conditions:
- “proponent” means the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), its agents, successors, and assigns, who will be carrying out the proposed class of undertakings.
- “MOE” means the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
- “EAAB” means the Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch of the Ministry of the Environment.
- “Director” means the Director of the Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch.
- “document” means the Class EA, the Annual Effectiveness Monitoring Report and the Five-Year Review.
- “the Class EA” means the Class Environmental Assessment for Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects (submitted for approval April 15, 2002).
- The proponent shall comply with all the provisions of the Class EA which are hereby incorporated in this approval by reference except as provided in these conditions and as provided in any other approvals or permits that may be issued.
- These conditions do not prevent more restrictive conditions being imposed under other statutes.
- Where a document is required for the MOE Public Record file, the proponent shall provide the document to the Director for filing within the specific Public Record file maintained for the undertaking. The proponent shall provide copies of all documents for the purpose of public review to:
- the Director of the MOE Eastern Region Office
- the Director of the MOE Central Region Office
- the Director of the MOE West Central Region Office
- the Director of the MOE Southwestern Region Office
- the Director of the MOE Northern Region Office
These documents may also be provided through other means as considered appropriate by the proponent. Thirty (30) copies of the final document are to be provided to the EMB for placement in the public record file and for use by ministry staff (including each Regional and District office).
- The proponent shall commence the first five-year review of the Class EA, as required in section 5.3 of the Class EA, on or before the fifth anniversary of the date this approval comes into force, and shall occur every five years thereafter on or before subsequent 5-year anniversary dates of the date this approval comes into force until such time as is otherwise indicated in writing by the Director to the proponent. Each review shall be submitted to the Director and placed in the Public Record file no later than 90 days after the anniversary date.
- The proponent shall further develop the Class EA Monitoring Program referred to in section 5.1 of the Class EA in consultation with EMB. The Monitoring Program shall include compliance, effects and effectiveness monitoring and a strategy for addressing non-compliance. The proponent shall submit the Monitoring Program to the Director no later than six months after the date of this approval. The proponent shall implement the plan once the Director has given written notification of satisfaction with the Monitoring Program to the proponent.
- The amending procedure for modifying this Class EA referred to in section 5.2 of the Class EA may be used by the proponent until:
- a regulation is made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council prescribing rules and restrictions under subsection 11.4(4) of the Environmental Assessment Act for amending or revoking decisions which apply to this Class EA
- the Minister of the Environment has issued a notice to MNR and filed a copy of it in the Public Record file for this Class EA prescribing which of the procedures under the regulation shall apply in place of or in addition to the procedures set out in section 5.2 and which procedures in section 5.2 shall cease to apply
- MNR shall develop a technical guideline, in consultation with the Ministry of Culture, to address how cultural heritage resources should be identified, and how to assess their significance and develop mitigation techniques, by December 15, 2004, or such later date as may be determined by the Director of EAAB, and MNR shall implement the guideline. MNR shall provide a copy of the guideline to the Director of EAAB, together with MNR's implementation schedule, on December 15, 2004, or such later date as may be determined by the Director of EAAB.
- This approval for the Class EA comes into force on March 31, 2003.
Dated the 12th day of November, 2002 at Toronto.
Original signed by:
Minister of the Environment
135 St. Clair Avenue West, 12th floor
Approved by O.C. number: 2211/2002
Date O.C. approved: December 11, 2002