Class environmental assessments: Section 16 Order
Learn about Section 16 Orders for projects going through Class Environmental Assessments.
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The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has the authority and discretion to make an Order under section 16 of the Environmental Assessment Act.
A Section 16 Order may require that the proponent of a project going through a Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) process:
- Submit an application for approval of the project before they proceed. This is generally referred to as an Individual Environmental Assessment (individual EA).
- Meet further conditions in addition to the conditions in the Class EA. This could include conditions for:
- further study
The minister can also refer a matter in relation to a section 16(6) Order request to mediation.
Before making an Order, the minister must consider the factors set out in section 16(5) of the Environmental Assessment Act.
If a Section 16 Order request is made, the project proponent cannot proceed with the project until the minister makes a decision on the request.
If the minister makes a Section 16 Order, the proponent may only proceed with the project if they follow the conditions in the Order.
Note: Section 16 Order requests were previously known as Part II Order requests.
Reasons for requesting an Order
You can ask the minister to make a Section 16(6) Order if:
- you have outstanding concerns that a project going through a Class EA process may have a potential adverse impact on constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights
- you believe that an Order may prevent, mitigate or remedy this impact
You should not make a Section 16(6) Order request just to delay or stop the planning and implementation of a project that is going through a Class EA process.
Before you make a Section 16(6) Order request, you should first try to resolve any concerns directly with the project proponent through the Class EA process.
Timing for an Order request
All project proponents must post a Notice of Completion or a Notice of Addendum for projects going through a Class EA process. The notice gives information on the public comment period for the project.
The proponent cannot proceed with the project until at least 30 days after the end of the public comment period.
The public comment period must be at least 30 days. During the public comment period, anyone can:
- review the documentation
- submit any comments or concerns to the proponent
- request a Section 16(6) Order
If you want to request a Section 16 Order for a project, on the grounds that an Order may prevent, mitigate or remedy potential adverse impacts on constitutionally protected, Aboriginal and treaty rights , you must make the request before the public comment period is complete.
How to make a request
To submit your Section 16(6) Order request, you should provide the following:
- your name, address and email address
- project name
- proponent name
- what kind of Order is being requested
- a request for additional conditions
- a request for an individual environmental assessment
- details about your concerns about potential adverse impacts on constitutionally protected Aboriginal or treaty rights and how the proposed Order may prevent, mitigate or remedy the identified adverse impacts
- whether you belong to, represent or have spoken with an Indigenous community whose constitutionally protected Aboriginal or treaty rights may be adversely impacted by the proposed project
- whether you have raised your concerns with the proponent, the proponent’s response (if any) and why the concerns could not be resolved with the proponent
- any other information to support your request
Personal information and privacy
All personal information included in your request, such as name, address, telephone number and property location are collected under the authority of section 30 of the Environmental Assessment Act.
Because this information is collected for the purpose of a public record, the protection of personal information provided in section 37 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act does not apply.
We are required to maintain a record for every project where a Section 16 Order is proposed. The record is available to the public to review upon request. Personal information in your Section 16 Order request will become part of the record that is available to the general public.
You can request that your personal information remain confidential in your Section 16 Order request. However, the other information you provide in your request will become part of the public record.
Information that is provided in confidence, such as traditional ecological knowledge, must be identified as confidential in order to be excluded from the public record.
Where to send your request
Send your Section 16 Order requests to the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks and the Director of Environmental Assessment Branch. You can submit your request by mail, email, fax or hand deliver it to:
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
777 Bay Street, 5th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 2J3
Environmental Assessment Branch
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
135 St. Clair Avenue West, 1st Floor
Toronto ON M4V 1P5
You should also send a copy of your written request to the proponent of the project.
Minister’s own initiative to make a Section 16 Order
The minister may make a Section 16 Order on their own initiative:
- within 30 days from the end of the comment period set out in the Notice of Completion or Notice of Addendum (or as extended by the proponent)
- if the director has given the proponent a Notice of Proposed Order within 30 days from the end of the comment period set out in the Notice of Completion or Notice of Addendum (or as extended by the proponent):
- within 60 days from the end of the comment period set out in the Notice of Completion or Notice of Addendum (or as extended by the proponent)
- within 30 days from the day the director gives the proponent a Notice of Satisfactory Response
Notice of proposed Order
If the director believes that the minister needs additional information to determine whether to make a Section 16 Order on their own initiative, the director may give the project proponent a Notice of Proposed Order. This notice may include a request for information and a deadline for submitting the information to the ministry.
We will review the information to determine whether all the information we asked for was received. If the director is satisfied that the requested information was provided by the deadline, the director will give the proponent a Notice of Satisfactory Response.
If the director does not receive the requested information from the proponent before the deadline, the director will give the proponent a Notice of Unsatisfactory Response. This notice will:
- provide the information we need from the proponent to satisfy our request
- ask the proponent to issue a new Notice of Completion or Notice of Addendum
The Notice of Unsatisfactory Response may also set out directions regarding the new Notice of Completion or Notice of Addendum which the proponent must follow.
The new Notice of Completion or Notice of Addendum must provide the public with a new comment period of least 30 days.
The proponent may not proceed with the project until the director issues a Notice of Satisfactory Response and at least 30 days have passed since the Notice of Satisfactory Response was issued.
If the minister makes a Section 16 Order, the proponent may only proceed with the project in accordance with the Order. The Order may:
- Require the proponent to submit an application for approval of the project before they proceed. This is generally referred to as an individual EA.
- Require the proponent to meet further conditions, in addition to conditions in the Class EA. This could include conditions for:
- further study
There is no appeal of the minister’s decision with respect to a Section 16 Order.
If your request for a Section 16(6) Order is denied by the minister, the proponent can proceed with the project.
If the minister makes an Order, the proponent may only proceed with the project if they follow the conditions in the Order or they may choose not to proceed with the project. If required to comply with Part II of the Act, the proponent can begin preparing a terms of reference for the project.
Factors when making a decision
The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks will consider the following when making an Order under Section 16 of the Act:
- purpose of the Environmental Assessment Act
- factors suggesting the proposed project differs from other projects in the class to which the Class EA applies
- significance of the factors, and of the differences mentioned above
- any reasons given by the requester
- mediator’s report—if available
- any other matters the minister considers appropriate
The minister will also consider the proponent’s response to the request.