Marten Falls community access road project
Learn about the environmental assessment process for a proposed road from the northern end of the Painter Lake forestry road to the community of Marten Falls.
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On October 8, 2021, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks approved the Terms of Reference for this project.
Marten Falls First Nation is proposing a multi-purpose, all-season community access road to connect the Marten Falls First Nation community with the Ontario provincial highway network. The proposed length of the road is approximately 190 to 230 kilometres.
The purpose of this project is to improve the well-being of Marten Falls First Nation by providing reliable year-round access to the community. The road will be used by the community and others, which may include industry.
Learn more on the Marten Falls community access road project website.
Marten Falls First Nation
Northern Ontario (from north of Nakina to Marten Falls)
Dorothy Moszynski, Environmental Assessment Branch
Sasha McLeod, Environmental Assessment Branch
Terms of reference: approved
Date submitted: October 23, 2020
Expiry of public comment period: December 21, 2020
Decision date: October 8, 2021
Voluntary agreement: signed
Signature date: May 3, 2018
Terms of reference
On October 8, 2021, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks approved the Terms of Reference for the Marten Falls community access road environmental assessment, with amendments that the Minister considers necessary. The approved Terms of Reference sets out in detail the requirements for the preparation of Marten Falls First Nation’s environmental assessment. Marten Falls First Nation may now proceed with preparing its environmental assessment in accordance with the approved Terms of Reference.
Notice of approval
Environmental Assessment Act subsection 6(4) approval of Terms of Reference for the preparation of an environmental assessment
Proponent: Marten Falls First Nation
Undertaking: The construction and operation of the Marten Falls Community Access Road and ancillary facilities.
EA file number: 18047
As provided for by subsection 6(4) of the Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.18 (“the Act”), the proposed Terms of Reference submitted for approval to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks on October 23, 2020, with the amendments which I consider necessary, all of which are set out in this notice, is hereby approved (“the approved Terms of Reference”).
Pursuant to subsection 6.1(1) of the Act, any environmental assessment for the above-noted undertaking, submitted to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks pursuant to subsection 6.2(1) of the Act, must be prepared in accordance with the approved Terms of Reference.
- I am satisfied that an environmental assessment prepared in accordance with the approved Terms of Reference will be consistent with the purpose of the Act and the public interest.
- The amendments in this Notice of Approval contain additional requirements for consultation with Indigenous communities with respect to the cumulative effects assessment to be prepared as part of the environmental assessment, and additional requirements for consultation with Indigenous communities at key milestones during the development of the environmental assessment. These amendments have been informed by concerns with respect to potential adverse impacts to established or credibly asserted Aboriginal or treaty rights that have been shared with the Crown during consultation with Indigenous communities, or that can reasonably be anticipated at this point in the environmental assessment process.
- The approved Terms of Reference includes other consultation requirements that are intended to provide for appropriate input during the environmental assessment by any interested person.
- The approved Terms of Reference provides adequate rationale for focusing the environmental assessment.
- The approved Terms of Reference contains a sufficient level of detail to provide for an accurate assessment of the environmental effects of alternative methods of carrying out the proposed undertaking and the preferred undertaking.
- There are no outstanding issues that have not been incorporated into the approved Terms of Reference, or that cannot be addressed during the preparation of the environmental assessment.
To the extent that there is any conflict between the requirements outlined in the approved Terms of Reference (ToR) and the amendments below, it is the amendments below that will take precedence.
1. Cumulative effects
To strengthen the commitments in the ToR regarding the cumulative effects assessment and related consultation, Section 7.2 - Potential Environmental Effects of the ToR is amended to include the following:
1.1 Cumulative effects consultation:
During the preparation of its environmental assessment (EA), Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN) will consult with Indigenous communities on the cumulative effects assessment work plan, methodology, results and impact management measures. As part of the consultation on these items, MFFN will offer targeted consultation opportunities to each Indigenous community. MFFN will also consider any consultation activities/tools that Indigenous communities request in order to facilitate the consultation required by this section.
1.2 Consideration of other cumulative effects assessments
As part of the development of its EA, MFFN will consider, where appropriate, any publicly available information that may be generated through the following which MFFN considers relevant:
- any cumulative effects assessment developed as part of any EA in respect of the proposed Webequie Supply Road; and
- any cumulative effects assessment developed as part of any EA in respect of the proposed Northern Road Link.
MFFN will determine how to use any information described in this section in its EA including the cumulative effects assessment. If information described in this section is not available at the time MFFN is prepared to submit its final EA to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), this will not delay the submission of the final EA.
1.3 Consideration of Regional Assessment
If there is an ongoing or completed Regional Assessment for the Ring of Fire area, as part of the development of its EA MFFN will consider, where appropriate, any publicly available information that may be generated through that process which MFFN considers relevant. MFFN will determine how to use any information described in this section in its EA including the cumulative effects assessment. If information described in this section is not available at the time MFFN is prepared to submit its final EA to MECP, this will not delay the submission of the final EA.
1.4 Cumulative effects consultation report
As part of the draft EA and final EA, MFFN will prepare a cumulative effects consultation report to accompany the cumulative effects assessment within the EA. The report will include:
- a summary of the consultation completed with Indigenous communities and any other organizations/agencies regarding the development of the cumulative effects assessment; and
- comment-response tables showing how comments from Indigenous communities and any other organizations/agencies were considered and incorporated, as appropriate, in the development of the cumulative effects assessment.
1.5 Draft and final EA report documentation
The draft EA and final EA will contain draft and final cumulative effects assessments, respectively.
2. Table 11.7 and cumulative effects
Table 11.7: Milestones and Targeted Input is amended by adding the following to the list of targeted input for each milestone: “Input into the cumulative effects assessment impact management measures.”
3. Consultation reporting at key EA milestones
To support Indigenous communities to provide meaningful input during the development of the EA at each key milestone, Section 11.7 - Milestones and Targeted Input and Table 11-2 (and accompanying Table 4-2 within Appendix B) are amended to include the following:
3.1 Preparing progress reports
MFFN will prepare a written progress report on the consultation activities associated with each of the following EA milestones:
- Notice of Commencement of Provincial EA;
- Effects Assessment Methods; and
- Identification of Preferred Alternatives.
Each progress report will:
- be organized by each Indigenous community;
- contain a consultation log and summary that tracks consultation activities, information shared by MFFN with the community, any community input and MFFN’s responses to such input for the EA milestone; and
- contain a discussion of how any input and information provided by the Indigenous communities have informed the development of the EA milestone.
3.2 Distributing progress reports
As soon as practicable after MFFN has reached each EA milestone set out above and prepared the progress report associated with that milestone, MFFN will:
- provide the relevant progress report to MECP; and
- provide each Indigenous community with a copy of the community-specific portion of the progress report that relates to that community.
3.3 Proceeding to the next EA milestone
Once the requirements in sections 3.1 and 3.2 have been completed for a milestone, MFFN will determine when to move to the next milestone.
3.4 Responding to questions or concerns
In a timely manner, MFFN will respond to any questions or concerns raised by MECP or an Indigenous community in response to the progress reports distributed under section 3.2, including making any revisions to the progress reports as MFFN considers appropriate.
3.5 Records of consultation
MFFN will append the final progress reports, with any relevant updates made in response to feedback received under section 3.4, as part of the records of consultation that are submitted with the draft EA and final EA.
Dated the 8th day of October, 2021 at Toronto.
Original signed by:
Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
777 Bay Street, 5th floor
This agreement is made in triplicate, between:
- The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (the “Minister”)
- Marten Falls First Nation, its agents, successors and assigns (the “Proponent”)
The Proponent proposes the construction, operation and maintenance of an all-weather multi-use road and all associated infrastructure between the current northern terminus of the “Painter Lake forestry road” and the community of Marten Falls. The project is known as the Marten Falls Community Access Road Project. (the “Undertaking”)
Whereas section 3.0.1 of the Environmental Assessment Act states:
A person, other than a person referred to in clause 3(a), who carries out, proposes to carry out or is the owner or person having charge, management or control of an enterprise or activity or a proposal, plan or program in respect of an enterprise or activity may enter into a written agreement with the Minister to have this Act apply to the enterprise, activity, proposal, plan or program.
Whereas the Proponent is a person, other than a person referred to in clause 3(a) of the Environmental Assessment Act, who proposes to carry out or is the owner or person having charge, management or control of an enterprise or activity or a proposal, plan or program in respect of an enterprise or activity which is described above as the Undertaking, and
Whereas the Proponent has requested that the Environmental Assessment Act apply to the Undertaking.
The Minister and the Proponent therefore agree that the Environmental Assessment Act applies to the Undertaking.
This Agreement may be executed in any number of counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument.
This Agreement may be validly executed and delivered by means of transmission of signed facsimile or by email transmission of an electronically scanned original signature (such as in PDF file format).
This agreement shall take effect on the date that the Minister signs and shall continue indefinitely unless terminated by the agreement of both parties, in writing.
Original signed by:
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
Date: May 3, 2018
Marten Falls First Nation
Date: April 25, 2018
I have the authority to bind the First Nation.