Environmental Assessment Act R.S.O. 1990, Subsection 7(1)

This Review is subject to the provisions of Ontario Regulation 616/98 which sets out a deadline for the completion of this document. The deadline for the completion of the Review was August 10, 2012. this paragraph and the giving of the Notice of Completion are the notices required by subsection 7(3) of the Environmental Assessment Act.

The Review documents the ministry’s evaluation of the proposed Class Environmental Assessment and takes the comments of the government agencies, the public and Aboriginal communities into consideration.

Executive summary

Who

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM)

What

Ministry Review for the proposed Class Environmental Assessment for Activities of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines under the Mining Act (MNDM Class EA) which will cover discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities.

The proposed MNDM Class EA would replace the existing Declaration Orders:

  • MNDM-3 for Discretionary Mining Land Grants; and,
  • MNDM-4 for Abandoned Mine Hazard Rehabilitation

When

MNDM Class EA submitted: May 11, 2012; amended August 10, 2012

First inspection period: May 11, 2012 to June 29, 2012

Amended MNDM Class EA submitted: August 10, 2012

Ministry review comment period: August 31, 2012 to October 5, 2012

Where

The proposed MNDM Class EA will apply to the proponent’s discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities, for activities across the province.

Why

To provide a single Class Environmental Assessment process whereby environmental impacts and benefits of the MNDM's discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities are considered before irreversible decisions are made, providing direction:

  • to ensure impacts and benefits of discretionary activities are considered in a consistent matter; and,
  • to provide a framework to address and respond to input from the public, Aboriginal communities and government agencies.

Conclusions

Based on the ministry Review of the MNDM Class EA, the Ministry of the Environment has concluded that the proponent has prepared the proposed MNDM Class EA in accordance with the approved Terms of Reference and the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. Further discussion and conditions of approval may be proposed to ensure that final government agency concerns and requests for clarification are incorporated into the MNDM Class EA.

Class environmental assessment process

A Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) is a proponent driven planning process designed to incorporate the consideration of the environment into decision-making by assessing the effects of an undertaking on the environment. In Ontario, the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) sets out the general contents for the preparation of a Class EA, as well as the ministry’s evaluation process. For those proponents and undertakings subject to the EAA, approval under the EAA is required before the undertaking can proceed.

Proponents preparing a Class EA are required to identify specific categories and sub-categories of undertakings to which the Class EA would apply, and provide a planning process for evaluating the environmental effects of each individual undertaking. The Class EA may require proponents to consider actions to prevent, change, mitigate or remedy potential environmental effects. When preparing a Class EA, the proponent must consult with interested stakeholders including government agencies, public, non-governmental organisations as well as Aboriginal communities and organisations.

A Class EA submitted for approval under the EAA differs from a project-specific environmental assessment (EA). The Class EA is unique because it receives approval for a planning process for an entire class of projects. This allows each project in the class to be carried out in accordance with the requirements and planning process set out in the Class EA.

Once the Class EA is approved, the proponent does not need to apply for approval under the EAA for each individual project provided they follow the procedures in the Class EA. However, the proponent is required to monitor implementation and effectiveness of the environmental protection planning of the Class EA and compliance with the EAA approval.

When following an approved Class EA, proponents of individual projects within the class of undertakings address a wide range of potential effects on the natural, social, cultural and economic environments to ensure the protection, conservation and wise management of the environment. A Class EA provides the framework for a proponent to determine, on the basis of the environmental effects, if an undertaking should proceed, and if so, how any environmental effects can be managed.

1.1 Terms of reference

Preparing a Class EA is a two-step application to the Minister of the Environment (Minister). The first step requires the proponent to prepare and submit a Terms of Reference (ToR) to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) for review and approval. The ToR is the work plan or framework for how the Class EA will be prepared.

On August 23, 2011, the Minister approved the MNDM's ToR. The ToR set out how the MNDM would assess alternatives, assess environmental effects and consult with the public during the preparation of the proposed MNDM Class EA. The ToR established the scope and purpose for the proposed MNDM Class EA and it outlines the content of the proposed MNDM Class EA using the requirements of the EAA and the MOE's standards for all Class EAs as the starting point. The ToR also outlined a consultation plan for the proposed MNDM Class EA process.

1.2 Environmental assessment

Once the ToR is approved by the Minister, the proponent can proceed to the second step of the Class EA process and prepare the Class EA. The Class EA must be prepared in accordance with the approved ToR and the requirements of the EAA. Once the proponent has prepared the proposed Class EA, including consultation, the proposed Class EA is submitted to the MOE for review and approval.

On May 11, 2012, the MNDM submitted the proposed MNDM Class EA to the MOE for approval. The MNDM Class EA was made available for public inspection and comment for a seven-week period which ended on June 29, 2012. The Government Review Team (GRT), including federal, provincial and local agencies reviewed the proposed MNDM Class EA to ensure that the information and conclusions of the proposed MNDM Class EA were valid, based on their agencies' mandates. The public, Aboriginal communities and interested organizations also had an opportunity to review the proposed MNDM Class EA and submit their comments to the MOE. All comments received by the MOE are considered by the Minister before a decision is made about the proposed MNDM Class EA, including comments and concerns related to implementing projects using the proposed MNDM Class EA.

During this inspection period various comments were submitted, predominately by the GRT and a few Aboriginal communities. No comments were received from the public. The comments were for the most part suggestions for improvement in the following areas: clarifications and minor editorial comments; categorizing emergency rehabilitation activities; consultation and documentation requirements; the appropriateness of screening criteria for identifying potential environmental impacts (i.e. cultural heritage resources); and, planning process steps. Additional time was provided to the MNDM in order to hold discussions and respond to the comments received by making revisions to the proposed MNDM Class EA. The MNDM provided the MOE with an amended MNDM Class EA on August 10, 2012.

1.3 Ministry review

The EAA requires the MOE to prepare a review of the proposed MNDM Class EA, known simply as the Review. The Review is the MOE's evaluation of the proposed MNDM Class EA. The purpose of the Review is to determine if the proposed MNDM Class EA has been prepared in accordance with the approved ToR and therefore meets the requirements of the EAA and whether the evaluation in the proposed MNDM Class EA is sufficient to allow the Minister to make a decision about the proposed MNDM Class EA.

The Review outlines whether the information contained in the proposed MNDM Class EA supports the recommendations and conclusions for the proposed class of undertakings. The MOE staff, with input from the GRT, evaluates how well the proponent has consulted with others and ensures that the proponent has provided clear and complete documentation of such consultations. The Review also provides an overview and analysis of the public, government agency and Aboriginal community comments on the proposed MNDM Class EA.

The Minister considers the conclusions of the Review when making a decision; the Review itself is not the decision making mechanism. The Minister’s decision will be made following the end of the five-week Review comment period. The Minister’s decision is subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

The Review comment period allows the GRT, the public and Aboriginal communities to see how their comments on the proposed MNDM Class EA have been considered. During the Review comment period, anyone can submit comments on the proposed MNDM Class EA, and the Review. In addition, anyone can request that the Minister refer the proposed MNDM Class EA, or any matter relating to the proposed MNDM Class EA, to the Environmental Review Tribunal for a hearing if they believe that there are significant outstanding environmental effects that the proposed MNDM Class EA has not addressed. Requests for a hearing can only be made during this comment period. The Minister will consider all requests and determine if a hearing is necessary.

A Notice of Completion of the Review has been posted on the MOE's EA activities website, the MNDM's website and published in the same newspapers where other notices about the proposed MNDM Class EA were published: Kenora Daily Miner and News, Kingston-Whig Standard, L'Express de Timmins, North Bay Nugget, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa le Droit, Sault Ste Marie Star, Sioux Lookout Wawatay News, Sudbury le Voyageur, Sudbury Star, Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal, Timmins Daily Press, Windsor le Rempart, and Windsor Star. An information notice was also published by the MNDM on the Environmental Bill of Rights Environmental Registry. The Review and amended MNDM Class EA will also be made available for viewing at the offices of the MOE and the MNDM. The Notice of Completion indicates that this Review has been completed and is available for a five-week comment period from August 31, 2012 to October 5, 2012. Copies of the Review have been placed in the same public record locations where the proposed MNDM Class EA was available, and copies have been distributed to the GRT members and potentially affected or interested Aboriginal communities. A copy of the amended MNDM Class EA will also be made available on the MNDM's website and at the public record locations.

The proposed class environmental assessment

2.1 Description

The MNDM is a government agency that regulates the province’s mineral industry. The MNDM's Mines and Minerals Division works to support land use management and mineral resource development by administration of the province’s Mining Act, and by providing geoscience expertise and client services. The Mining Act encourages prospecting, staking and exploration for the development of mineral resources in a manner that minimizes the impact of these activities on public health and safety and the environment. The MNDM is seeking EAA approval for the class of undertakings which includes discretionary tenure decisions related to surface rights, mining rights and chattels, and discretionary rehabilitation activities, which includes emergency rehabilitation activities. These discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities undertaken by the MNDM for the purposes of administering the Mining Act are subject to the EAA. The discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities the MNDM is proposing to be covered under the MNDM Class EA are routinely carried out by the MNDM and have predictable environmental effects which can be readily managed.

Currently the MNDM's discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities have EAA coverage by way of two Declaration Orders. Declaration Order MNDM-3 enables the MNDM to carry out dispositions of certain or all rights to Crown resources without obtaining individual approvals under the EAA. Declaration Order MNDM-4 enables the MNDM to address environmental and safety hazards of abandoned mines throughout Ontario, primarily on Crown land, without having to obtain individual approvals under the EAA. The Declaration Orders expire December 31, 2012. The MNDM Class EA will replace the Declaration Orders MNDM-3 and MNDM-4.

A Class EA sets out a standardized planning process which must be approved by the Minister and the Lieutenant Governor in Council for a group or class of undertakings. These classes of activities are routinely carried out and have predictable environmental effects which can be readily managed. The activities the MNDM is proposing to be covered by the MNDM Class EA fall within this description. Projects defined within a Class EA require no further approval under Section 5 of the EAA, conditional upon being planned according to the procedures set out in the Class EA document and not being subject to a Part II Order request (or bump up). A Class EA includes a process whereby any interested stakeholder or member of the public may request that the Minister order that an individual EA be carried out for a particular project.

The MNDM Class EA will not apply to the development of a mine itself. Mining developments and operations are private sector undertakings and as such are not subject to the EAA unless designated by regulation, or if the proponent enters into a voluntary agreement. However, ancillary activities associated with mining developments such as land dispositions, diesel power generation and transmission lines may trigger EAA requirements, under other processes such as the Ministry of Natural Resources' (MNR) Resource Stewardship and Facilities Development (RSFD) Class EA or Ontario Regulation 116/01 (Electricity Projects Regulation) made under the EAA.

The proposed MNDM Class EA includes a description of administrative processes for monitoring and amending the document, and a process for Part II Order requests. If approved, the proposed MNDM Class EA will be monitored to ensure it meets the requirements of the EAA. The proposed MNDM Class EA includes a compliance monitoring and reporting program. The goals of the monitoring program include evaluating compliance with the provisions of the MNDM Class EA and, identifying opportunities for continuous improvement. The compliance monitoring program includes the development of annual compliance reports that will be prepared and submitted to the MOE for review and posted on the MNDM's website.

The amending process outlined in the proposed MNDM Class EA describes a process for making both major and minor amendments, and requires a rationale for why an amendment to the document is being requested and who can bring amendments forward to the Director of the Environmental Approvals Branch (Director) of the MOE. The proposed MNDM Class EA also requires that the MNDM undertake a review of its document and submit it to the Director every five years to evaluate the effectiveness of the environmental protection planning of the proposed MNDM Class EA and compliance with the EAA approval.

Where an activity undertaken by the MNDM and subject to the EAA may potentially effect the environment, such activity can be elevated to an individual EA by way of a Part II Order request made by the Minister. The proposed MNDM Class EA describes the process to make a request to the Minister for an activity and how it will be considered by the MOE and the Minister when making his/her decision.

The proposed MNDM Class EA includes a description of each category of activities. The categories are based upon the potential for effects on all aspects of the environment as described in the EAA. The categories include:

  • Category A: Activities with no potential environmental effects and emergency rehabilitation activities;
  • Category B: Activities with potential for low environmental effects;
  • Category C: Activities with potential for moderate environmental effects; and,
  • Category D: Activities with potential for significant environmental effects.

To determine the appropriate category for an activity, the proposed MNDM Class EA describes a screening process that will be applied to the activity first. The screening process determines the potential level of effect on the environment and the anticipated level of public interest first in order to decide the appropriate category. However, the screening process does not apply to discretionary tenure decisions that are administrative in nature or that do not change a land use that is permitted under existing mining rights (i.e. termination of licence of occupation for rent arrears) and emergency rehabilitation activities. These activities have been pre-assigned to a Category A because there is no potential for environmental effects, or in the case of emergency rehabilitation activities, there is an immediate threat to human health and safety, and/or the environment. The screening process for all other activities subject to the proposed MNDM Class EA is made up of two sequential parts that are used to determine what category the proposed activity should be assigned to.

The Part 1 screening criteria are applied to discretionary tenure decisions that may have a potential environmental effect, and have not been already pre-assigned as a Category A. Should the Part I screening criteria determine that there is a potential environmental effect, the MNDM will then proceed with applying the Part 2 screening process. The Part 2 screening criteria lists all the potential environmental effects, the cause and degree of effect, and mitigation measures that can be used to eliminate or reduce the effect. For permissions to test mineral content (bulk samples) and discretionary rehabilitation activities, the screening process will be initiated by the MNDM at the Part 2 screening process. Based on the results of the Part 2 screening, the MNDM will be able to assign the proposed activity to the appropriate category as follows:

  • Category B: all identified potential negative effects can be easily mitigated;
  • Category C: at least one potential negative effect cannot be readily mitigated, or if there is an unknown environmental effect requiring the MNDM (or third party) to gather supplemental information and/or undertake further study/assessment; and,
  • Category D: multiple negative effects that cannot be readily mitigated or multiple unknown environmental effects.

The category will define the level of assessment for each activity. However, should results of the screening process determine that a discretionary tenure decision or discretionary rehabilitation activity may have significant potential environmental effects that are not predictable or manageable, the MNDM may decide to make the activity subject to the requirements of an individual EA.

The proposed MNDM Class EA also describes the consultation and documentation requirements for each category. Consultation includes notices of commencement (Category D), opportunity for input on the proposed activity (Category B and C), opportunity to review a draft environmental study report (Category D) and notices of completion (Category C and D). Consultation may also include meetings and open houses where appropriate.

The proposed MNDM Class EA also includes a process for identifying potential heritage resources, assessing and mitigating possible impacts to them. This is described in detail in Appendix 5 of the proposed MNDM Class EA, entitled Heritage Management Process (draft). Both the MNDM and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Sport’s (MTCS) Culture Division continue to work together to finalize this process. The purpose of the Heritage Management Process is to: identify known or potential cultural heritage resources that may be impaired, damaged or destroyed by proposed activities; identify the type and scope of proposed activities which may have an effect on a cultural heritage resources; identify interested communities and stakeholders; and identify protection and mitigation measures to be applied to proposed activities.

Approval by the Minister will only be granted if the proposed MNDM Class EA is developed in accordance with the requirements of the EAA.

2.2 Evaluation of the class environmental assessment

2.2.1 The class of undertakings

The class of undertakings proposed to be covered by the MNDM Class EA is defined in the ToR and includes the activities currently under two Declaration Orders. Declaration Order MNDM-3 enables the MNDM to carry out dispositions of certain or all rights to Crown resources without obtaining individual approvals under the EAA. There are three types of discretionary activities carried out by the MNDM under the Mining Act that are subject to the EAA and they include:

  • new dispositions (i.e. granting mineral rights under road allowances, sale of physical assets on mine sites owned by the Crown);
  • conversions of existing tenure (i.e., combining several leases into one); and,
  • forfeiture or surrender of title (i.e., mining rights are forfeited or surrendered to the Crown due to non-payment of taxes or rent).

Declaration Order MNDM-4 allows the MNDM to address environmental and safety hazards of abandoned mines through rehabilitation throughout Ontario, primarily on Crown land, without having to obtain approvals under the EAA for each activity. Rehabilitation activities include small projects, such as capping or filling of mine shafts, and large scale, multi-year projects to remediate features, such as tailings and dams and to manage and dispose of hazardous wastes. The proposed MNDM Class EA also applies to emergency rehabilitation activities where the MNDM is the proponent. Emergency rehabilitation activities fall under the class of undertakings for rehabilitation activities.

In 2008, the MNDM requested an extension to its two Declarations Orders. Declaration Order MNDM-3 would have expired on June 11, 2009 and Declaration Order MNDM-4 would have expired on June 27, 2010. Both Declaration Orders now expire on December 31, 2012. The proposed MNDM Class EA will replace the Declaration Orders.

Because the Declaration Orders will expire, the proposed MNDM Class EA was necessary and will include the activities covered by MNDM-3 and MNDM-4 as well as emergency rehabilitation activities undertaken by the MNDM as these activities are also subject to the EAA and are not covered by Declaration Order MNDM-4.

Conclusion: The MNDM has provided a clear description of the class of undertakings.

2.2.2 Reasons for using a class environmental assessment

The proposed MNDM Class EA outlines a number of reasons for the development of a Class EA for discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities including the following as described in Section 1.5 of the proposed MNDM Class EA:

  • provides long-term EAA coverage for the MNDM's activities under the Mining Act that have predictable and manageable environmental effects;
  • provides clear and consistent direction about assessment and study processes in compliance with the EAA;
  • allows the MNDM to identify and assess the significance of any potential environmental effects from activities subject to its proposed MNDM Class EA;
  • allows the MNDM to plan, design and amend activities in a consistent manner to mitigate potential negative environmental effects from activities subject to its MNDM Class EA; and,
  • ensures that the MNDM is consistent with other Ontario ministries that have long-term EAA coverage.

Conclusion: The MOE is satisfied with the MNDM's rationale for the development of the proposed MNDM Class EA.

2.2.3 Similarities and differences among undertakings

The proposed MNDM Class EA identifies the range of activities under the Mining Act that are subject to the EAA. These activities include new dispositions (i.e. exploratory licences of occupation), conversions of existing tenure (i.e. licence of occupation to a lease), forfeiture or surrender of a title (i.e. for tax or rent arrears), and post-mining rehabilitation activities. The proposed MNDM Class EA includes a screening process first to evaluate the potential environmental effects prior to determining which categories the activity is assigned too. For those activities that are administrative in nature or do not change land use that is permitted under existing mining rights, and emergency rehabilitation activities are pre-assigned to Category A. The discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities take place on former or existing mining lands are considered to be similar. These activity types may also differ when the activities: have varying levels of effects on the environment; range from being administrative decisions with no impact on the environment to large-scale mine rehabilitation activities that ultimately have positive environmental effects and/or improved human health and safety benefits when the rehabilitation work is finished; include the MNDM-administered mine rehabilitation activities that deal with a variety of methods and mine hazards that vary in description, size, scale, and environmental settings; and, have site specific considerations — cultural heritage resource considerations, social and economic features, community and public interest, land and resource use, and natural environmental features.

Conclusion: The MNDM has provided a sufficient description of the nature of similarities and differences to be expected in activities in the MNDM Class EA.

2.2.4 Environmental effects of activities in the MNDM Class EA

The proposed MNDM Class EA identifies in general terms that the environmental effects of activities in the class will vary from project to project based on the environmental setting, location, and the history of a particular site. The proposed activities may occur within an undisturbed setting or it may occur within a previously disturbed site. There may also be unknown factors (i.e. undocumented underground mine infrastructure) that the MNDM may not aware of. The majority of discretionary tenure decisions should result in either nil or low potential environmental effects (e.g., correction on mining title of small slivers of land accidentally omitted at time of mining claim staking). For discretionary rehabilitation activities, potential effects may include potential impacts to culture resource features, species at risk, sensitive habitats, safety and existing and asserted Aboriginal and treaty rights.

Conclusion: The MNDM Class EA identifies some potential environmental effects of its proposed activities and recognizes the importance of mitigating the potential environmental effects. However, a condition of approval is being proposed to require the MNDM to better describe specific potential environmental effects of its activities and the specific mitigation measures to address them. The conditions of approval referred to in this Review are only proposed as a means of addressing outstanding issues, if the Minister makes a decision to approve the proposed MNDM Class EA.

2.2.5 Consultation process during the MNDM Class EA planning

A range of consultation activities are specified in the proposed MNDM Class EA including mandatory requirements such as Notices of Commencement and Completion as well as opportunities for the public, Aboriginal communities and government agencies to review project documentation. The proposed MNDM Class EA provides a clear description of the consultation requirements for each category and describes the processes which the MNDM may use to consult with the public, Aboriginal communities and government agencies that may be affected by the activity. The process provided allows flexibility for the MNDM to increase the level of public consultation undertaken when and as necessary (i.e. arranging public information centres and/or meetings), at their discretion.

For consultation with Aboriginal communities, the MNDM is responsible for fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult where an activity that is subject to its proposed MNDM Class EA may have the potential to affect existing or asserted Aboriginal or treaty rights. Section 6.0 of the proposed MNDM Class EA describes the approach to consulting with Aboriginal communities and how it will be documented.

Conclusion: The MNDM Class EA provides an appropriate framework for the MNDM to use to ensure that adequate consultation occurs with the public, Aboriginal communities and government agencies.

2.2.6 Methods for evaluating and implementing activities

The proposed MNDM Class EA provides a clear planning process and framework for the identification and evaluation of the proposed activity including identification, categorization, evaluation; documentation; and implementation. Furthermore, the proposed MNDM Class EA includes a description of how Category B, C, and D activities may change from the original proposal based on the environmental evaluation and/or consultation processes.

Conclusion: The MNDM Class EA provides a clear description of the process to be used to evaluate a proposed activity and how it will be carried out during implementation.

Results of the ministry review

The Review provides the analysis of the proposed MNDM Class EA. The Review is not intended to summarize the proposed MNDM Class EA, nor present the information found in the proposed MNDM Class EA. For information on the planning process, refer to the proposed MNDM Class EA as it outlines how the MNDM will proceed through the planning process to address the requirements of the EAA.

As noted earlier, the Review does not make a decision about the proposed MNDM Class EA. That is the decision of the Minister. Any conditions of EAA approval referred to in this document are only proposed as a means of addressing outstanding issues, if the Minister makes a decision to approve the proposed MNDM Class EA.

3.1 Conformance with ToR and EAA

3.1.1 Ministry analysis

The MOE coordinated an analysis of the proposed MNDM Class EA with the GRT that, in part, looked at whether the requirements of the ToR and EAA have been met. In addition to the standard required contents of all Class EAs, the ToR identified that the proposed MNDM Class EA would address additional matters including consideration of cultural heritage resources and would recognize the distinct interests and potential involvement of Aboriginal communities in discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities.

The MOE concludes that the proposed MNDM Class EA followed the framework set out in the ToR and demonstrated how the required components of the EAA have been met. Appendix A summarizes this analysis and identifies how the ToR requirements have been addressed in the proposed MNDM Class EA.

3.1.2 Consultation

One of the key requirements of the EAA is pre-submission consultation completed during the preparation of the Class EA. This consultation is the responsibility of the proponent and must be taken prior to the submission of the proposed Class EA to the MOE and in accordance with the consultation plan outlined in the ToR. The consultation plan included government agencies, members of the public, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and other interested groups or individuals, each of which were provided information at key stages during the preparation of the proposed MNDM Class EA. Included with the submission of the proposed MNDM Class EA was a Consultation Record, documenting the consultation undertaken by the MNDM with the public, GRT and Aboriginal communities and organizations. The MOE is satisfied with the level and type of consultation that occurred during the preparation of the proposed MNDM Class EA and that the MNDM was responsive to addressing concerns and incorporated suggestions for improving the document.

Once the proposed MNDM Class EA was submitted to the MOE, additional MOE-driven consultation occurred during the comment period. The GRT, the public and affected Aboriginal communities were provided with the opportunity to review the proposed MNDM Class EA and to submit comments to the MOE on whether the requirements of the ToR had been met, and on the proposed MNDM Class EA itself. All comments received by the MOE during the proposed MNDM Class EA comment period were forwarded to the MNDM for a response. Summaries of the all comments received along with the MNDM's responses are included in Tables 1 and 2 of Appendix B.

Government Review Team

During the preparation of the proposed MNDM Class EA, the MNDM consulted with the government and other agencies, including: the MOE; MTCS; MNR; the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA); and, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO); Infrastructure Ontario (IO); and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). These government agencies also provided comments during the First Inspection Period.

Throughout the development of the proposed MNDM Class EA, meetings and discussions were held with representatives of the MTCS Culture Division, the MOE and the MNDM. At key milestones, the MNDM provided status updates and documentation for review to the public, Aboriginal communities and government agencies. Members of the public, interested stakeholders, Aboriginal communities and government agencies were also invited to comment on the draft MNDM Class EA between January 20 and February 21, 2012.

Comments from government agencies on the submission of the proposed MNDM Class EA included comments from the MOE, MTCS Tourism and Culture Divisions, MNR, MAA, IO and CEAA.

In general, government agencies did not have significant concerns with the proposed MNDM Class EA. Information and clarification was requested about categorizing emergency rehabilitation activities, consultation requirements for both the general public and Aboriginal communities, screening for environmental effects, definitions in the glossary; documentation requirements, planning process steps, minor editorial comments and general understanding of the proposed MNDM Class EA. Government agencies provided comments that required minor word revisions (i.e. clarify terminology) to major changes (i.e. eliminate one of the pre-screening tables, provide additional consultation notices) to the proposed MNDM Class EA. Government comments are discussed more fully in Section 3.2 of this Review. The MTCS Culture Division and the MOE also provided detailed recommendations and required specific modifications to the proposed MNDM Class EA. The MOE asked that the MNDM respond to each of the comments made. A summary of the GRT's comments, the MNDM's responses, and the MOE's evaluation is provided in Table 1, and the formal submissions themselves are available at the public viewing locations.

In order to address the comments made by the GRT, the MNDM amended its proposed MNDM Class EA to incorporate the comments received. There are some remaining comments raised by the MTCS Culture Division, which will have to be addressed through ongoing discussions and/or proposed conditions of approval of the Minister’s decision.

Please refer to Section 3.2 for key issues raised by government agencies during the First comment period for the proposed MNDM Class EA.

Public Consultation

The MNDM used a variety of consultation methods to consult with the public which included:

  • posting notices on the Environmental Registry and on the MNDM's website;
  • documentation available for viewing at both the MNDM and the MOE offices;
  • meetings and discussions with government agencies; and,
  • advertisements in 14 newspapers, including French language newspapers.

During the pre-submission of the proposed MNDM Class EA, comments were raised by the public about a variety of issues including: impacts to a cottage property; minor editorial comments; and concerns with mining projects (which is not covered under the proposed MNDM Class EA). A comment was also received from the Municipality of Red Lake requesting a minor editorial change in the MNDM Class EA.

No public comments were received during the First Inspection Period for the proposed MNDM Class EA.

Aboriginal community consultation

In addition to consultation with the broader public, Aboriginal communities were consulted in recognition of the unique interests of Aboriginal people in decisions of the MNDM under the Mining Act. Given the application of the proposed MNDM Class EA for discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities across the province, the MNDM sought input from Aboriginal organizations, Tribal Councils and approximately 134 individual Aboriginal communities, including certain communities located in the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec. Aboriginal communities have special land and treaty rights that need to be considered.

The MNDM employed the following efforts to solicit advice and input:

  • direct notification of approval of the ToR and the proposed MNDM Class EA;
  • direct notification of opportunity to comment on the draft MNDM Class EA;
  • direct notice and mail outs to key contacts, Chiefs of Ontario (and certain Chiefs of Quebec and Manitoba) and Provincial Territorial Organizations, Tribal Councils, and Métis organisations including providing advance notice of the intent to seek input on the draft MNDM Class EA;
  • direct mailing to the Chiefs of Ontario, Provincial Territorial Organizations, Tribal Councils and Métis organizations advising of the intent to provide Aboriginal communities with an opportunity to provide input and advice;
  • the MNDM met with the following communities during the development of the proposed MNDM Class EA:
    • Alderville First Nation;
    • Algonquins of Ontario;
    • Beausoleil First Nation;
    • Chippewas of Georgina Island;
    • Curve Lake First Nation;
    • Hiawatha First Nation;
    • Métis Nation of Ontario;
    • Mississaugas of Scugog Island;
    • Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum (includes Chapleau Cree First Nation, Brunswick House First Nation, Michipicoten First Nation, Pic Mobert First Nation, and Hornepayne First Nation);
    • Serpent River First Nation;
    • Six Nations of Grand River; and,
    • Temagami First Nation.

Following notification by the MNDM that it had submitted the proposed MNDM Class EA to the MOE for review, comments were received from Aboriginal communities.

The MOE sought input from 134 Aboriginal communities, including tribal councils and other organizations, providing a brief description of the proposed MNDM Class EA and how they could get involved. During the proposed MNDM Class EA submission comment period, the Huron Wendat, Wahnapitae First Nation, Missanabie Cree First Nation, Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum, Algonquins of Ontario, Historic Suageen Métis, Nokiiwin Tribal Council, Northern Lights Métis Council, Chippewas of Rama First Nation and Independent First Nations Alliance commented on the proposed MNDM Class EA. Nokiiwin Tribal Council, Northern Lights Métis Council, and Chippewas of Rama First Nation indicated satisfaction with the proposed MNDM Class EA and/or indicated that they had no further comments. The Independent First Nations Alliance asked that the MOE inform them when the public notice for the Review is posted as they will be providing comments during the second inspection period. The Huron Wendat expressed satisfaction with the consultation undertaken thus far for the proposed MNDM Class EA and asked that they be kept informed and updated on the proposed MNDM Class EA.

The Wahnapitae First Nation raised several comments on the proposed MNDM Class EA which included: compensation for loss of Crown resource and need to avoid potential negative environmental effects; consulting with Aboriginal communities early in the planning process and that the 30-day review period may not be sufficient time for Aboriginal communities to comment; partnerships; they requesting clarification on the proposed MNDM Class EA and triggers for federal EAs; minor editorial comments; and, comments outside the scope of the proposed MNDM Class EA (i.e. financial assurance).

With respect to compensation for loss or use of a Crown resource and potential impacts on the environment as a result of a proposed activity, the MNDM indicated that it is required to consider mitigation measures to avoid or reduce impacts on Aboriginal communities and on the environment. Should there be a potential negative impact; the MNDM will be consulting with the affected community as early in the planning process as possible. Furthermore, the MNDM acknowledged that consulting early with Aboriginal communities may provide valuable input and information for a specific activity during the MNDM Class EA planning process. The MNDM has committed to consider comments received during the planning process whether or not it is received during a specific comment period. The proposed MNDM Class EA allows some flexibility with respect to the consultation requirements in order to accommodate potential concerns about treaty and Aboriginal rights. The MNDM recognizes that Aboriginal communities will have a significant role in determining the outcome of the EA of an activity planned under the proposed MNDM Class EA. With respect to situations where an Aboriginal community wants to enter into a partnership with the MNDM for a proposed activity, the MNDM has indicated that it is willing to discuss this possibility.

The Missanabie Cree First Nation together with the Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum requested to meet with the MOE staff to discuss the proposed MNDM Class EA. On July 26, 2012, the MOE sent a letter confirming that it is willing to meet and discuss their concerns with the proposed MNDM Class EA. The MNDM will arrange to meet with the Missanabie Cree First Nation and the Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum during the Ministry Review comment period and the MOE staff will participate in this discussion.

The Algonquins of Ontario informed the MOE that it appreciated the opportunities to learn about the proposed MNDM Class EA in December 2011 and March 2012 with the MNDM. The Algonquins of Ontario also shared with the MOE that it expected that the MNDM recognize and accept that the proposed MNDM Class EA is not sufficient to satisfy its duty to consult. The MNDM recognizes that where a duty to consult is triggered by a decision affected by the proposed MNDM Class EA that cannot be fulfilled by the process, and where a negotiated protocol exists setting out how the parties intend to satisfy that duty to consult, the proposed MNDM Class EA process would not be intended to replace or alter that negotiated process.

The Historic Saugeen Métis commented on the importance of consideration of cumulative effects of mining projects, consultation being a collaborative process, and that Aboriginal communities should be involved in the determination of their asserted rights and interests. The proposed MNDM Class EA does not apply to mine development projects. The proposed MNDM Class EA is limited to discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities. Potential effects of these activities will be evaluated, assessed and mitigated on site by site basis. As for consultation being a collaborative process, the decisions made by the MNDM are the responsibility of the MNDM; however, Aboriginal communities will play an important role in that decision-making during the proposed MNDM Class EA planning process for an activity.

The MOE is satisfied that the comments raised by the Aboriginal communities during the comment period have been adequately addressed by the MNDM. The MOE is satisfied that the MNDM values the interest of Aboriginal communities and it recognizes that Aboriginal peoples have an important role in the planning process. All Aboriginal community comments, including the MNDM's responses and the MOE's evaluation are provided in Table 2 of Appendix B.

Ministry conclusions on the consultation program

Overall, the MOE believes that the MNDM provided sufficient opportunities for the public, interested stakeholders and Aboriginal communities to be consulted during the preparation of the proposed MNDM Class EA. Feedback from the government agencies and Aboriginal communities required amendments to the proposed MNDM Class EA. the MNDM took each comment into consideration in the amendments to the proposed MNDM Class EA. The MNDM provided various opportunities for input at key milestones in the proposed MNDM Class EA process.

3.1.3 Conclusion

With respect to consultation, the proposed MNDM Class EA has satisfied the requirements of the ToR and is consistent with the MOE's expectations for Class EA documents and followed the guidance outlined in the Code of Practice: Preparing, Reviewing and Using Class Environmental Assessments in Ontario. The Record of Consultation submitted in support of the MNDM Class EA documents the consultation methods used by the MNDM to engage the GRT, the general public, interested stakeholders and Aboriginal communities during the development of the proposed MNDM Class EA, setting out the issues and concerns raised and how they were addressed. The MOE is satisfied that the MNDM provided sufficient opportunities for participation and input during the preparation of the proposed MNDM Class EA.

3.2 Key issues

Cultural heritage considerations

Both the MNDM and the MTCS Culture Division have been working together to develop a process for identifying, assessing and mitigating potential impacts to cultural heritage resources, referred to as the Heritage Management Process, throughout the development of the proposed MNDM Class EA. The MTCS Culture Division also raised concerns about the MNDM Class EA not providing enough detail and guidance where there is a potential impact to a cultural heritage resource. The key concerns raised by the MTCS Culture Division that will be described in further detail are as follows:

  • draft Heritage Management Process (Appendix 5) of the proposed MNDM Class EA;
  • abandoned mines could be valuable cultural heritage resources for communities and require additional supplementary provisions for its protection;
  • inadequate description of all environmental effects and mitigation for all discretionary activities;
  • screening and predefined categories; and,
  • prioritization of rehabilitation mines does not consider cultural heritage resources.

Heritage management process

The draft Heritage Management Process is currently described in draft form in Appendix 5 of the proposed MNDM Class EA. The draft Heritage Management Process prepared by the MNDM, in consultation with the MTCS Culture Division, was developed as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two ministries. The MOU set out a framework for developing a process to evaluate and assess potential cultural heritage resources. The MOU was established through a condition of Declaration Orders MNDM-3 and MNDM-4. The Heritage Management Process is currently in draft form as the MTCS Culture Division and the MNDM were unable to finalize the document prior to the submission of the proposed MNDM Class EA to the MOE. The main outstanding items that the MTCS Culture Division and the MNDM have not been able to finalize the Heritage Management Process are: inclusion of possible potential impacts, mitigation and conservation options; screening flowcharts; evaluation methodology for determining cultural heritage resources; and, screening checklist for determining archaeological potential for discretionary tenure decisions. The MTCS Culture Division and the MNDM continue to work together to finalize the draft Heritage Management Process to include the outstanding items. The MOE is proposing that a condition of approval of the Minister’s decision be imposed on the MNDM to finalize the Heritage Management Process, within a specified timeframe. This condition will ensure that there is a final and mutually-agreeable process, between the MNDM and the MTCS Culture Division, for identifying, assessing and mitigating potential effects to cultural heritage resources for an activity planned under the proposed MNDM Class EA.

Abandoned mines and cultural heritage resource potential

The MTCS Culture Division contends that the proposed MNDM Class EA does not adequately recognize that abandoned mines could be a valuable cultural heritage resource for communities and therefore, additional supplementary provisions for its protection are recommended. The proposed MNDM Class EA has been amended to include additional references to the importance of cultural heritage resources; however, the revisions provided did not to satisfy the MTCS Culture Division’s concerns. The MOE is confident that through further discussions between the MNDM and the MTCS Culture Division, the MNDM will be in a position to finalize the Heritage Management Process. The MOE is proposing that a condition of approval of the Minister’s decision be imposed on the MNDM to finalize the Heritage Management Process.

Environmental effects and mitigation

The MTCS Culture Division also raised concerns about the lack of clarity on the descriptions and understanding the affected environment and the potential impacts from the discretionary tenure decisions and rehabilitation activities. The MOE agrees that further descriptions are required in the proposed MNDM Class EA to include specific potential environmental effects and mitigation measures for all discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities. The MOE is proposing that a condition of approval of the Minister’s decision be imposed on the MNDM to describe potential environmental effects and associated mitigation measures for all activities.

Screening and predefined categories

The MTCS Culture Division is concerned that the screening process for identifying potential environmental impacts in the proposed MNDM Class EA does not adequately address potential impacts to cultural heritage resources. The MTCS Culture Division is recommending that a cultural heritage evaluation (Heritage Management Process) be completed first prior to completing the screening process and include the use of predefined categories for activities in the proposed MNDM Class EA. the MNDM has indicated the screening processes described in the proposed MNDM Class EA will be completed in order to identify potential environmental effects and associated mitigation. Identifying the potential environmental effects of a proposed activity will help to determine which category the activity will be screened into. The MOE does not have a concern with the MNDM screening its activities into a category once potential environmental effects have been determined. The MOE is confident that during the ministry Review, both the MTCS Culture Division and the MNDM will continue discussions to address this concern.

Prioritization of abandoned mine sites

The MTCS Culture Division is concerned with how the MNDM has prioritized its abandoned mine sites as it does not satisfy all aspects of concern under the EAA. The MTCS Culture Division is requesting that the MNDM re-prioritize the abandoned mines sites to consider threatened cultural heritage resources. The prioritization of abandoned mine sites focuses on the biggest threats to human health and safety, and environmental contamination and does not consider that the potential cultural heritage resource of an abandoned mine site may be threatened. The MOE is satisfied that the process of prioritization of abandoned mine rehabilitation is outside the MNDM Class EA process. The proposed MNDM Class EA does not require the MNDM to consider alternative abandoned mine sites for rehabilitation. The MNDM does recognize that an abandoned mine site may have potential or known cultural heritage resource present and therefore, will apply the screening process described in the draft Heritage Management Process of the proposed MNDM Class EA to ensure that potential cultural heritage resource is identified, assessed and mitigated.

The MOE has recommended that further discussions proceed in parallel with the Ministry Review comment period so that a mutually-acceptable solution can be reached on matters relating to cultural heritage resources, including finalizing the Heritage Management Process. The MOE will participate in these discussions to determine if and how these issues are addressed and whether conditions of approval are warranted to set out further direction in the MNDM Class EA. The MOE is proposing conditions of approval on the MNDM to finalize the Heritage Management Process and better describe specific potential environmental effects of its activities and the specific mitigation measures to address them.

Emergency rehabilitation activities

The MOE and the MTCS Culture Division staff raised concerns with emergency rehabilitation activities being exempt from the screening and categorization process. The MOE understands that, given the nature of emergency rehabilitation activities, screening may not be appropriate; however, this activity requires categorization as it is an activity that is subject to the MNDM Class EA. Furthermore, the MOE expressed concerns with the MNDM's interpretation of the Mining Act. The proposed MNDM Class EA stated that emergency rehabilitation activities on privately held sites are not subject to the EAA. This statement was incorrect as the applicability of the Mining Act relates to who the proponent is and not the status of land (see Section 148 of the Mining Act). The MNDM has addressed the matter by revising its MNDM Class EA to indicate that emergency rehabilitation activities are Category A activities, and accurately reflect the applicability of Section 148 of the Mining Act.

Consultation and planning process requirements

During the first inspection period, the MOE staff provided comments on the consultation Section prepared for the proposed MNDM Class EA, the consultation requirements for the different categories; and level of information on the notices and planning process steps. The MNDM revised its proposed MNDM Class EA to further clarify when in the planning process and for which category a consultation plan would be prepared as well as what would be included in the plan. The MOE staff requested further information be added to describe the public notices would be required. The MNDM revised its MNDM Class EA to clarify when the notices would be required.

Additional information and clarity on the details of the consultation record for both the general public and Aboriginal communities was required. The MNDM revised the consultation Section to include further details on the consultation records and recognized the differences and special circumstances when consulting with the general public versus Aboriginal communities.

The MNDM Class EA included a flow chart that explained the review process for each category; however, it was not clear to the MOE at what stage of the planning process assessment, evaluation and consultation would occur. The MNDM revised its proposed MNDM Class EA to further describe the planning process as well as add a table that outlines each step (or phase) of the planning process and which category is applicable.

Screening criteria

The proposed MNDM Class EA included a table entitled Part 2 Site-specific Screening Criteria for Discretionary Tenure Decisions that scoped potential environmental effects by asking questions with specific values (i.e. year-round surface water within 120 metres of the site). The MNR, the MTCS Culture Division and the MOE expressed concerns with this table, as the MNDM did not provide a rationale for how it established the numeric values outlined and that the criteria listed in this table did not adequately ensure that all potential environmental effects associated with a decision would be identified. The MNDM made a decision, as a result of the comments received by both the MNR and the MOE, to eliminate this table from the screening process. The MNDM has demonstrated that eliminating this table improves and clarifies the screening process to identify potential environmental impacts on proposed activities and will not impact, based on the screening, how to categorize a proposed activity.

The proposed MNDM Class EA was amended and resubmitted to the MOE during the preparation of the Review to address agency comments. The amended proposed MNDM Class EA included: additional definitions in the glossary; clarified consultation (both for interested persons and Aboriginal communities) and documentation requirements; modifications to the screening for potential environmental effects and planning process; revisions to the draft Heritage Management Process (Appendix 5); and updated wording regarding emergency rehabilitation activities. All comments received by the MOE, MNR, MTCS Tourism Division, MAA and IO were addressed; however, there remains outstanding comments from the MTCS Culture Division.

3.2.1 Conclusion

Overall, the MOE is satisfied that the MNDM has responded to all Aboriginal communities and agency comments by describing how the proposed MNDM Class EA has the scope and flexibility to address the range of issues which may be associated with the class of undertakings.

With respect to comments submitted by the GRT, the MNDM has substantially addressed the concerns raised through its responses and revisions to the proposed MNDM Class EA. Further discussions with the MTCS Culture Division and the MOE are required to resolve issues relating to cultural heritage resources and to finalize the Heritage Management Process as identified in Table 1 of Appendix B.

Summary of the ministry review

The Review has explained the ministry’s analysis of the proposed MNDM Class EA. The proposed MNDM Class EA provides a framework for the MNDM to assess the potential environmental effects of discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities and seek ways of reducing potential impacts to the extent possible. The proposed MNDM Class EA also provides the MNDM with guidance on how to engage and address the concerns of the public, interested stakeholders, agencies and Aboriginal communities when planning their discretionary activities.

The MOE is satisfied that the MNDM provided sufficient time and opportunities for the GRT, the general public, stakeholders and Aboriginal communities to comment on the proposed MNDM Class EA prior to submitting if for review and approval. During the first inspection period, both repeated and new concerns were raised by the GRT, but these have since been largely addressed through amendments to the proposed MNDM Class EA and/or responses made by the MNDM. All outstanding comments raised to date from the MTCS Culture Division and discussed in this Review can be resolved through further discussions or through proposed conditions of approval. The MOE is satisfied that there are no outstanding public and Aboriginal community concerns.

This Review concludes that the proposed MNDM Class EA complies with the requirements of the ToR, and therefore, has been prepared in accordance with the EAA.

4.1 Summary of proposed conditions of approval

There are several standard conditions imposed on any Class EA approval. The proposed conditions discussed in this Review are specific to the proposed MNDM Class EA and are related to the comments raised during the first inspection period:

  1. The MNDM shall finalize the Heritage Management Process (Appendix 5).
  2. The MNDM shall describe specific potential environmental effects and mitigation measures for all discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities.

What happens now

The Review will be made available for a five-week comment period. The Review will be posted on the MOE's website and be made available at public viewing locations of the offices of the MOE and the MNDM, including a copy of the amended MNDM Class EA. The MNDM will also post the amended MNDM Class EA on its website and post an information notice on the Environmental Registry. During this time, all interested parties, including the public, interested stakeholders, the GRT and Aboriginal communities can submit comments to the MOE about the proposed MNDM Class EA and the Review. At this time, anyone can request that the Minister refer either all or part of the proposed MNDM Class EA to the Environmental Review Tribunal for a hearing if they believe that their concerns have not been addressed.

At the end of the Review comment period, the MOE staff will make a recommendation to the Minister concerning whether the proposed MNDM Class EA has been prepared in accordance with the ToR and the requirements of the EAA and whether the proposed undertaking should be approved. When making a decision, the Minister will consider the purpose of the EAA, the ToR, the proposed MNDM Class EA, the Review, the comments submitted during the proposed MNDM Class EA and the Review comment periods and any other matters the Minister may consider relevant.

The Minister will make one of the following decisions:

  • give approval to proceed with the undertaking;
  • give approval to proceed with the undertaking subject to conditions; or
  • refuse to give approval to proceed with the undertaking.

Prior to making that decision, the Minister may also refer either part of or the entire proposed MNDM Class EA to mediation or refer either part of or the entire proposed MNDM Class EA to the Environmental Review Tribunal for a decision.

If the Minister approves, approves with conditions or refuses to give approval to the proposed MNDM Class EA, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must concur with the decision.

5.1 Modifying or amending the proposed undertaking

Following completion of the Review, the proposed MNDM Class EA may be amended by the proponent only upon such conditions as the Minister may by order impose.

Should the proposed MNDM Class EA receive approval, further modifications or amendments to the proposed MNDM Class EA are possible. The process is described in Section 7.2 of the proposed MNDM Class EA, whereby the MNDM or any other party may submit written requests for amendments to the proposed MNDM Class EA to the Director of the Environmental Approvals Branch (for minor amendments), or the Minister (for major amendments). The proposed MNDM Class EA recommends that any outside party consult with the MNDM before submitting a proposed amendment, addressing the specific concern or issue being addressed, the reason for the proposal and the proposed amendment itself. The MOE may require that consideration of a minor or major amendment be deferred for consideration as part of the five-year review or may require that the proposed MNDM Class EA be updated in the interim.

Public record locations

The public record for the Class Environmental Assessment for Activities of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM Class EA) can be reviewed during normal business hours at the following Ministry of the Environment offices:

Environmental Approvals Branch
2 St. Clair Avenue West, floor 12A
Toronto, Ontario
M4V 1L5

Ottawa District Office
2430 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 1K1

The Review, amended MNDM Class EA and Notice of Completion are also available at the following locations:

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines

933 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, Ontario
P3E 6B5

203-447 McKeown Avenue
North Bay, Ontario
P3E 6B5

1270 Highway 101 East
South Porcupine, Ontario
P0N 1H0

104-810 Robertson Street
Kenora, Ontario
P9N 4J2

6-875 Queen Street East
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
P6A 2B3

P.O. Bag Service 43
126 Old Troy Road
Tweed, Ontario
K0K 3J0

10 Government Road
Kirkland Lake, Ontario
P2N 3M6

B0002-435 James Street South
Thunder Bay, Ontario
P7E 6S7

This Review is subject to the provisions of Ontario Regulation 616/98 which sets out a deadline for the completion of this document. The deadline for the completion of the Review was August 10, 2012. This paragraph and the giving of the Notice of Completion are the notices required by subsection 7(3) of the Environmental Assessment Act.

The Review documents the ministry’s evaluation of the proposed Class Environmental Assessment and takes the comments of the government agencies, the public and Aboriginal communities into consideration.

Making a submission

A five-week public inspection period ending June 6, 2008 will follow publication of this Review. During this time, any interested parties can make submissions about the Class Environmental Assessment or this Review. Should you wish to make a submission, please send it to:

Agatha Garcia-Wright, Director
Environmental Approvals Branch
Ministry of the Environment
2 St. Clair Avenue West, floor 12A
Toronto, ON M4V 1L5
Fax: 416-314-8452

Re: Class Environmental Assessment for Activities of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines under the Mining Act
Attention: Cindy Batista, Project Officer

Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Environmental Assessment Act, unless otherwise stated in the submission, any personal information such as name, address, telephone number and property location included in all submissions become part of the public record files for this matter and can be released if requested.

Appendix A: Environmental Assessment Act requirements

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
Problem/opportunitiesDescription of the class of undertakings to which it applies: section 14(2)(1)The Class EA must describe the projects for which approval is being sought. The ToR identifies that the class of undertakings will include the activities subject Declaration Orders MNDM-3 and MNDM-4. Declaration Order MNDM-3 enables the MNDM to carry out discretionary tenure decisions. Declaration Order MNDM-4 enables the MNDM to address environmental and safety hazards of abandoned mines throughout Ontario.

Analysis of the EA

The proposed Class EA will include only those activities under the Mining Act that are subject to the EAA. The two types of activities are: discretionary tenure decisions related to surface rights, mining rights and chattels, and; discretionary mine rehabilitation activities, as described in Declaration Orders MNDM-3 and MNDM 4, as well as emergency activities.

The MOE is satisfied with the class of undertakings.

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
Reasons for using a Class EAA description of the reasons for using a Class EA with respect to undertakings in the class: section 14(2)(2)The proposed Class EA must clearly identify the reasons for developing a Class EA for discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities.

Analysis of the EA

Declaration Orders MNDM-3 and MNDM-4 expire December 31 2012. The classes of activities covered under the declaration orders are routinely carried out and have predictable environmental effects which can be readily managed. The activities the MNDM is proposing to be covered by the Class EA fall within this description. The proposed Class EA will ensure impacts and benefits of discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities are considered in a consistent matter; and, provides a framework to address and respond to input from the public, Aboriginal communities and government.

The MOE is satisfied with the reasons for the development of the Class EA.

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
Reasons for using a Class EAA description of the similarities and differences to be expected among the undertakings in the class: section 14(2)(3)The Class EA must outline the similarities and differences to be expected among the undertakings in the Class.

Analysis of the EA

The proposed Class EA categorizes all its activities by undertaking a pre- screening process that evaluates potential environmental effects prior to determining which categories the activity is assigned too. For those activities that are administrative in nature or do not change land use that is permitted under existing mining rights are pre-assigned to Category A. Discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities that are similar are those which will take place on former or existing mining lands and are linked with past or present exploration and mining industry activities.

These activity types may differ when: there are varying levels of effects on the environment; range from being administrative decisions with no impact on the environment to large-scale mine rehabilitation activities that ultimately have positive environmental effects and/or improved human health and safety; and include MNDM-administered mine rehabilitation activities that deal with a variety of methods and mine hazards that vary in description, size, scale, and environmental settings.

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
Environmental considerations related to undertakings to which the Class applies.A description of the expected range of environmental effects that may result from proceeding with undertakings in the class: section 14(2)(4)The Class EA must outline the potential environmental effects from undertakings within the class.

Analysis of the EA

The proposed Class EA outlines, in general, the expected range of environmental effects, recognizing that a wide variety of social, cultural, economic and environmental values may be affected by the projects covered under the proposed Class EA. These impacts will be assessed in accordance with the guidance provided by the proposed Class EA. A proposed condition will be considered to amend the Class EA to provide more details on the environmental effects of discretionary tenure and discretionary rehabilitation activities.

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
Environmental considerations related to undertakings to which the Class applies.A description of measures that could be taken to mitigate against adverse environmental effects that may result from proceeding with undertakings in the class: section 14(2)(5)The Class EA must provide reference to the types of mitigation measures which can reduce or mitigate adverse environmental effects from undertakings within the class.

Analysis of the EA

Mitigation and effects monitoring is provided within the Class EA and general examples are included in the document. The Class EA lists standard approaches to mitigate effects associated with discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities and

The majority of discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities covered by MNDM's Class EA should be either administrative in nature or produce negative effects that are easily mitigated by applying terms and conditions and/or by following regulations. Potential negative effects will be identified early in the Class EA screening and planning process in order to develop specific mitigation measures. A proposed condition will be considered to amend the Class EA to provide more details on the mitigation measures of discretionary tenure and discretionary rehabilitation activities.

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
EvaluationA description of the process to be used by a proponent of a proposed undertaking to consult with the public and with persons who may be affected by the undertaking: section 14(2)(6)The Class EA must provide guidance on public consultation processes which proponents can use when planning projects under the class.

Analysis of the EA

The proposed Class EA outlines the minimum requirements by which the MNDM will consult with the public, Aboriginal communities, and government agencies. The Class EA provides a flexible framework which can be adjusted based on the public and stakeholder interest in the undertaking and specifies minimum documentation requirements including the preparation of a Project File or Envronmental Study Report for activities depending on their category.

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
EvaluationA description of the method to be used to evaluate a proposed undertaking with respect to the matters described in paragraphs 4 to 6: section 14(2)(7)The Class EA must provide direction on how proponents are to evaluate the impacts of proposed undertakings including assessing potential environmental impacts, mitigation measures which can be utilized and methods to consult with the public.

Analysis of the EA

The proposed Class EA applies a consistent evaluation matrix to all projects, focused on potential environmental effects (positive and negative) related to discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities. Further, the proposed Class EA provides general mitigation methods and mitigation monitoring for a proposed activity, and outlines methods for determining the public consultation methods which are appropriate based on the circumstances of the activity and its category.

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
EvaluationA description of the method to be used to determine the final design of a proposed undertaking based upon the evaluation described in paragraph 7: section 14(2)(8)The Class EA must provide a framework which allows proponents to identify and describe the proposed undertaking in a level of detail that is appropriate to the setting.

Analysis of the EA

The proposed Class EA exceeds the minimum requirements for screening by requiring all activities (minus a few administrative activities) to be screened for environmental impacts first prior to categorization. Because the activities will be very specific to the environmental setting, public and Aboriginal community interest, and the size and history of a site, categorizing an activity prior to screening will ensure that any project that has one potential impact on the environment will be at minimum a Category B project. In addition, a Category D project provides the public, agencies and Aboriginal communities' opportunities to review a draft Environmental Study Report.

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
Additional commitmentsAdditional ToR commitmentsThe proposed Class EA recognizes that there may be culture heritage value or interest for discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities given that the mining industry is an integral part of Ontario’s history and heritage particularly in the exploration, opening up and settlement of Northern Ontario.

Analysis of the EA

Appendix 5, entitled Heritage Management Process defines a process that ensures appropriate measures are in place to avoid or reduce impacts to cultural heritage resources. Although, this appendix is in draft form, the MOE is satisfied that the MTCS and the MNDM will continue to work together and finalize this document. A proposed condition will be considered requiring the MNDM to finalize the Heritage Management Process.

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
Additional commitmentsAdditional ToR commitmentsThe proposed Class EA will include a number of administrative provisions to ensure consistency of approach across activities undertaken. Such provisions will include:
  • Documentation requirements for activities
  • Addendums to Environmental Study Reports
  • Part II Orders and resolution provisions
  • Class EA five-year review requirements
  • Monitoring and reporting requirements
  • Requirements for public consultation

Analysis of the EA

The Class EA includes:

  • Documentation requirements for projects
  • Addendums to Environmental Study Reports
  • Part II Orders and resolution provisions
  • Class EA five-year review requirements
  • Monitoring and reporting requirements
  • Requirements for public consultation
EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
Additional commitmentsAdditional ToR commitmentsAs a means of keeping the Class EA current, the document will outline the proposed amendment process, including associated notification requirements and opportunities for the public and government agencies to request amendments.

Analysis of the EA

The Class EA defines both minor and major amendment processes, including associated notification requirements and opportunities for the public and government agencies to request amendments.

EA decision making processEAA and ToR requirementsDescription and characteristics of the requirements
Additional commitmentsAdditional ToR commitmentsThe Class EA will provide for direct engagement of Aboriginal peoples and communities who may be affected by or have an interest in activities subject to the class of undertaking.

Analysis of the EA

The Class EA recognizes the distinct interests and potential involvement of Aboriginal communities in its discretionary tenure and discretionary rehabilitation activities.

Appendix B: Submissions received during intial comment period

Submissions are available in hard copy at the public record locations listed in this ministry review.

Table 1: Government Review Team comment summary table

Comment #1

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

The terms net environmental effect and environmental effect seem to be used interchangeably. Usually, the term net means the final result when all the pluses and minuses, gains and losses, have been taken into account. However, the purpose of the Class EA is to screen, evaluate and mitigate the potential environmental effects (page 8), not the net effects. The net effects will become evident once mitigation, if required, has occurred. For the sake of clarity and consistency, maybe the document should refer to environmental effects, or environmental effects, whether positive or negative.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has replaced the term net environmental effect(s) with environmental effects or potential environmental effects, as appropriate.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses comment.

Comment #2

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

In Appendix 2 — Rehabilitation Methods — Chemical storage facilities, under the category of chemical storage facilities, proposed rehabilitation methods include: post signs; long term monitoring; recycle; incinerate; and, other uses. Perhaps disposal should be included as another rehabilitation method since recycling or incineration may not necessarily be options. Disposal could mean collecting the material (fuel, chemical wastes, PCB, etc.) and transporting it to an approved disposal facility.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA to include Disposal as a rehabilitation method.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses comment.

Comment #3

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

In Appendix 2 — Rehabilitation Methods — Tailings, under confined tailings, one of the proposed rehabilitation methods is collection and impoundment, while under unconfined tailings, proposed rehabilitation methods do not include collection and impoundment but includes collection and treatment. Perhaps both rehabilitation methods collection and impoundment AND collection and treatment should be identified as possible rehabilitation methods.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA to include Collection and impoundment as a rehabilitation method for confined tailings.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses comment.

Comment #4

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 6 or elsewhere in the Class EA should include a general statement that MNDM is responsible for fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult for projects being undertaking under the parent class EA.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has added a statement to Section 6.0 stating that MNDM is responsible for fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult for Class EA projects that impact Aboriginal or treaty rights.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses comment.

Comment #5

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

A list of government agencies who may take an active role in a project review would be helpful.

Proponent’s response

As the proponent, MNDM will decide, depending on the nature of the proposed project and on a case by case basis, the appropriate government agencies to contact; MNDM has not listed all potential government agencies so as not to unintentionally omit an appropriate agency and so that the Class EA will not have to be amended should the names of any government agencies change.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #6

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

How will MNDM assess whether additional consultation is required?

Proponent’s response

MNDM will assess the need for additional consultation on a case-by-case basis, based on the nature of the project, the potential level of public and/or Aboriginal interest or concern.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #7

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

During the Notice of Opportunity to Provide Input, how should concerns be expressed when responding during the 30 day review period? When in the project process will this notice be issued?

Proponent’s response

MNDM has amended the notice templates in Appendix 6 to indicate that comments should provide input and express concerns about a proposed project. This notice is issued, per Figure 2, after the project documentation has been prepared.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #8

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Suggest posting notices on MNDM website, and local community newspapers.

Proponent’s response

As described on page 42, newspaper advertisements and other consultation methods will be provided for Category C and D projects, as necessary. MNDM has amended the Class EA to indicate that a notice will be posted on MNDM's Class EA web page as well. In general, Category B projects with low environmental effects may not require as much consultation as Category D projects with significant environmental effects.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #9

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

No Notice of Completion for a Category B project? Where will the Statement of Completion be posted for a Category B project?

Proponent’s response

As described in Section 3.2.2, the purpose of Category B projects is to ensure some type of public notification. As described in the approved Terms of Reference, these activities have low potential for impacts on the environment. A Notice of Completion will only be posted for Category C and D projects.

As indicated in the sections 4.1.2.2, 4.1.2.3 and 4.2.2.3, the Statement of Completion is added to the project file for a Category B project. MNDM has amended the Class EA to indicate that the Statement of Completion will be posted on MNDM's Class EA web page.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #10

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Where will the Notice of Completion be posted?

Proponent’s response

The Notice of Completion will be posted on MNDM's web page, and newspaper advertisements and other consultation methods will be provided if necessary (e.g., direct mailing for residents and businesses located near the project area). MNDM has amended the Class EA to indicate how the Notice of Completion will be distributed; including that the notice will be posted on MNDM's Class EA web page as well.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #11

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

On Section 4.4, who will be coordinating approval processes?

Proponent’s response

MNDM has amended the first paragraph of section 4.4 to clarify that MNDM will coordinate or integrate the Class EA planning process with other legislation or planning processes.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #12

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Some indication should be given around when the Consultation Plan will be completed and will communities have input into the plan.

Proponent’s response

MNDM has amended the Class EA to indicate that a consultation plan will be developed for Category D projects as soon as possible after categorizing the proposed project as a Category D. MNDM has also amended the Class EA to indicate that the Consultation Plan will be posted on MNDM's Class EA website when the Notice of Commencement for Category D projects is released.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #13

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

On page 54, when consultation is complete, some additional detail should be included here.

Proponent’s response

The consultation required for a proposed project is project-specific and the completeness of consultation is, therefore, determined by MNDM on a case-by-case basis. The level of consultation is based on the project category. As described in Section 5.1, MNDM's approach to consultation is based on the type of project, the level of public interest in the process, the existing environment and other circumstances. In addition, the Class EA indicates the minimum consultation requirements; additional notification and consultation may be undertaken if required. Additional consultation may be required after the Notice of Completion or Statement of Completion. Consultation may continue during later stages of the approved project, e.g., permits and construction.

Status

MOE is satisfied with the response.

Comment #14

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

With respect to Aboriginal community concerns, a record of how the concerns were addressed and how this was reported to communities will be important.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA to indicate that a separate record of consultation will be required for Aboriginal consultation activities.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #15

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

How will Aboriginal communities be afforded the opportunity to be involved, i.e. in conducting studies, monitoring programs, and project development?

Proponent’s response

The nature of consultation and the involvement of the Aboriginal community in studies, etc., will be tailored to the requirements of the proposed project and the level of impact on Aboriginal and treaty rights (please refer to Section 6.0, 3rd paragraph).

Status

MOE is satisfied with the response.

Comment #16

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Details on what the record of consultation will look like might be helpful, possibly as a template in Appendix.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has added a template record of consultation to the appendices.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #17

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Traditional Ecological Knowledge — a mention of how/when it will be collected, used and then treated (i.e. confidentiality) would be helpful.

Proponent’s response

MNDM has amended Section 6.0 Class EA to generally describe traditional knowledge, when it will be collected, when it will be considered, and how it will be treated.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #18

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Why wouldn't MNDM include category A or emergency projects in the report?

Proponent’s response

MNDM has amended the Class EA, where appropriate, to indicate that Category A activities include administrative activities and emergencies.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #19

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Why would projects undertaken by MNDM on private land not be subject to the EAA?

Proponent’s response

The Environmental Assessment Act is not applicable to emergency measures undertaken by MNDM pursuant to Section 148 of the Mining Act. MNDM has amended the Class EA to be clear in this regard.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #20

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Define ‘Aboriginal Community' in the Glossary.

Proponent’s response

MNDM has clarified the Class EA text — the first time Aboriginal communities are referred to — to indicate that the word Aboriginal refers to First Nation or Métis communities.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #21

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 3 Screening and Categories, 3.1.1.3 Part 2 Screening Criteria Table 6. What is the rationale for selecting a distance of 120 metres in Item 1 of the Part 2 Screening Criteria? Use of a short distance such as 120 metres would exclude projects that could still have potential negative impacts on surface water features and their ecological functions. Consideration should be given to increasing this distance.

We would also recommend replacing the term water body with a term such as surface water feature, and including wetlands (other than provincially significant wetlands which are included in Item 6) in the descriptor.

In Item 4 of the table, we would suggest including other Aboriginal communities along with First Nation reserves. Consideration should also be given to including areas of archaeological potential, in addition to identified cultural heritage resources in Item 5. In addition, we suggest that Item 6 be broadened to include significant wildlife habitat in general, rather than just breeding dens or nests.

Proponent’s response

Due to a number of comments on Table 6, MNDM has removed it from the Class EA and made the appropriate revisions to the text throughout the body of the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #22

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

3.1.1.4, Part 3 Screening Criteria Table 7, Section 1 — Physical Environment

As suggested above, we suggest including other Aboriginal communities along with First Nation Reserves in section 1 of the table.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA to reflect this.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #23

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

The meaning of the terms noise limits and vibration limits in section 1 of the table is not clear. Which noise and vibration limits does this refer to? The proponent may wish to consider using another term such as noise/vibration levels.

Proponent’s response

Noise limits and vibration limits refer to MOE publications, guides, etc. regarding noise limits, screening and reports. MNDM will screen noise impacts and comply with all appropriate legislation and regulations. MNDM feels that noise/vibration levels would not be a specific-enough screening criteria. For clarity, MNDM has changed limits to impacts.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #24

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 2 — Biological Environment. We assume that terrestrial species or habitat would include vegetation species, and suggest that the wording of this item be amended to clarify this point.

Proponent’s response

Terrestrial species is a general term that includes all species on land, including vegetation species.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #25

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 3 — Built/Structural Environment. In addition to the features listed here, this category should consider future committed land uses, as identified in municipal planning documents such as Official Plans and Zoning By-laws, where applicable.

Proponent’s response

MNDM will circulate Class EA notices to municipalities, which will allow them to identify the future committed land uses referred to.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #26

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 4 — Social/Economic/Cultural Environment. As noted previously, we suggest that archaeological resources be broadened to include areas of archaeological potential.

Proponent’s response

As mentioned above, regarding the footnote to Table 7 on page 33, the consideration of potential effects on Archaeological Resources and Built Heritage Resources/Cultural Heritage Landscapes include considerations for potential cultural heritage resources.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #27

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

3.2.4.1 Notification. This section indicates that mandatory contact points for Category D projects include notice of opportunity to provide input on the draft Environmental Study Report, and notice of completion of the Environmental Study Report, with a minimum 30-day period provided in each case for review of the report. We recommend that consideration be given to adding an initial notice and opportunity for input, so that interested agencies, Aboriginal communities, members of the public and others could review the project description and provide input earlier in the process. By scheduling the timing of the first consultation opportunity after preparation of the draft ESR, those interested in the process may be limited in their opportunity to provide meaningful input and inform the process, since key decisions affecting implementation of the project may have already been made.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA, where appropriate, to indicate that a Notice of Commencement component will be added to the beginning of the Category D notification process.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #28

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 4 Project Review and Implementation Process, Figure 2 Project Review Process (p. 40). The reference to the 30-day time frame at the Notice of Completion stage as a waiting period should be amended to clarify that this is a minimum 30-day review period.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA where appropriate to reflect this.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #29

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

4.1 Category B Project Review Process, 4.1.1.1 Project Description. The draft document indicates that the project description will include a map indicating the location of the discretionary tenure decision or discretionary rehabilitation activity. It would be helpful if this map indicated not only the location, but also the full extent of the proposed project. As indicated in Section 3.1 (Screening), we would expect that this would include, for discretionary tenure decisions, the entire area of the proposed land disposition and for discretionary rehabilitation activities, the immediate area around the mine hazard(s), plus an appropriate buffer around the rehabilitation activity.

Proponent’s response

Agree. Section 3.1 describes the scope of a proposed project. MNDM has amended Section 4.1.1.1 (and other relevant sections) to indicate that the map should include the scope, or full extent, of the proposed project.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #30

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

4.1.2.1 Notice of Opportunity to Province Input. The term MOE Regional Manager in this section should be replaced with MOE Regional Director. Many of the existing Class EAs require that notices of this type be provided to the MOE Regional EA Coordinators. We recommend that the same approach be considered for this Class EA.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has replaced MOE Regional Manager with Regional Director, and added Regional EA Coordinators, as appropriate, throughout the Class EA. MNDM will mail out copies of project notices to the MOE Regional EA Coordinators.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #31

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

It would also be helpful if the notice provided a link to the Class EA on the MNDM website, thereby providing interested individuals with easy access to information about the Class EA process. We also recommend that the notice be dated.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA where appropriate to reflect this.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #32

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 6 Aboriginal Consultation, Projects Where There is a Third Party Applicant or Partner. The proponent may want to consider explicitly stating that in this situation procedural aspects of consultation are delegated to the third party applicant or partner.

Proponent’s response

The third sentence of the first paragraph in Section 6.2 states: As a result, where there is a third party applicant or a partner for a project subject to the Class EA, MNDM will require them to undertake certain procedural aspects of the consultation process. [emphasis added]

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #33

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 7 Class EA Administrative Procedures. We would suggest that this section be reworded to clarify when the addendum procedure would apply. The first paragraph indicates that when a project is modified the project needs to be screened according to Section 3.1. What is meant by modify? Would the addendum procedure apply wherever the project is to be implemented differently than described in the final ESR or project file? Similarly, the phrase increase in potential negative environmental effects or level of public or agency concern is vague and subject to interpretation. We recommend the use of more precise language so it is clear when the provisions of this section would apply.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA to clarify details regarding when and to what the addendum procedure applies.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #34

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Appendix 2 — Rehabilitation Methods — for chemical storage facilities, specifically, chemical wastes — disposal is not mentioned. Ideally, these wastes could all be recycled, but this requires an approved processor to be within reasonable distance to the site — in remote locations, this might not be feasible.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has added disposal to Table 2 and Appendix 2.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #35

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Post Signs — is not an adequate rehabilitation method to deal with abandoned chemical wastes. How does MNDM manage the signage for chemical wastes?

Proponent’s response

Agree. In some cases, but not usually for chemical wastes, MNDM posts signs only as a first response to address health and safety concerns; it is not meant to be a permanent measure. Posting signs is a temporary measure until MNDM can undertake a more permanent response. MNDM has amended the Class EA to indicate that posting signs is not a permanent rehabilitation measure. When MNDM rehabilitates a site with abandoned chemical wastes, MNDM complies with all appropriate legislation.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #36

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Incineration should be done at an approved facility, as this activity would pose risks to people and the environment.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM undertakes all rehabilitation activities in accordance with appropriate legislation, regulations and standards.

Status

MOE is satisfied with this response.

Comment #37

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 20, Rehabilitation method S — Incinerate: — describes burning flammable materials… in compliance with all applicable air emission legislation, but waste legislation is not mentioned. This method description does not include chemicals or chemical wastes, but is listed as a rehabilitation method for chemical storage facilities. Incineration of chemicals/wastes would require approval under Part V of the EPA.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has changed …in compliance with all applicable air emission legislation to in compliance with all applicable legislation.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #37

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 20, Rehabilitation method S — Incinerate: — describes burning flammable materials… in compliance with all applicable air emission legislation, but waste legislation is not mentioned. This method description does not include chemicals or chemical wastes, but is listed as a rehabilitation method for chemical storage facilities. Incineration of chemicals/wastes would require approval under Part V of the EPA.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has changed …in compliance with all applicable air emission legislation to in compliance with all applicable legislation.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #38

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Appendix 2 and the Rehabilitation methods description could be interpreted that MNDM will be carrying out these activities, but wastes must be managed/transported/processed by approved operators. Can MNDM clarify that approved contractors or processors that would be carrying out these activities or would MNDM be doing it?

Proponent’s response

The second paragraph of Section 2.2.3 states: Discretionary rehabilitation activities in this Class EA are related to mine hazard rehabilitation measures undertaken by MNDM (or by an agent of the Crown that has been contracted by MNDM to undertake rehabilitation measures). MNDM has amended the Class EA to ensure that this is clear. Approved contractors/processors etc. carry out waste management / transportation / processes as required and in accordance with applicable legislation.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #39

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 4: Project Review and Implementation Process. Page 36 — MOE recommends that MNDM consider changing ‘implementation process' to ‘planning process' throughout the document for transparency. The Class EA describes the planning process requirements that a proponent must follow in order to implement a project.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has made the appropriate changes throughout the document as necessary.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #40

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 41-46 — Project documentation should also include the following for category B, C and D: purpose/rationale for undertaking the project; description of the study area and the existing environmental context; description of the potential effects both positive and negative; information on Aboriginal community involvement; changes to the original proposal if any, resulting from the screening/environmental evaluation; and, advantages and disadvantages to the project.

For Category C and D: summary of planned construction or post-monitoring construction plans and estimation of start and completion of project; Include technical reports prepared for the project to support findings (attached in appendices of project documentation); and, list of known or required approvals and permits needed for the project (e.g., Environmental Protection Act approvals).

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the project documentation requirements where required. Note: bullet #2 is covered by project description.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #41

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

For page 36, section 3.2.2, expand upon why it is important to have some consultation for a Category B and remove the text from however onwards, as this statement is incorrect. Should the Ministry receive a Part II Order request for a Category B project, the Minister would have to consider it.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has made the suggested revision.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #42

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 5: Consultation. Page 52 states that consultation is intended to provide guidance to the MNDM about the preparation of the terms of reference and environmental assessment. Terms of reference should be removed from this bullet, as a terms of reference is required for the preparation of an individual environmental assessment and not required for a Class EA project.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has made the suggested revision.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #43

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 53 states encourage the submission of requests for further information and analysis early in the environmental assessment process. EAB recommends that the word ‘Class' be inserted before ‘environmental assessment process' and throughout documentation for transparency.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has made the suggested revisions throughout the document, where appropriate.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #44

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 5.1 Consultation with Interested Persons. Because section 6 of the Class EA is specific to consultation with Aboriginal communities, EAB recommends that reference to Aboriginal communities and duty to consult be removed. Section 5, page 52 makes it clear to the reader that Section 6 is dedicated to Aboriginal consultation and duty to consult.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has removed references to the Crown’s duty to consult from Section 5.1.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #45

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 53 states that consultation requirements for Category B projects, for example, are generally low because the projects are . . . MNDM is required to meet, at minimum, the consultation requirements as described in its Class EA. EAB recommends that this sentence be re-written.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the fifth paragraph of section 5.1 for clarity.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #46

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

EAB recommends that the consultation plan describe: general consultation methods proposed at each step of the Class EA planning process; how concerns will be considered and inform the project documentation of consultation efforts and outcome; how consultation will meet the requirements of the Class EA process.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #47

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 54 states that the consultation process is complete when. . . . Although the minimum consultation requirements of the Class EA process may have been met, it does not necessarily mean consultation is complete. Depending on the project, further consultation may be required after the Statement of Completion.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #48

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

The Record of Consultation should be included in the project documentation and made available for public comment when the Notice of Completion is posted.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has made the suggested revisions as appropriate to the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #49

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

On page 55, the Class EA states that additional notification and consultation . . . may be required, especially for controversial, lengthy or complex projects. Can MNDM explain what it means by ‘lengthy' and what about those projects that may have a significant (short-term) environmental impact?

Proponent’s response

Lengthy was intended to mean multi-year, multi-stage projects. MNDM has amended the Class EA to provide better clarity.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #50

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

A separate Record of Consultation should be prepared when consulting with Aboriginal communities and describe what the record will include.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has made the suggested revision to the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #51

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 7 Class EA Administrative Procedures. Page 58 states that annual reports will be submitted to the EAB at the end of the fiscal year. EAB suggests that MNDM specify that annual reports will be submitted to the Director of EAB, of the MOE.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has made the suggested revision.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #52

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

For section 7.2 regarding amendments to the parent Class EA document, please add a bullet to say that MOE can make amendments to the Class EA.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM amended the text underneath the bullets to reflect that MOE can bring amendments forward.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #53

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 7.4 Emergencies. Page 62 states that emergency measures are undertaken by MNDM. . . are included in this Class EA; however, emergencies are exempt from the screening and categorization process because of their urgent nature. There are no exemptions under the Class EA. An activity that is subject to the Class EA needs to fall under one of the categories listed. EAB recommends that emergency activities be categorized as an A or B.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM will revise Class EA as necessary to indicate the emergencies are category A activities.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #54

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 62, section 7.4.1 states that emergency measures undertaken by the MNDM on privately held sites to remedy these threats are not subject to the Environmental Assessment Act. This statement is incorrect, MNDM, if they are the owner of the site, does not benefit from using s. 148 of the Mining Act, as MNDM does not fall under the definition of proponent under that Act. It is not the status of the land, but who is the proponent.

Proponent’s response

MNDM has amended the Class EA to clarity that The Environmental Assessment Act is not applicable to emergency measures undertaken by MNDM pursuant to Section 148 of the Mining Act., i.e., emergencies on private land. Please note: MNDM is not the owner of the site for emergencies that occur on Crown land.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #55

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 63 describes what will be included in an incident report. EAB recommends that a copy of the public notification be added to this section.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #56

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 7.5 Part II Order Process. The ‘sufficiency/adequacy of the duty to consult undertaken by MNDM' be added on page 64 where the Class EA lists what a Part II Order request should address.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #57

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

EAB recommends that reference to Category C or D project be removed. Should a Part II Order request be received for a Class EA project, the Minister would have to consider it regardless of its category.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #58

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 66 states that after receiving all of the required information from MNDM, or after receiving a mediator’s report . . . Can MNDM explain what it means by a mediator report?

Proponent’s response

MNDM has removed the reference to the mediator’s report in the last paragraph of Section 7.5.2.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #59

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 67 states that . . . prior to the Minister’s decision unless permission is given by the Director of the Environmental Approvals Branch. A decision on the Part II Order requests needs to be made by the Minister or his/her delegate before a proponent can proceed with a proposed project.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has deleted the text after prior.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #60

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 67 states that MNDM will also comply with any conditions specified by the Minister. The Minister’s decision to deny a request may/may not include conditions. Please ensure this is reflected through the document that speaks to conditions.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as required throughout the document.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #61

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 7.6 Proceeding with a Project after the Class EA process is Complete. MOE recommends that MNDM revise the following sentence on page 67: MNDM may proceed with a project within five years of issuing a Notice of Completion or filing a Statement of Completion. to MNDM may proceed with a project within five years of filing a Statement of Completion. The sentence as currently written gives the MNDM two options for determining what the end of the project planning process could be.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #62

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Section 7.6 Proceeding with a Project after the Class EA process is Complete. MOE recommends that MNDM revise the following sentence on page 67: MNDM may proceed with a project within five years of issuing a Notice of Completion or filing a Statement of Completion. to MNDM may proceed with a project within five years of filing a Statement of Completion. The sentence as currently written gives the MNDM two options for determining what the end of the project planning process could be.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #63

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

MOE recommends that the Class EA include what the addendum documentation will include. Please refer to page 64, section entitled Addendum Procedure of the Codes of Practice: Preparing, Reviewing and Using Class Environmental Assessments in Ontario.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the addendum procedure to ensure that it is in accordance with the Code of Practice.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #64

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Appendix 1: Glossary. The following terminology should be defined in the glossary: alternative to; alternative methods; environmental assessment; environmental effect; proponent; and, individual environmental assessment.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has added the suggested terms to the glossary.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #65

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Are all terms supposed to be italicized throughout the document? If so, please check for consistency.

Proponent’s response

MNDM has ensured that all terms in the Glossary are italicized in the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #66

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Page 7, Section 1.4 states that the environmental assessment process requires that different methods or alternatives to the project are considered… For consistency with the Codes of Practice, please rephrase to say the environmental assessment process requires that a reasonable range of alternatives to and alternative methods for a project be considered.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #67

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Appendix 3: Screening Criteria Guideline. MOE understands that bulk samples are a discretionary tenure decision; therefore, EAB recommends that this be made clear in this appendix. MNDM has separated the process for discretionary tenure decision and process for permission to test mineral content. EAB recommends that prior to explaining each of the process for these types of activities that MNDM identifies that bulk sample is a discretionary tenure decision.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text clarify that permissions to test mineral content (bulk samples) are discretionary tenure decisions.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #68

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

Appendix 6: Templates. MOE recommends that ‘negative impacts on the environment' be changed to ‘potential impacts on the environment'. The activities subject to this Class EA may have both positive of negative impacts on the environment.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #69

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

MNDM states in the ‘Notice of Opportunity to Provide Input' that A Notice of Completion will only be sent to persons who have provided input or requested notification. MNDM will be required to post the Notice in local newspapers and MOE recommends that notices also be posted on MNDM's website.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has removed this text from the template.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #70

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

A Notice of Completion for a Category B project is included in the appendix as an error.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has removed this template from the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #71

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

The Notice of Completion for a Category C Project states that a Part II Order request should be sent to the Minister of the Environment and with a copy to the MNDM; however in section 7.5.1 states that a copy should also be sent to the Director of EAB. Please make correction for consistency throughout document.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has deleted with a copy to the Director of the Environmental Approvals Branch, per Code of Practice.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #72

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

The Notices of Completion for Category C and D projects and Notice to Inspect the Draft Environment Study Report should include a location where the project documentation will be available for viewing with a website link to project documentation on MNDM's website.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA where necessary to reflect that: a viewing location will be available for viewing notices and reports and a link to the project documentation will be provide on MNDM's Class EA web page.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #73

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

The Notice of Completion states that if MNDM is satisfied that there are no outstanding concerns, the project will be implemented as planned without additional notice. Is the Statement of Completion not considered a notice? EAB recommends that the Statement of Completion be posted on MNDM's website.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Class EA as necessary to indicate that the Statement of Completion is posted on MNDM's website.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #74

Submitter

Ministry of the Environment

Summary

For the Notices of Completion where it speaks to submitting a Part II Order request, EAB recommends that MNDM reference the process outlined under the Class EA for submitting a Part II Order request.

For the Amended Notices for Completion, can MNDM clarify why the following statement is included in the notice: The environmental effects of the project are unchanged?

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the Notice of Completion templates to include a reference to Section 7.5 Part II Order Process.

MNDM intended this statement to reflect the changes to the project result in no change to the level of environmental effect. MNDM has amended the text to provide better clarity.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #75

Submitter

Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs

Summary

MAA recommends that revisions be made to the screening templates, included in section three (Screening and Categories), to identify Aboriginal interests based on the following criteria: proximate reserves; land claims or claims in litigation against Ontario; existing or asserted Aboriginal or treaty rights or; an interest in the area of the project; as well as; Sites of Aboriginal cultural significance (included in Table 7 Screening Criteria page 33).

Proponent’s response

MNDM agrees and has made the following additions to the screening criteria:

  • Physical Environment: Proximate First Nation Reserves and other Aboriginal communities.
  • Social / Economic / Cultural Environment: Land claims or claims in litigation against Ontario; and, Aboriginal interest in the project area.
  • Existing or asserted Aboriginal treaty rights will be assessed when communities have been identified.

As noted, Table 7 already includes Sites of Aboriginal Cultural Significance. Also please note that MNDM has changed the First Nation Reserves criteria to First Nation Reserves and other Aboriginal communities.

Status

MOE is satisfied that amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #76

Submitter

Infrastructure Ontario

Summary

For EA projects, where multiple Class EA processes are triggered for a single project, IO is consulted regarding the proponency and applicability of which Class EA process should be followed as a one-window type of approach to avoid duplication of effort among the respective parties involved. According to the Class EA proposed for MNDM, only those undertakings regulated under the Mining Act are to be assessed under the proposed new Class EA process; however, if a proponent’s proposed undertaking is regulated under the Mining Act and may also directly or indirectly affect lands or facilities owned by MOI and managed by IO, then undertakings that fall under the MOI Class EA, if possible, should also be simultaneously assessed under the MNDM Class EA process without having to conduct a separate assessment under the MOI Class EA in order to streamline all EA requirements.

The proponent of the MNDM process would still have to ensure that all of the MOI mandatory Class EA requirements have been met under the MNDM process. Assessing all of the undertakings at the same time and streamlining the two processes under one Class EA would result in an overall savings of time and cost to complete a project.

Proponent’s response

As described in Section 4.4. of the Class EA, …the Class EA planning process will be coordinated or integrated with other legislation or planning processes. This would include potentially coordinating MNDM's Class EA process and MOI's Class EA process when appropriate.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #77

Submitter

Infrastructure Ontario

Summary

Infrastructure Ontario undertakes a variety of projects on government owned land that are not necessarily under title to MOI. Some of these activities are similar to or the same as those that fall under the Mining Act. Within the MNDM Class EA, two classes of Undertakings have been identified (See section 2.2.1 Classes of Undertakings). The second class of these undertakings could in the future, be applied to IO managed lands.

Proponent’s response

MNDM would be unable to assign proponency of its Class EA process to MOI. As described in MNDM's Terms of Reference and Class EA, MNDM is the proponent of the Class EA; discretionary mine rehabilitation activities described in the Class EA are MNDM-administered mine rehabilitation activities.

However, as per Section 2.4.2 of the Class EA, MNDM can work with a partner to jointly rehabilitate a mine hazard. Should MOI be interested in partnering with MNDM to rehabilitate an abandoned mine site, MNDM would be willing to discuss a partnership agreement.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #78

Submitter

Ministry of Natural Resources

Summary

Section 2.3.2: Difference Among Undertakings. This section states that large-scale mine rehabilitation activities have mostly positive environmental effects. MNR agrees that the overall outcomes are likely positive but disagrees that the components of a rehabilitation project are all positive (e.g. backfill with aggregate a mine feature being used by bats.). MNR suggests removing the phrase mostly positive environmental effect from the second bullet.

Proponent’s response

MNDM agrees that certain components of a mine hazard rehabilitation project may have potential negative effects that need to be mitigated. MNDM has amended the text from …activities with mostly positive environmental effects… to … activities that ultimately have positive environmental effects…

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #79

Submitter

Ministry of Natural Resources

Summary

Section 2.5.2: Consideration of Potential Environmental Effects. MNR disagrees with the statement The majority of discretionary tenure decisions should result in either nil or low potential environmental effects. Potential environmental effects of activities subject to the Class EA should be determined according to the process set out. Further, potential effects should be discussed in context of Section 3.1.1 — Screening Criteria

Proponent’s response

In the statement quoted, MNDM is making a generalization based on past experience. Potential environmental effects for a proposed project are determined, as MNR notes, by the process (including screening) set out in the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #80

Submitter

Ministry of Natural Resources

Summary

Specific discretionary tenure decisions that MNDM views as administrative and considered to have nil to low potential environmental effects are listed in Table 4. Presumably decisions not in Table 4 would require screening in Part 1 and 2 to determine if the proposed tenure decision should result in low to nil potential environmental effects through application of Part 3. MNR suggests this be clarified.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text to clarify that activities not listed in Table 4 require further screening to determine level of potential environmental effects.

Please note: the activities listed in Table 4 are administrative activities with no environmental effects.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #81

Submitter

Ministry of Natural Resources

Summary

Section 3.1.1: Screening Criteria. Based on the draft Class EA, MNR understands that discretionary tenure decisions considered by MNDM will be subjected to a multi-level screening process. The approach is intended to focus efforts on those decisions with greatest potential for environmental effects and where mitigation measure likely will be required. Rehabilitation activities are not subject to Tables 4, 5 or 6 and proceed to Part 3 Screening and Categories.

Given the complexity of a multi-stage screening methodology, it may be helpful to provide a flowchart which is a subset of Figure 1, identifying the possible outcomes of the screening process.

Proponent’s response

Agree. The screening process is depicted in Figure 1.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #82

Submitter

Ministry of Natural Resources

Summary

Table 5, Part 1 Screening Criteria for Discretionary Tenure Decisions. Question 4 in Table 5 appears to duplicate the intent of Table 4 which identifies decisions that are likely administrative even though Table 4 has previously identified and pre-assigned listed administrative activities. MNR suggests removal of Question 4.

Consideration of the extent of public, stakeholder, Aboriginal and agency concerns and/or interest should be part of this stage in the screening process. To this point no public notice has been issued and concerns may be overlooked on decisions that MNDM considers routine. If MNDM has determined that decisions that reach this point in the screening process have no public concerns then this determination should be stated as guidance in using Table 5.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has deleted Question 4 from Table 5.

The activities listed in Table 4 are administrative activities with no environmental effects (i.e., Category A activities). Public notice is not required for administrative activities; however, government agencies, including MNR, may receive notification of certain administrative activities (e.g., exchange of lease for one or more replacement leases). Section 3.2.1.1 describes the notification requirements for Category A activities).

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses. MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #83

Submitter

Ministry of Natural Resources

Summary

Table 5, Part 1 Screening Criteria for Discretionary Tenure Decisions. Question 4 in Table 5 appears to duplicate the intent of Table 4 which identifies decisions that are likely administrative even though Table 4 has previously identified and pre-assigned listed administrative activities. MNR suggests removal of Question 4.

Consideration of the extent of public, stakeholder, Aboriginal and agency concerns and/or interest should be part of this stage in the screening process. To this point no public notice has been issued and concerns may be overlooked on decisions that MNDM considers routine. If MNDM has determined that decisions that reach this point in the screening process have no public concerns then this determination should be stated as guidance in using Table 5.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has deleted Question 4 from Table 5.

The activities listed in Table 4 are administrative activities with no environmental effects (i.e., Category A activities). Public notice is not required for administrative activities; however, government agencies, including MNR, may receive notification of certain administrative activities (e.g., exchange of lease for one or more replacement leases). Section 3.2.1.1 describes the notification requirements for Category A activities).

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses. MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #84

Submitter

Ministry of Natural Resources

Summary

Table 6, Part 2 Site-specific Screening Criteria for Discretionary, Tenure Decisions. The rationale for the establishment of numeric values (e.g. 120 metres,onekilometre) in the screening criteria in Table 6 is unclear. MNR suggests that these numeric values appear arbitrary, and MNR suggest providing a clear rationale for the values used. If the numeric values are arbitrary then MNR suggests combining Table 6 and 7.

MNR continues to question the utility of Part 2 as the draft Class EA states that this part is meant to identify whether potential environmental effects may result from a discretionary tenure decision by MNDM. Part 2 makes a scoped determination in the absence of broader criteria typically required to assess potential environmental effects (i.e. the contents of Table 7). Of concern to MNR is that only two of seven criteria deal with values related to MNR's mandate — distance from water bodies and species at risk — leaving gaps and preventing this step from capturing other important, environmental effects. For example, the table does not require consideration of distances to protected areas, terrestrial species and their habitat, important fisheries or recreational uses such as hiking trails or canoe routes. MNR asserts that to determine the level of effect on the environment of decisions, Part 3 should be used.

Proponent’s response

Due to a number of comments on Table 6, MNDM has removed it from the Class EA and made the appropriate revisions to the text throughout the body of the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #85

Submitter

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS's) Tourism Division

Summary

Where general public notification of the project through the Notice of Opportunity to Provide Input has been given (for example, through a notice on the Environmental Registry or via newspaper), we recommend that corresponding general public notification of the Notice of Completion be provided.

Proponent’s response

The Notice of Completion will be posted as an Information Notice on the Environmental Registry. MNDM has amended the Class EA to reflect this.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #86

Submitter

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS's) Tourism Division

Summary

We presume that the Notice of Completion would include instructions on how Part II Order requests could be submitted.

Proponent’s response

As described in Section 4.2.2.2 and indicated in the Category C and D Notice of Completion Template in Appendix 6, the notice will describe the purpose of the 30-day review period, which includes Part II Order requests. MNDM has also amended Category C and D templates to indicate which section of the Class EA includes instructions for submitting Part II Order requests.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #87

Submitter

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS's) Tourism Division

Summary

4.1.2.2 Statement of Completion. Consideration should be given to providing a copy of the Statement of Completion to the MOE's Environmental Approvals Branch.

Proponent’s response

The Category C or D Statement of Completion Template in Appendix 6 indicates that copies will be sent to the Director of the Environmental Approvals Branch.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #88

Submitter

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS's) Tourism Division

Summary

Section 4.3.2.2. Notice of Completion of Final Environmental Study Report. We recommend that all those who receive notice of completion of the final report, regardless of whether they provided comments on the draft, given the potential for significant effects expected from Category D projects. We continue to believe this would be a worthwhile addition to the Class EA document.

Proponent’s response

MNDM's initial notification will sent by MNDM to government agencies, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and other interested groups or individuals that may have an interest in a proposed Category D project. Subsequent notification will be provided directly to those persons who express an interest; however, all notices will be posted on the Environmental Registry and on MNDM's Class EA web page. In addition, certain Category C projects and all Category D projects will include notification in local newspapers.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #89

Submitter

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS's) Tourism Division

Summary

Section 7.5.1 Making a Part II Order. Pages 64 and 65 outline that a written request for a Part II Order must address several issues. One of the issues identified is the adequacy of the planning process and compliance with the approval Class EA process.

Based on this experience, many people will not be sufficiently abreast of the content of this new MNDM Class EA to effectively discuss the adequacy of the planning process and/or whether compliance with the EA process has occurred, in a Part II Order request.

One option for addressing this concern would be to make the public more aware of the issues they must address in a Part II order request through various notice templates in Appendix 6). Another alternative would be to clearly indicated in the above notices that the identified MNDM contact should be contacted prior to any person submitting a Part II Order request to discus what information needs to be provided in such a request (in order to meet the intent of Section 7.5.1).

Proponent’s response

The last paragraph (before the first bullet) on page 64 indicates that written requests must address the following issues as they relate [emphasis added] to the identified concerns. This means that a description of the adequacy of the planning process, etc., is just one issue that may be considered when submitting a Part II Order Request, if it is applicable to the request.

MNDM has amended the appropriate notices (as referred to by MTCS's) to include a reference to the Part II Order section of the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response and is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #90

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.1 Classes of Undertakings, Table 1. MNDM's Discretionary Activities under the Mining Act. The text preceding the Table states MNDM's discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities are described in the following sections and listed in Table 1. However, instead of providing clear descriptions of the discretionary activities, Table 1 limits itself to providing a cross-reference to the sections of the Mining Act that authorize the activities. Table 1 does not clearly describe the decisions or the environmental impact of those decisions.

Proponent’s response

The purpose of Table 1 is to identify MNDM's activities under the Mining Act that are included in MNDM's Class EA, not to describe potential environmental effects of proposed projects.

MNDM has made the following revisions to the Class EA: The last sentence before Table 1 now reads: MNDM's discretionary tenure decisions and discretionary rehabilitation activities under the Mining Act are listed in Table 1 and are also described in the following sections.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #91

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Table 1. MNDM's Discretionary Activities under the Mining Act MTCS's proposes that the columns could be re-labelled as follows: delete Description and add Type of Decision; delete Discretionary Decision and add Description of Decision. Additional information to help the reader understand is also suggested. For example, in row 1, the Type of Decision might be shown as Consent of the Minister to allow staking in lands not open for staking. A clearer description for the Description column might be The Minister has the authority to decide when to allow staking in the lands described below which are not normally open to staking.

Note: it appears from a review of the Mining Act that the section that is referenced here is not yet in effect (on a day to be approved, etc.). The applicability of the provisions that are not yet in effect needs to be clarified.

Proponent’s response

For clarity, MNDM has relabeled the column headings as follows: Description (second column) is now Discretionary Activity and Discretionary Decision (third column) is now Description of Activity.

MNDM has considered providing additional information as suggested, but prefers not to interpret the Mining Act in Table 1 so as not to misinterpret the legislation or need to revise the Class EA if the legislation is amended.

Agree. MNDM has amended the text to clarify the applicability of a section that has not yet been proclaimed.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #92

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Table 1 — Row 3 and Footnote Page 13, Glossary — Definition of Bulk Sample Page 69. The footnote discusses future coordination of undeveloped regulations for bulk samples and the unproclaimed Section 78.3 of the Mining Act. MTCS's is concerned that the potential environmental effects are not explained. The definition of bulk sample does not help the reader understand the potential environmental effects of a discretionary disposition by MNDM for this purpose. MTCS's is concerned that, in some cases, a bulk sample can involve a large quantity of material, and the environmental effects of a bulk sample can be considerable.

Proponent’s response

The purpose of Table 1 is to identify MNDM's activities under the Mining Act that are included in MNDM's Class EA. In addition, the purpose of defining terminology is to explain the term, not the potential environmental effects of proposed projects.

Section 2.5 of the Class EA describes the environmental effects that will be considered. Until MNDM screens a proposed project, it is difficult to identify environmental effects in detail. The screening process captures all potential environmental effects.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #93

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.2.1 Types of Discretionary Tenure Decisions 1. Disposition of Crown Resources. The descriptions provided in this section should help readers understand the affected environment and the potential impacts.

Proponent’s response

The purpose of Section 2.2.2.1 is to describe the three general types of discretionary tenure decisions made by MNDM, not the potential environmental effects of proposed projects.

Section 2.5 of the Class EA describes the environmental effects that will be considered.

Status

MOE is satisfied with this response.

Comment #94

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.3 Discretionary Rehabilitation Activities Pages 17 to 22. The entire section on mine rehabilitation is almost solely focused on the Mine Rehabilitation Code of Ontario. While this section of the Class EA highlights a number of environmental concerns, none of them reflect the cultural heritage components of the environment. It is acknowledged that in many cases, the potential for contamination of the natural environment is great, but it should also be acknowledged that abandoned mines could be valuable cultural heritage resources for many communities. While the [Mine Rehabilitation Code of Ontario] may establish the minimum requirements and be the basis of rehabilitation activities for the mining industry in general, under the EAA, MNDM needs to add further provisions that apply to the Crown and its agents in undertaking mine rehabilitation.

Proponent’s response

The purpose of Section 2.2.3 is to describe mine rehabilitation methods, not the potential environmental effects of proposed projects.

Potential environmental effects are setting-and project-specific and are considered when a proposed project is screened according to Section 3 of the Class EA. Appendix 5 deals specifically with identifying, assessing and mitigating potential cultural heritage resources.

Status

MNDM and MTCS's will continue to work together to establish a mutually-agreeable process for identifying, assessing and mitigating cultural heritage resources for activities planned under the Class EA.

Comment #95

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.3 Discretionary Rehabilitation Activities. This paragraph and other extensive references to the Mine Rehabilitation Code could be understood as sanctioning the Code as the means to comply with the Environmental Assessment Act. It must be made clear that the Mine Rehabilitation Code was developed for application by a wide range of users who may not be subject to the Environmental Assessment Act. MNDM should provide a clear statement committing to address the environment as defined in the EAA, through additional, supplementary provisions in the Class EA for mine rehabilitation. The text in this section appears to adopt a narrower definition of environment than what the EAA provides.

Proponent’s response

MNDM has amended the text to clarify who the Mine Rehabilitation Code of Ontario applies to and under what circumstances. MNDM provides a clear statement in Section 2.5 Range of Environmental Setting and Effects that the environment, as defined in the Environmental Assessment Act, will be considered when evaluating the potential environmental effects of MNDM's discretionary tenure decisions and mine rehabilitation activities.

The purpose of the Class EA is to provide a process for screening, evaluating and mitigating potential environmental effects in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act; the purpose of this section to describe mine hazard rehabilitation methods. The definition of environment, per the Environmental Assessment Act, is considered and addressed by the Class EA process.

Status

MOE is satisfied with this response.

Comment #96

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.3 Discretionary Rehabilitation Activities. Who else, other than MNDM, will be undertaking activities authorized by the Class EA (agent of the Crown) and what provisions are in place to ensure the agent complies with the Class EA?

Proponent’s response

The Class EA process will be completed (i.e., approvals will be granted, if appropriate) before the work is started (i.e., before an agent of the Crown starts the work). The agent complies with work specifications, legal requirements, and any specified Class EA requirements in MNDM's contract (which is developed after the approvals are complete) with the agent. MNDM monitors the contract and ensures that the agent is complying with it. If the agent does not comply with the contract, there are financial securities in place, as well as penalties, if required.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #97

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Within the context of the EAA, the goal of rehabilitation should include removing threats to human health and safety and the environment and restoring a site to its former use or condition or make it suitable for some other use while protecting its cultural heritage value or interest. It is not sufficient to state the objective as restoring the land while considering other aspects of the environment. Where cultural heritage value exists, MNDM's responsibility, representing the provincial Crown, is to identify and appropriately protect it.

Proponent’s response

MNDM is relying on the definition of rehabilitation from the Mining Act to establish the goal of rehabilitation. The standards prescribed in the regulation (Mine Rehabilitation Code of Ontario) were prescribed in order to meet the definition. This does not detract from the process set out in the Class EA, which requires MNDM to consider all potential impacts to the environment, including cultural heritage resources.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #98

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Which activities covered by the Class EA will not be on Crown land and how will compliance with the Class EA change because of land tenure?

Proponent’s response

Section 147. (2) (Crown intervention to rehabilitate a mine hazard) and Section 148 (Emergency powers) of the Mining Act describe activities that are on private land. The scope of the Class EA is based on the Mining Act, not land tenure.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #99

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

When dealing with cultural heritage resources, the terms rehabilitate and restore have different meaning than what is evident from the text in this section. The Class EA should address these different meanings so that it can communicate effectively with persons having an interest in the conservation of heritage resources also.

Proponent’s response

The terms rehabilitate and restore are used in the context of the Mining Act and MNDM's Class EA. Rehabilitate, according to the Mining Act, means measures, including protective measures, taken in accordance with the prescribed standards to treat a site or mine hazard so that the use or condition of the site is restored to its former use or condition, or is made suitable for some other use that the Director of Mine Rehabilitation sees fit.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #100

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.3 Discretionary Rehabilitation Activities. Is this a reference to the Minister’s emergency powers under section 148 of the Mining Act? If so, would the actions of employees and agents of the Ministry under section 148 be subject to the Class EA?

Proponent’s response

This is a reference to Section 147. (2) (Crown intervention to rehabilitate a mine hazard) and Section 148 (Emergency powers) of the Mining Act. MNDM has amended the text in 7.4.1 of the Class EA to be clear the Environmental Assessment Act is not applicable to emergency measures undertaken by the MNDM pursuant to section 148 of the Mining Act. Therefore, the actions of MNDM employees and agents under Section 148 are not subject to the Class EA. The actions of MNDM employees and agents under Section 147.(2), however, would be subject to the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #101

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.3 Discretionary Rehabilitation Activities Page 18 Paragraph 3: This brief paragraph provides the only information in the Class EA on the potential environmental effects of mine rehabilitation activities. It does not provide sufficient detail to understand them appropriately.

Proponent’s response

The purpose of this paragraph is to provide some background for MNDM's Abandoned Mine Rehabilitation Fund, not the environmental effects of a proposed project. Section 2.5 of the Class EA describes the environmental effects that will be considered.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #102

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

The methodology that will be applied to identify the affected environment and any potential effects is not defined anywhere in the document, nor is there a description of how potential effects will be addressed.

Proponent’s response

The Class EA describes the process for screening, evaluating and mitigating potential environmental effects (sections 3 and 4 of the Class EA).

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #103

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.3 Discretionary Rehabilitation Activities Page 18 Paragraph 5. Most abandoned mines are potential cultural heritage resources (possibly involving built heritage and/or a cultural heritage landscape and/or an archaeological site). The Class EA should make provisions for identifying and conserving cultural heritage resources that may be affected by mine rehabilitation. That means allowing for heritage rehabilitation methods where it may apply and reflecting those methods in the table consistent with the Crown’s environmental responsibility.

Proponent’s response

The purpose of Table 2 is to describe various mine rehabilitation methods the MNDM may use to rehabilitate mine hazards. Proposed projects are screened for potential effects to cultural heritage resources according to Section 3 of the Class EA. Appendix 5 deals specifically with cultural heritage resources and describes the process for identifying, evaluating, and mitigating potential impacts to cultural heritages resources.

Status

MOE is proposing a condition requiring the MNDM to add specific examples of potential environmental effects in the Class EA for each activity. MNDM and MTCS's will continue to discuss methods for identifying and conserving cultural heritage resources.

Comment #104

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

It is not clear how this section works with or informs Section 4.5 Mitigation. Many of the methods described in Table 2 are forms of mitigation designed to reducing the severity, seriousness, or intensity of an impact to the environment or a threat to human safety.

Proponent’s response

This section describes various rehabilitation methods. The screening process in the Class EA helps to identify potential environmental effects that may need to be mitigated in accordance with Section 4.5.

Status

MOE is proposing a condition requiring the MNDM to add specific examples of potential mitigation measures in the Class EA for each potential environmental effect.

Comment #105

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

The class environmental assessment must identify standard measures typically used to mitigate, manage or compensate for the potential negative environmental effects associated with the types of undertakings included in the class environmental assessment. Enhancement measures should also be identified.

Proponent’s response

The Class EA describes mitigation measures in Section 4.5 in accordance with MOE's Code of Practice.

Status

MOE is proposing a condition requiring the MNDM to add specific examples of potential mitigation measures in the Class EA for each potential environmental effect.

Comment #106

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.3 Discretionary Rehabilitation Activities Table 2. Mine Rehabilitation Methods Page 18 – 21 The environmental effects of each method should be described and explained.

Proponent’s response

The purpose of Table 2 is to describe various mine rehabilitation methods the MNDM may use to rehabilitate mine hazards, not the environmental effects of a proposed project. The environmental effects of a proposed rehabilitation activity will vary from site to site, as described in Section 2.5.2 of the Class EA.

Status

MOE is proposing a condition requiring the MNDM to add specific examples of potential environmental effects in the Class EA for each activity.

Comment #107

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.3 Discretionary Rehabilitation Activities. Appendix 2 provides no additional detail help understand this aspect of the Class EA. The information provided in the appendix is already reflected in Table 3. MTCS's suggests that what is needed in the way of additional detail is an explanation of the reasons or circumstances that would lead MNDM to decide to apply one method over another.

Proponent’s response

The purpose of Appendix 2 was to provide an easier means of reading Table 2. As well, Appendix 2 was also included at MOE's suggestion. Section 2.5.2 Consideration of Potential Environmental Effects describes how MNDM's discretionary rehabilitation activities can only be assessed on a site-by-site basis as the size, scale nature and setting of a project need to be considered.

Status

MOE is proposing a condition requiring the MNDM to add specific examples of potential environmental effects in the Class EA for each activity.

Comment #108

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Table 3. Discretionary Rehabilitation Activities. The table title and column headings do not help the reader understand the type of environment that may be affected or the impact of the activities. For example, an administrative building on an abandoned mine site would not necessarily always be a hazard. If MNDM considers it a hazard, how is that determination made? Further, why is E (Remove, relocate or demolish) the priority method?

Proponent’s response

For clarify, MNDM has changed the heading of column one of Table 3 from Category to Hazard Grouping. The purpose of Table 3 is to list the types of mine hazards that MNDM typically rehabilitates and the methods (listed in Table 2) that can be used, individually or in combination, to rehabilitate them; the purpose of Table 3 is not to describe the setting of potential projects. Potential environmental effects are setting-and project-specific and are considered when a proposed project is screened according to Section 3 of the Class EA. Please note that the table lists different methods that MNDM considers when rehabilitating mine hazards.

Status

MNDM and MTCS's will continue to discuss methods that consider protecting potential cultural resources for rehabilitation activities as part of the Heritage Management Process.

Comment #109

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

An introductory note should be added: The priority methods described in Table 2 and Table 3 will only be applied where the abandoned mine and any areas affected by the rehabilitation work have been appropriately assessed and found not to have cultural heritage value or interest.

Proponent’s response

The purpose of Table 2 is to describe various mine rehabilitation methods the MNDM may use to rehabilitate mine hazards. The purpose of Table 3 is to illustrate the various rehabilitation methods that may be appropriate for certain types of hazards. Proposed projects will be screened according to Section 3 and Appendix 5 of the Class EA to determine if there are impacts to cultural heritage resources.

Status

MNDM and MTCS's will continue to discuss methods that consider protecting potential cultural resources for rehabilitation activities as part of the Heritage Management Process.

Comment #110

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Again, it is not clear how this section works with or informs Section 4.5 Mitigation.

Proponent’s response

As mentioned, the purpose of this section is to describe mine rehabilitation methods. Once the negative environmental effects of a proposed project have been determined, MNDM will mitigate the impacts accordingly. Once the activity is defined, impacts are assessed/determined then MNDM will have to mitigate accordingly.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #111

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

The definition of environment includes social, economic and cultural conditions that influence the life of humans or a community; and any building, structure, machine or other device or thing made by humans. Many of the rehabilitation methods presented here are incompatible with the rehabilitation approaches that would be appropriate for abandoned mine sites that may have cultural heritage value or interest.

Proponent’s response

Many of the approaches listed in Table 3 could be appropriate; this table merely lists a full range of options for rehabilitation. Again, the method for rehabilitating a mine hazard will be determined on a site-specific basis and will depend on the potential impacts. Potential impacts to cultural heritage resources will be identified during the screening process; any potential impacts will be mitigated (or avoided). The screening criteria include all potential impacts on the environment (i.e., social, cultural, economic, natural) that may occur as a result of a discretionary mine rehabilitation activity.

Status

MNDM and MTCS's will continue to discuss methods that consider protecting potential cultural resources for rehabilitation activities as part of the Heritage Management Process.

Comment #112

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.2.3.1 Prioritization of Abandoned Mine Sites. The prioritization that MNDM undertook in 2008 should not be understood to satisfy all aspects of concern under the EAA. The text of this section should make it clear that MNDM considered only two aspects in establishing its priority mine hazards.

Proponent’s response

MNDM's prioritization of abandoned mines is not a Class EA process; it is based on the consideration of human health and safety risks and environmental contamination risks. Other aspects of the environment, including cultural heritage resources, are now addressed in the Class EA, as described in Section 2.5.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #113

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Refer to paragraph 1. Delete: The highest priority sites are those that pose the biggest threats. Add: The highest priority sites are those that pose the biggest threats to human health and safety and environmental contamination.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #114

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Refer to paragraph 3 Delete: Approximately 115 sites fall into the category with the potential for limited impacts to the environment and moderate human health and safety concerns . . . Add: Approximately 115 sites fall into the category with the potential for limited environmental contamination impacts and moderate human health and safety concerns . . .

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #115

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Refer to paragraph 4. Delete: The remaining 2,300 sites have minimal or no significant physical hazards with no potential impact on the environment… Add: The remaining 2,300 sites have minimal or no significant physical hazards with no potential environmental contamination impact…

Proponent’s response

This suggested change would be inaccurate as physical hazards, while minimal, may have potential environmental contamination impacts.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #116

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

This section should also describe how MNDM intends to address or reconsider its priorities if there is the potential that the cultural heritage value or interest of an abandoned mine site may be threatened.

Proponent’s response

As mentioned, the prioritization of abandoned mine rehabilitation is outside of the Class EA process. Once an abandoned mine site is selected by MNDM, based on its level of priority, MNDM will screen and categorize the proposed project according to the Class EA (Section 3). The Class EA does not require MNDM to consider alternative abandoned mine sites for rehabilitation.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #117

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

MNDM has not addressed the potential cultural heritage value or interest of its abandoned mine sites; therefore, these statements do not reflect the EAA definition of environment.

Proponent’s response

MNDM does recognize that there may be potential and known cultural heritage resources present at abandoned mine sites. Therefore, proposed mine rehabilitation activities are screened for potential impacts in accordance with Appendix 5.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #118

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.3 Similarities and Differences among Activities Page 23 – 24. This section does not explain the similarities and differences between MNDM's activities. The statement that activities are related to prospecting, mining claim staking and exploration for mineral resources is confusing; MNDM does not undertake any of the activities cited and, unless otherwise designated, private sector mineral developers are not subject to the EAA. There is no description of how MNDM's activities are grouped into classes of activities. Neither is there a demonstration of why Category A (pre-approved) activities do not have significant environmental effects or an identification of what mitigation measures MNDM will apply during implementation to assure ongoing environmental protection.

Proponent’s response

MTCS's is partially correct when they state that MNDM does not undertake prospecting and mining claim activities; as the text says, MNDM's activities are related to those activities. MNDM has amended the Class EA to clarify this.

MNDM is satisfied with this section. MNDM's activities in the Class EA vary in nature, size, scale and setting; therefore, a discussion of similarities and differences can only be on a general basis.

Table 4 describes Category A activities that are administrative activities with no environmental effects. Potential environmental effects are determined through a screening process (Section 3). MNDM's screening process is in accordance with MOE's Codes of Practice (page 37), which describe that a screening process can be used to categorize an activity. As well, the Class EA allows for the flexibility to recategorize an activity into a higher or lower category. Mitigation is discussed in Section 4.5 of the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses. MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #119

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Also, if the applicant has defined a pre-approved category of activities, it will need to demonstrate that the pre-approved activities do not have significant environmental effects and identify what mitigation measures, if any, will be used at the construction or implementation stage.

Proponent’s response

As mentioned above, MNDM's pre-approved activities (i.e., Table 4, Category A activities) are administrative activities with no potential environmental effects. The third party can continue to exercise the same rights in land as they did prior to the Category A activity. Any activities with environmental effects are Category B at minimum. The Class EA process describes the need for mitigation measures, where necessary.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #120

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.3.2 Differences among Activities MTCS's does not consider the claims implied in this sentence (administrative decisions with no impact on the environment / activities with mostly positive net environmental effects) to have been substantiated in the Class EA. Given that MNDM has not previously addressed cultural heritage resources as part of either its discretionary disposal activities or mine hazard rehabilitation, the Class EA needs to be strengthened with appropriate demonstrations of effects.

Proponent’s response

MNDM is satisfied with this section. MNDM's activities in the Class EA vary in nature, size, scale and setting; therefore, a discussion of similarities and differences can only be on a general basis. Proposed projects will be screened and categorized according to Section 3 and Appendix 5 of the Class EA.

Status

MOE is proposing a condition requiring the MNDM to add specific examples of potential environmental effects in the Class EA for each activity.

Comment #121

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.4 Proponent The role and relationship of third parties is unclear in the Class EA. Who can be a third party and who can be a partner? How will MNDM provide appropriate oversight and assurance that the third party or partner is complying with delegated responsibilities? Sections 5 and 6 do not provide any further clarity in this regard.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has made changes to clarify who can be a third party or applicant. Third parties must provide details to MNDM to demonstrate that they are complying with delegated responsibilities. MNDM has the authority to pursue non-compliance with terms and conditions of the decision (e.g., terms can be revoked). Partners must undertake all work in accordance with Ontario procurement directives, including legal, purchasing and Class EA requirements.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #122

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.4.1 Third Parties Page 24; 2.4.2 Partners What information will be required for the purposes of compliance with the Class EA? What are some examples of terms and conditions that MNDM might add? MTCS's would welcome clarification on how the responsibilities for addressing cultural heritage resources would be delegated if MNDM makes agreements with third parties or partners.

Proponent’s response

Terms and conditions on discretionary decisions are usually unique for the specific circumstances. Examples: requirements to hold annual public meetings, regular approval by MNDM on proposed work. MNDM is the proponent of the Class EA. Generally, requirements for addressing cultural heritage resources are not delegated; MNDM would, however, require a third party or partner to hire a qualified person to undertake cultural heritage studies, if required. As the proponent of the Class EA, MNDM will proceed with all activities in accordance with the process and requirements, including conditions imposed by the Minister of the Environment, set out in the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #123

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.5 Range of Environmental Settings and Effects This section would be improved by additional information and descriptions of environmental settings or environmental effects. Examples of the range of settings — possibly illustrated with photos and / or other graphic material — so the public and reviewing agencies can have a clearer picture of possible implications would be useful.

Proponent’s response

Pictures would be appropriate for reports, etc., but not for the Class EA.

Status

MOE is proposing a condition requiring the MNDM to add specific examples of potential environmental effects in the Class EA for each activity.

Comment #124

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

What additional studies would be triggered if there are unknown factors present? How would these unknown factors affect the categorization of an undertaking?

Proponent’s response

A few examples of studies that unknown factors may require include engineering reports, archaeological studies, or impact assessment. As described in Section 3.1.1.4 Part 3 Screening Criteria, unknown environmental effects require that a proposed project be categorized as a C or D, depending on how many unknown environmental effects there may be.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #125

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

The wording changes recommended below are aimed at including provisions to identify and protect cultural heritage resources during MNDM activities.

Refer to paragraph 4. Delete: Assessment of the impact of proposed projects on the cultural heritage resources helps to inform the decisions that may affect them. MNDM is working in consultation with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS's) to develop a heritage management process (Appendix 5) that will describe how MNDM will identify, evaluate, and address known (identified) and potential cultural heritage resources.

Add: Assessment of the impact of proposed projects on known or potential cultural heritage resources will inform the decisions that may affect them. MNDM recognizes that cultural heritage resources should be identified and evaluated based on research and documentary evidence. Also, decisions that affect cultural heritage resources should be made in an open, accountable way, taking into account the views of interested persons and communities. When rehabilitating a mine hazard that is also a cultural heritage resource, a minimum intervention approach should be applied. Minimum intervention approach means a course of action that addresses a mine hazard, while also considering and conserving heritage attributes to the greatest degree possible. MNDM has developed a heritage management process (Appendix 5) that describes how MNDM will identify, evaluate, and address environmental effects on known (identified) and potential cultural heritage resources.

Proponent’s response

MNDM agrees with deleting the second sentence (MNDM is working…) and replacing it with similar sentence noted below (MNDM has developed…). Regarding minimum intervention approach: When undertaking the rehabilitation of mine hazards, MNDM's approach is based on the priority of public health and safety and environmental contamination.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #126

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.5.1 Consideration of Alternatives. This statement acknowledges that MNDM will consider alternatives, but it does not provide the planning methodology that MNDM will apply or the priority of the considerations. MTCS's is most concerned about how alternatives will factor in aspects of importance to the appropriate identification and conservation of cultural heritage resources.

Proponent’s response

Given the site- and project-specific nature of MNDM's activities, MNDM will consider alternatives on a case-by-case basis. As per Section 2.5.1, MNDM will analyze, compare and consider alternatives (e.g., different rehabilitation methods to use for rehabilitating a mine hazard). The planning process for Category B, C and D is described in Section 4 and illustrated in Figure 2 (which has been updated by MNDM to reflect amendments to the Class EA).

Status

MTCS's and MNDM will continue discussions during the inspection period of the Review to discuss opportunities to consider alternatives in Appendix 5.

Comment #127

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.5.2 Consideration of Potential Environmental Effects. This section does not provide sufficient information about the planning methodology for considering potential effects that MNDM (or its partners or its delegated third parties) will follow.

Proponent’s response

MNDM's consideration of potential environmental effects is based on project screening and is done on a case-by-case basis. The potential environmental effects are determined based on the characteristics of the setting, project, etc.

Status

MOE is proposing a condition requiring the MNDM to provide specific examples of potential environmental effects and mitigation measures for activities.

Comment #128

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.5.2 Consideration of Potential Environmental Effects. The examples provided here do not help understand how MNDM's discretionary tenure decisions should result in either nil or low potential environmental effects. How does MNDM determine that an omission on title is accidental and, therefore, minor? Why would disposition of mining rights under a road always have low effects (e.g. are there incidences of subsidence due to mining under roads?) How would potential for deeply buried archaeological resources be addressed?

Proponent’s response

MNDM is satisfied that the examples provided are administrative activities that have no environmental effects. An omission on title is an administrative error; the error is determined based on the original intent of the disposition. There are instances of subsidence under roads based on old, often unknown, underground workings and past practices. Modern practices and controls on mining activities prevent this on new dispositions.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #129

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Who determines the need for research and on what basis? Some research is usually required to address potential cultural heritage resources.

Proponent’s response

MNDM determines the need for research based on screening and project requirements.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #130

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

The environmental criteria the MNDM will apply are only broadly referenced here. Neither this section nor section 3 or Table 6 provides a detailed understanding of the criteria that MNDM will apply.

Proponent’s response

The environmental criteria in Table 6 are consistent with other Class EAs.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #131

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.5.2.1 Considerations for Discretionary Tenure Decisions. MTCS's would appreciate seeing a clear commitment to achieving the lowest level of environmental impact and to mitigate any adverse effects. Examples of terms and conditions that MNDM may apply should be given.

Proponent’s response

MNDM will consider all aspects of the environment prior to making a decision. The Class EA process includes developing mitigation measures, if required, to address potential environmental effects. As per Section 2.5.1, MNDM will analyze, compare and consider alternatives (e.g., different rehabilitation methods to use for rehabilitating a mine hazard). MNDM has added some additional examples of terms and conditions to Section 4.5.1 Typical Mitigation Measures.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #132

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

2.5.2.2 Considerations for Discretionary Mine Rehabilitation Activities. Delete: Due to the beneficial nature of discretionary rehabilitation activities (i.e., the rehabilitation of mine hazards), there should always ultimately be a positive net environmental effect. Add: Due to the beneficial intent of discretionary rehabilitation activities (i.e., the rehabilitation of mine hazards), there should always ultimately be either a positive net environmental effect and / or improved human health and safety.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #133

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

The prioritization of abandoned mine sites took place before considering MNDM's obligations under the EAA. The ranking is a valuable approach to addressing human safety and contamination concerns, but planning principles that will be applied and consideration of other aspects of the environment also need to be reflected here. MTCS's is most concerned about mine rehabilitation activities and ranking decisions that could affect cultural heritage resources.

Proponent’s response

The prioritization of abandoned mine rehabilitation is outside of the Class EA process. Once an abandoned mine site is selected by MNDM, based on its level of priority, MNDM will screen and categorize the proposed project according to the Class EA (Section 3). The Class EA does not require MNDM to consider alternative abandoned mine sites for rehabilitation. Other aspects of the environment, including cultural heritage resources, are addressed in Section 2.5 Range of Environmental Setting and Effects and Appendix 5.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #134

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Considerations for Discretionary Mine Rehabilitation Activities. The range of alternatives reflected here is very narrow and contains limited information or explanation to justify when and why they would be applied.

Proponent’s response

Given the site- and project-specific nature of MNDM's activities, MNDM can only describe the consideration of alternatives on a general basis. As per Section 2.5.1, MNDM will analyze, compare and consider alternatives (e.g., different rehabilitation methods to use for rehabilitating a mine hazard).

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #135

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

The Class EA characterizes all rehabilitation activities as beneficial. Realistically, there will likely be adverse effects that will occur. Environmental planning principles need to be reflected here to increase the likelihood that the requirements of the EAA will be met. The principles include: consultation with potentially affected and other interested persons; consideration of a range of alternatives; consideration of all aspects of the environment; systematic evaluation of net environmental effects; and providing clear, complete documentation.

Proponent’s response

MNDM agrees that certain components of a mine hazard rehabilitation project may have potential negative effects over the short term that may require mitigation. The Class EA has been amended to reflect this. The Class EA has been developed to ensure that all requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act will be met. The principles listed by the MNDM are considered in the Class EA

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #136

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

3. Screening and Categories. The proposed screening would not adequately address potential impacts to cultural heritage resources. In order for Part 2 and Part 3 screening to work properly, determination of cultural heritage value or interest would have to be done first (i.e., screening under Appendix 5). The proposed wording below is offered in an attempt to cooperate with the proposed approach, but MTCS's would prefer to see an altogether different methodology, which includes the use of predefined categories for activities. If MNDM wishes to continue with this screening approach, MTCS's would recommend comprehensive changes to screening questions that could apply to cultural heritage resources and improved guidance for greater accountability and clearer documentation for proponents.

Proposed wording: The screening and categorization process should only be applied to properties that have undergone a cultural heritage evaluation and have been found to be of cultural heritage value or interest. Any decision or activity — regardless of potential benefits or level of effect — that may affect a built heritage resource, cultural heritage landscape, a known archaeological site, or an area of archaeological potential will require further technical cultural heritage studies by qualified persons. Proponents should recognize this when screening for environmental effects. If the area that is subject of a decision or activity has not undergone a cultural heritage evaluation, the Heritage Management Process found in Appendix 5 will be applied.

Proponent’s response

Due to a number of comments on Table 6, MNDM has removed it from the Class EA and made the appropriate revisions to the text throughout the body of the Class EA. The screening process in Section 3 and Appendix 5 helps to determine if what work (e.g., studies) has done and/or still needs to be done to mitigate potential environmental effects, including those to cultural heritage studies.

Status

MOE is confident that MTCS's and MNDM can continue discussions during the ministry Review to address this concern.

Comment #137

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

3.1 Screening Page. Further clarification and guidance is warranted for what constitutes the immediate area and an appropriate buffer.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has added clarification about what constitutes the immediate area and an appropriate buffer. For discretionary rehabilitation activities the immediate area of the mine hazard(s), including all areas to be impacted by rehabilitation, plus an appropriate buffer around the rehabilitation activity, is to be screened. The buffer is determined by MNDM based on the nature of the hazard, the specific rehabilitation measures being considered, and the magnitude of the potential environmental effects.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #138

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Table 4. Pre-screened Discretionary Tenure Decisions. The table lists decisions for which there is no environmental effect and therefore, no further screening is required. MTCS's is concerned that for some decisions there could be environmental effects. For example, exchange of mining licence of occupation for a mining lease. A licence of occupation allows for exploration and a mining lease allows for extraction. This would mean that significant ground disturbance could happen. It would be appropriate to follow the heritage management process in Appendix 5 for that circumstance.

Proponent’s response

Table 4 includes administrative activities only that are considered to have no environmental effects because there is no change in land use. As described in Table 4, the example given does not include the issuance of any new rights. [MNDM comment: As discussed with MOE and MTCS's, MNDM will add definition of mining licence of occupation and exploratory licence of occupation]

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #139

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Table 5. Part 1 Screening Criteria for Discretionary Tenure Decisions. MTCS's suggests that MNDM pre-categorize their activities and provide more information about potential environmental effects of each decision/activity.

Proponent’s response

Given the site- and project-specific nature of MNDM's activities, categorization is based on a screening process that evaluates potential environmental effects. MNDM has pre-categorized administrative activities (as Category A) in Table 4.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #140

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Table 6. Part 2 Site-specific Screening Criteria for Discretionary Tenure Decisions. Note that there are two different titles to this table. Delete: Are there any identified cultural heritage resources located on the site? Add: Are there any known or potential cultural heritage resources on the site? The proponent should complete the screening checklists in Appendix 5 in order to complete question 5.

Proponent’s response

Due to a number of comments on Table 6, MNDM has removed it from the Class EA and made the appropriate revisions to the text throughout the body of the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #141

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

The term identified is not used in the heritage management process, but rather known or potential. It is important that the screening checklist is clear that it is both known and/or potential cultural heritage resources that must be considered. Without this clarification, there is a risk that proponents assume it is only known cultural heritage resources that must be addressed, risking negative impacts to yet to be identified cultural heritage resources.

Proponent’s response

MNDM used the term identified based on a recommendation from MTCS's on the Draft Class EA. MNDM has removed the term identified and uses the term known instead. The footnote to the screening checklist makes it clear that known and potential cultural heritage resources are being screened.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #142

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Table 7. Part 2 Screening Criteria Footnote Page 33. This footnote is not consistent with MNDM's commitment in the approved ToR. It should be deleted and replaced with the following: The screening in Appendix 5 must first be undertaken in order to complete the Part 2 screening table. In addition, it may be necessary for an evaluation to be undertaken to complete Part 3. The ToR states that the proposed Class EA will define processes that ensure that appropriate measures are in place to avoid or reduce impacts to cultural heritage resources and that appropriate mitigation measures are incorporated into discretionary decisions related to surface rights, mining rights and chattels and MNDMF administered-mine rehabilitation projects.

Proponent’s response

MNDM is satisfied that the Class EA is consistent with the approved ToR. The suggested wording is inaccurate; the purpose of the screening is to identify any potential positive, negative or unknown environmental effects which may require MNDM to undertake further research, etc., to determine the environmental effect and/or appropriate mitigation measures.

The footnote to the screening checklist makes it clear that known and potential cultural heritage resources are being screened. New wording for footnote: MNDM's Heritage Management Process (Draft) in Appendix 5 is used by MNDM to screen for potential impacts to archaeological resources, built heritage resources and/or cultural heritage landscapes, The Heritage Management Process describes how MNDM identifies, evaluates, and addresses known and potential cultural heritage resources. The screening and identification of any known and potential cultural heritage resources is included in this part of the screening process and documented on the project file by MNDM. Activities that may have an effect on known or potential cultural heritage resources require technical cultural heritage studies by qualified persons.

Status

MOE is confident that MTCS's and MNDM can continue discussions during the ministry Review to address this concern.

Comment #143

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Section 3.2.1.1 Category A: No Potential Environmental Effects Notification. Section 3.2.1 of the draft Class EA (dated November 15, 2011) indicated that notification of Category A projects would also be given to affected surface rights and mineral rights owners. It is recommended that these stakeholders be reinstated for notification in the final Class EA document.

Proponent’s response

Projects with no potential environmental effects (i.e., Category A) may either be administrative in nature or does not change the pre-existing land uses. For projects with low potential environmental effects (i.e., Category B) or higher, MNDM will consult with Aboriginal communities. MNDM has amended the Class EA where appropriate to ensure that it is clear in this regard. In addition, the Notice of Completion is posted as an information notice on the Environmental Registry; higher category projects may also be advertised in local newspapers.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #144

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

4.1.2. Consultation Requirements Notice of Opportunity to Provide Input. While there is a statement in section 5.1 (Consultation with Interested Persons) that Additional notification and consultation, including extending the consultation review time period with interested persons or groups and/or Aboriginal communities may be required, especially for controversial, lengthy or complex periods, MTCS's recommends that this statement be included in the appropriate parts of section 4 where the 30 day consultation period is mentioned, so as to better ensure proponents are aware of the discretion they have around extending the consultation period.

Proponent’s response

MNDM has amended the Class EA where necessary to indicate that the 30-day consultation period is a minimum consultation period.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #145

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

The consultation period in the draft Class EA will be an issue for Aboriginal communities. Narrowly restricted consultation periods are generally not culturally acceptable to Aboriginal communities. Better understanding of the discretion that proponents have around extension of the 30 day time period will help to mitigate the risk of strictly enforcing the 30 day consultation period with Aboriginal communities and other stakeholders, who may consider it to be too restrictive a timeframe.

Proponent’s response

All comments received during the Class EA planning process will be considered, if possible, by MNDM even if it is outside of the review periods.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #146

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

4.5.1 Typical Mitigation Measures. While the Ontario Heritage Act is the cornerstone of the provincial framework for heritage protection, it is supplemented by provisions in many other acts and regulations, including the Planning Act, the Building Code Act (and the Building Code), Environmental Protection Act, etc. to create a hand in glove framework for cultural heritage protection in Ontario. In most cases, it is not the Ontario Heritage Act that lays out requirements for assessment, but the Acts that govern other approvals (such as the Environmental Assessment Act) which do so. MTCS's suggests that this additional information be included.

Proponent’s response

The purpose of Section 4.5.1 is to describe typical mitigation measures.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #147

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Delete: Examples of typical mitigation measures used by MNDM are listed below to address potential negative environmental effects that are not otherwise mitigated by existing provincial or federal legislation (e.g., Fisheries Act, Endangered Species Act, Ontario Heritage Act, Public Lands Act, etc.), including the Mine Rehabilitation Code of Ontario (Ontario Regulation 240/00).

Add: Examples of typical mitigation measures that MNDM could use to address potential negative environmental effects are listed below. The list of measures is not exhaustive and is provided to illustrate how MNDM may comply with requirements of existing provincial or federal legislation (e.g., Fisheries Act, Endangered Species Act, Ontario Heritage Act, Public Lands Act, etc.), including the Mine Rehabilitation Code of Ontario (Ontario Regulation 240/00).

Without clarification that it is other complementary legislation and/or policies that would mitigate against potential environmental effects, the common misconception that it is the OHA itself that provides such protections with respect to cultural heritage resources will be perpetuated.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has amended the text as suggested.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #148

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

4.5.1 Typical Mitigation Measures Page 51. Delete: completion of cultural heritage studies by a qualified person(s) to identify and evaluate cultural heritage resources. Add: implementation of conservation plans which include measures to protect cultural heritage resources; and the inclusion of provisions to protect cultural heritage resources in agreements/contracts with third parties related to discretionary tenure decisions.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has deleted the text per suggestion and has replaced it with: provisions to protect cultural heritage resources.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #149

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

The completion of a cultural heritage study is a required component of EA, and would not constitute a mitigation measure.

Proponent’s response

Agree. Please refer to above response.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #150

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

MTCS's sees that there is an opportunity for MNDM to help ensure the protection of cultural heritage resources through the terms and conditions upon which they grant discretionary tenure rights. This approach is consistent with the statement on page 24 of the Class EA: MNDM may require third parties and partners to undertake certain procedural aspects of the Class EA process.

Proponent’s response

The protection of cultural heritage resources is addressed in Appendix 5.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #151

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

4.6 Effects Monitoring Pages 51. Add further information and guidance about monitoring program. Monitoring program should consider and document the following:

Component: the environmental component or strategy being monitored and the scope of the program;

  • Rationale: the reason for monitoring;
  • Methods and timing/duration: the procedures that are to be used for monitoring (e.g., techniques, equipment, indicators, measurements, duration, frequency, etc.);
  • Reporting: provision for reporting of data, results and action taken, including frequency and to whom results are reported; and
  • Adaptive Management: provision for additional actions that may be required to mitigate an impact, including any related monitoring.
Proponent’s response

The example provided by MTCS's is from the Ontario Waterpower Association Class EA; generally, the majority of MNDM's activities are not as large and impactful as waterpower projects. In accordance with page 38 of MOE's Code of Practice, MNDM has developed a generic process to develop specific measures on a site-specific basis.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #152

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

7.4 Emergencies. MTCS's would like to see a commitment to the lowest level of emergency intervention possible on sites of cultural heritage potential. To the greatest extent possible, a precautionary approach should be taken when dealing with sites that could have cultural heritage value or interest.

Proponent’s response

As described in Section 7.4, MNDM will consider all aspects of the environment when determining the preferred method of emergency intervention and will make best efforts to minimize or mitigate any potential negative effects, including those on sites with cultural heritage potential.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #153

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

7.6.2 Lapse of Time page 68. The Class EA should provide for a re-examination of conditions after two years. Other Class EAs provide for a much shorter period, e.g., two years. Many changes can occur within a five year period.

Proponent’s response

This provision is consistent with other Class EAs (e.g., MNR's PPCR and RSFD Class EAs; Conservation Ontario).

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #154

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Appendix 1: Glossary. Where terms in the glossary are defined according to legislation the relevant section of the act or regulation should be noted.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM has ensured that all terms in the glossary that are defined according to legislation make note of that fact.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #155

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

MTCS's recommends adding the following terms to the glossary: alter (alteration); archaeological resources; areas of archaeological potential; interested persons; mitigation measures; net effects (including negative net effects); significant ground disturbance; technical cultural heritage studies; and, visual setting. These additional definitions are consistent with current heritage policy, MOE's Terms commonly used in Ontario environmental assessments (2010) and are useful to explain other recommended changes described above. Including these definitions in the Glossary will help prompt provisions in the Class EA to address the defined terms.

Proponent’s response

All terms that are used in the Class EA, including the appendices, are included in the glossary. The terms areas of archaeological potential, mitigation measures, and net effects are not defined in the glossary either because the terms are not used or are already defined in the Class EA (i.e. mitigation measures). Terms alter, archaeological resources, mitigation measures, significant ground disturbance, technical cultural heritage studies visual setting are now added to the glossary. MNDM has added definitions of Exploratory Licence of Occupation and Mining Licence of Occupation to the Class EA, and has adjusted the definition for Licence of Occupation.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #156

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Appendix 1: Glossary Without further interpretation for the term Crown land, this definition, which is provided in the Mining Act, does not help understand the Class EA. MTCS's would like to understand why MNDM is selecting it for inclusion in the Class EA. The definition raises questions about responsibilities of third parties and partners. A static reference such as this, could lead the public to believe that future legislative changes affecting this definition may not necessarily result in a change to EA methodology.

Proponent’s response

This definition of Crown land is included in the Mining Act. To help the reader understand the Class EA, all terms which may be unknown by the average person are included in the glossary. Changes to legislation may result in changes (amendments) to MNDM's Class EA. It is a term defined in the Mining Act and MNDM feels that including the term in the glossary helps the reader understand what MNDM means by Crown land and under what land tenure MNDM will be doing our discretionary rehabilitation activities. The Class EA describes the activities of the MNDM that are subject to the EAA and therefore, are required to following the planning process described in the Class EA.

Status

MOE is satisfied with response.

Comment #157

Submitter

MTCS's Culture Division

Summary

Appendix 1: Glossary By altering the definition in the Mining Act (the act defines rehabilitate not rehabilitation), MTCS's believes that the Class EA document could be interpreted to preclude heritage rehabilitation. Since abandoned mines almost always are potential cultural heritage resources, MTCS's would support a broadening of the understanding in this regard. MTCS's recommends that the term to be defined in the Class EA should be Rehabilitation for the purpose of abandoned mine hazards. The Class EA should also provide an understanding of heritage rehabilitation.

Proponent’s response

For clarity, MNDM has changed the term rehabilitation to rehabilitate to be consistent with the Mining Act.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #158

Submitter

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Summary

Suggest changing Section 4.4 Coordination with Other Approval Processes as followed: Replace: If a Class EA Project may potentially trigger the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act requirements, federal agencies will be notified and involved early in the planning process to determine whether or how the federal provincial environmental process may be coordinated with For projects that may be subject o the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the proponent will notify the Ontario Regional Office of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Delete the following paragraph: The federal and provincial governments are committed to coordinating the review of federal and provincial environmental assessment coordination is provided in Federal/ Provincial Environmental Assessment Coordination in Ontario: A Guide for Proponents and the Public or as amended. The final would then say: Some of MNDM's projects may also be subject to the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. For projects that may be subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the proponent will notify the Ontario Regional Office of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Proponent’s response

Agree. MNDM will make the suggested changes.

Status

MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Table 2: Aboriginal Communities Comment Summary Table

Comment #1

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Does the crown understand the Aboriginal and treaty rights scope and how are these defined? Is strength of claim considered in the extent of compliance?

Proponent’s response

As described in Section 6 of MNDM's proposed Class EA, the Crown has a duty to consult with an Aboriginal community when a proposed project might adversely affect the community’s existing or asserted Aboriginal or treaty rights. The scope of the duty to consult is proportionate to a preliminary assessment of the strength of the existing or asserted right, and the potential adverse effect on that right.

Status

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is satisfied.

Comment #2

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

What are the triggers?

Proponent’s response

There are many potential ways to trigger the environmental assessment requirements of a ministry or agency. Some examples are: disturbance of fish habitat, building 230kv transmission lines, and requesting a land use permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources, etc.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #3

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Are First Nations recognized as equals in decision making?

Proponent’s response

While the decisions that MNDM makes under the Class EA are the responsibility of MNDM, First Nations will play an important role in that decision-making. The Crown’s duty to consult requires MNDM to consult with First Nations where its actions or decisions may adversely affect Aboriginal or treaty rights. In addition, and whether or not the Crown’s duty to consult is triggered, First Nations play a significant role in determining the outcome of the environmental assessment of a project, by providing input and information and raising concerns about the proposed project.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #4

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Does the EA provide for avoidance principles and for compensation for loss of use by Aboriginal groups?

Proponent’s response

When screening a proposed project under the proposed Class EA, MNDM is required to consider mitigation measures to avoid or reduce potential environmental effects; avoidance is a potential mitigation measure that MNDM will consider. The framework for consultation, including when it is triggered and the scope of consultation (and, where appropriate, accommodation) that is required, has been established by the Courts in Canada based on a review of the Constitution and the existing treaties. Each project will be reviewed on its own facts to determine whether the duty has been triggered, the scope of the duty and whether the duty has been met.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #5

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Add the need to avoid negative environmental effects.

Proponent’s response

As mentioned above, avoidance is a potential mitigation measure that MNDM will consider when screening a proposed project under the proposed Class EA.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #6

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Aboriginal [consultation] must be undertaken when the crown has knowledge of any undertaking.

Proponent’s response

The duty to consult is triggered when the Crown is contemplating conduct that may adversely impact existing or asserted Aboriginal or treaty rights. Whether or not the Crown’s duty to consult is triggered, First Nations play a significant role in determining the outcome of the environmental assessment of a project, by providing input and information and raising concerns about the proposed project during the Class EA planning process for a Category B, C and D projects (i.e., projects with low, moderate and significant environmental effects, respectively).

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #7

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

MNDM must enter into local Aboriginal groups to jointly decide mine rehabilitation and cannot use its own discretion without the input of affected aboriginal groups in the project area or impact area.

Proponent’s response

Effective and meaningful involvement of First Nations is an integral part of MNDM's Class EA process. First Nations play a significant role in determining the outcome of the environmental assessment of a project by providing input and information and raising concerns about the proposed project. MNDM will consult with Aboriginal communities during the Class EA planning process for Category B, C and D projects (i.e., projects with low, moderate and significant environmental effects, respectively).

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #8

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Add under section 29(1), section 34, section 39 mining companies must seek consent for the acquisition, exploration and development of lands within a 1km buffer around Indian Reserves and that just consent must be agreed upon by both MNDM and the affected First Nation and also see the EA 3.1.1.3 ‘Questions' where 1km is noted in the Table.

Proponent’s response

While the decisions that MNDM makes under the Class EA are the responsibility of MNDM, as described above, First Nations will play an important role in that decision-making. MNDM will consult with Aboriginal communities when proposing a Category B, C or D project under the Class EA and provide opportunities for Aboriginal communities to comment.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #9

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Add under 41 (6) that a License of Occupation can be withheld if the affected First Nation opposes the designation of such land tenure, and that no License of Occupation will be awarded for areas covered by navigated waters, such as lakes.

Proponent’s response

Section 4.6 of the Proposed Class EA describes effects monitoring that may be required as part of a proposed project.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #10

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Under section 52, MNDM should monitor the activities of a mining company as this can also be construed as mineral development and thus the impact could be irreparable when bulk samples are obtained (such as underground development for bulk sampling purposes, i.e., Podolsky and others). Under section 84 (1) in awarding surface rights and/or a License of Occupation, there must be consultation with affected First Nations as this may/will impact, 35 Rights (Constitution Act 1982).

Proponent’s response

As mentioned above, while the decisions that MNDM makes under the Class EA are the responsibility of MNDM; however, First Nations will play an important role in that decision-making.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #11

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Under section 145(2) the amount of Financial Assurance should be developed in consultation with affected First Nations to protect the interests and rights of Aboriginal groups under the Constitution Act section 35.

Proponent’s response

While section 145(2) does not relate directly to the amount of Financial Assurance required for a Closure Plan and while Closure Plans are outside the scope of the Class EA, through the operation of Ontario Regulation 240/00, proponents are required to consult with all Aboriginal peoples affected by a project regarding their proposed Closure Plan, and to provide Financial Assurance sufficient to cover the costs of the rehabilitation work that is described in the Closure Plan.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #12

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

MNDM should seek a partnership with local First Nations in the rehabilitation of abandoned mine sites, including those which have not polluting such as former iron and small scale mines.

Proponent’s response

Should a local First Nation be interested in partnering with MNDM to rehabilitate an abandoned mine site, MNDM would be willing to discuss a partnership agreement with the First Nation.

Status

Comment #13

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Add to the list if the crown has knowledge of a potential project on the lands, waters, culture and livelihood of local and affected Aboriginal communities.

Proponent’s response

The screening process described in the Class EA (section 3.1) helps MNDM to determine potential impacts on lands, water, culture and livelihood of local and affected Aboriginal communities. In addition, through consultation, Aboriginal communities have the opportunity to provide MNDM with input and information about potential environmental effects that MNDM may be unaware of.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #14

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Add Aboriginal land use is not limited to traditional use but also embraces current and planned use whether, social, economic, spiritual and subsistence.

Proponent’s response

MNDM has changed the wording in Section 2.5.2 of the Class EA to uses related to existing and asserted Aboriginal and treaty rights in order to be more inclusive of Aboriginal land uses.

Status

The MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #15

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Affected Aboriginal groups must be involved in all screenings with costs borne by the proponent and/or governments.

In reference to ‘Table 7. Part 3 Screening Criteria', remove the column of Unknown. Proponents and government should have an obligation to conduct thorough screening.

Proponent’s response

As the proponent of the Class EA, MNDM will conduct all screenings for projects under the Class EA.

The purpose of screening is for MNDM to assess potential environmental effects of a proposed project. The purpose of the unknown column is to indicate for which screening criteria more information is needed. If the potential environmental effect of a proposed project on a certain screening criterion is unknown, MNDM or a third party will be required to gather information and/or undertake further research in order to determine what the effect will be and if mitigation measures are required.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #16

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

This is not known unless affected Aboriginal groups are involved early in the process, all decisions and share in the discretionary evaluation/screening of projects… all activity has the potential [to] impact Aboriginal communities.

Proponent’s response

Projects with no potential environmental effects (i.e., Category A) may either be administrative in nature or does not change the pre-existing land uses. MNDM will revise the Class EA where appropriate to ensure that it is clear in this regard.

For projects with low potential environmental effects (i.e., Category B), MNDM will consult with Aboriginal communities. A Notice of Opportunity to Provide Input will be provided to Aboriginal communities for them to comment on a proposed project, regardless of whether the duty to consult has been triggered.

Status

The MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #17

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

The timeframe is not appropriate as communication between government and affected Aboriginal groups is currently not effective, nor do Aboriginal communities have the resources to participate in a meaningful manner.

Proponent’s response

The 30-day consultation period is a suggested minimum time frame only. MNDM has amended the Class EA where appropriate to clarify this. In addition, as described in Section 6, MNDM recognizes that, where concerns about impacts to treaty and Aboriginal rights are raised, consultation processes will need to be appropriate to the circumstances. Where possible, MNDM will still accept and consider comments received outside the 30-day consultation period during the Class EA planning process for a project.

Status

The MOE is satisfied amended Class EA addresses.

Comment #18

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

The list must also include an outline of all watersheds, sub- watersheds and the Aboriginal communities within each of the affected watersheds.

Proponent’s response

Depending on the project and location, it may be appropriate to include information about the watershed. Any affected Aboriginal communities should be indicated, at the very least, on a map. MNDM will amend the text to indicate some important features that should be included on a map indicating the location of the proposed project.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #19

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

How is information such as Aboriginal traditional knowledge treated to avoid the FIPPA and Access to Information Act?

Proponent’s response

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act applies to all information collected under the Class EA, including Aboriginal traditional knowledge. Traditional knowledge, as well as community views and desires regarding the use of Aboriginal traditional knowledge, will be treated with respect by MNDM.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #20

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Again, how can an Aboriginal community respond in a meaningful way with the time, resources and personnel to participate… involvement at the earliest phases (screening) will avoid these pitfalls.

Proponent’s response

As mentioned previously, the 30-day consultation period is a suggested minimum time frame only. MNDM has amended the Class EA where appropriate to clarify this. In addition, as described in Section 6.0 of the Class EA, MNDM recognizes that, where concerns about impacts to treaty and Aboriginal rights are raised, consultation processes will need to be appropriate to the circumstances.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #21

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

What are some ways in which CEAA is triggered at the commencement of a screening process and are processes duplicated?

Proponent’s response

MNDM is unable to respond to the first part of this comment at this time changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act are currently being consulted on. These changes may result to changes in CEAA triggers. As described in the proposed Class EA, federal and provincial environmental assessment processes will be coordinated.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #22

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Affected Aboriginal groups must be involved in monitoring, including the design of such a monitoring program, including deciding whether damages and assurances costs have been met.

Proponent’s response

As mentioned previously, effective and meaningful involvement of First Nations is an integral part of MNDM's Class EA process. First Nations play a significant role in determining the outcome of the environmental assessment of a project, which would include the development of any monitoring program.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #23

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

MNDM must assume that ALL projects have an impact on communities, as Treaties specify that community members have the free privilege to use lands ceded to her majesty and many do continue to have a use and occupation and affinity to ceded lands.

Proponent’s response

As mentioned previously, for proposed projects with environmental effects MNDM will consult with Aboriginal communities.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #24

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

On pages 53 and 54 with regard to the consultation plan, emphasis to add that the proponent (and government) must demonstrate what input was collected but also how this input affected their approach and specific changed to the project to meet community needs.

Proponent’s response

On page 54, it states that the Record of Consultation must include a description of how concerns were addressed.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #25

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

(How does MNDM define consultation? What is MNDM's relationship with the Crown (Federal) when a CEAA process commences? When is MNDM satisfied that consultation has occurred?) and further Accommodation and/or the mitigation of potential impacts may also be required. (Who has the obligation to accommodate? Does no the Crown have this duty as well?)

Proponent’s response

As mentioned above, the framework for consultation, including when it is triggered and the scope of consultation (and, where appropriate, accommodation) that is required, has been established by the Courts in Canada based on a review of the Constitution and the existing treaties. Each project is reviewed on its own facts to determine whether the duty has been triggered, the scope of the duty and whether the duty has been met.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #26

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

In 6.2 Projects where there is a Third Party Applicant or Partner, where the procedural aspects of Aboriginal community consultation are delegated to the proponent, how does the Crown determine the adequacy of consultation and how will the Crown use the information provided by the proponent.

Proponent’s response

As described in Section 6.2, where there is a third party applicant or a partner for a project subject to the Class EA, MNDM will require them to undertake certain procedural aspects of the consultation process. The legal duty to consult rests with the Crown. MNDM will provide ongoing oversight and direction to the third party applicant or partner.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #27

Aboriginal Community

Wahnapitae First Nation

Summary

Except that the 30 period to comment on proposed amendments may not be sufficient for Aboriginal communities.

Proponent’s response

As mentioned previously, the 30-day consultation period is a suggested minimum time frame only. MNDM has amended the Class EA where appropriate to clarify this. In addition, as described in Section 6, MNDM recognizes that, where concerns about impacts to treaty and Aboriginal rights are raised, consultation processes will need to be appropriate to the circumstances. Where possible, MNDM will still accept and consider comments received outside the 30-day consultation period during the Class EA planning process for a project.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #28

Aboriginal Community

Missanabie Cree First Nation

Summary

Concerned with the approach to meaningful consultations with First Nations being advocated by your ministry. There has been no engagement with our community other than this notice even though we have major pre-occupations with the topic at hand. The process grants discretionary authority to mining proponents to engage First Nations in support of accommodating the significant impacts have left a legacy of devastating effects on our traditional lands for generations, contrary to our understanding of case law.

Proponent’s response

Although the first comment period for the proposed Class EA ended on June 29, 2012, your community will have another opportunity to provide comments. The Ministry Review includes an analysis of all First Nation community, Métis community, organizations, public and government agency comments submitted during the first comment period, as well as the MNDM response to these submissions.

The Ministry Review will be placed on the public record for a five week comment period during which time the MOE will seek input on the proposed Class EA and the Ministry Review. The proposed Class EA and Ministry Review will be sent to you directly and your community will have another opportunity to provide comments to the MOE.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #29

Aboriginal Community

Missanabie Cree First Nation

Summary

Missanabie Cree First Nation is a member of the Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum (NSRCF). I am requesting a meeting between the Ministry of the Environment, the Chiefs of the NSRCF, as well as the NSRCF Elder’s Council to be hosted by the Missanabie Cree in Sault Ste. Marie as soon as possible in support of being properly consulted on the proposed changes to the class environmental assessment proposal. I have forwarded the information you have provided to the NSRCF Secretariat with instructions to review all documents, and to prepare additional comments on behalf of the Missanabie Cree.

Proponent’s response

MNDM met with Chief Rainville and Northeast Superior Regional Chief’s Forum a day after receipt of this letter. MNDM staff made a commitment to you and the NSRCF at the June 19, 2012 meeting, to meet again to further discuss the proposed Class EA. When this meeting occurs, MOE staff will also participate to listen to your comments and concerns.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #30

Aboriginal Community

Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum (NSRCF)

Summary

Thank you for meeting with the Chiefs and Elders of the NSRCF last week to discuss the aforementioned initiative. As explained, the NSRCF has attempted over the last four years to work collaboratively with MNDM on a solutions-based approach to a number of concerns associated with the Mining Act modernization process, particularly the free entry system. While we recognize that the proposed Class EA initiative is but a small portion of a much larger process, it does however represent the first meaningful opportunity for the NSRCF to implement its new Consultation and Accommodation Law which was developed in direct response to ongoing challenges with the Crown over meaningful Aboriginal engagement.

Proponent’s response

MOE staff will participate to listen to NSRCF's comments and concerns.

MNDM will contact NSRCF directly to arrange a date for this meeting to take place during second comment period, so that the MNDM can outline how it has addressed the comments received and identify any changes it has made to the proposed Class EA as a result of the submissions.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #31

Aboriginal Community

Algonquins of Ontario

Summary

Based on our review of the proposed Class EA we continue to reiterate that we expect MNDM to recognize and accept that the proposed Class EA is not sufficient to satisfy its duty to consult in Algonquin Traditional Territory and that the terms and conditions of the Algonquins of Ontario, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and Forestry Mineral Exploration and Development Protocol Agreement executed on September 14, 2011 (see Attachment 1) will continue to apply. We understand that this position is recognized and honoured through Section 6 Aboriginal Consultation contained within the Proposed Class Environmental Assessment, including as follows:

The Class EA will not, however alter or detract from the Crown’s duty to consult and MNDM recognizes that in certain circumstances the Class EA process may not be sufficient to satisfy its duty to consult and MNDM will accordingly supplement the Class EA process where appropriate.

Proponent’s response

Where a duty to consult is triggered by a decision affected by the Class EA that cannot be fulfilled by the Class EA process and where a negotiated protocol exists setting out how the parties intend to satisfy that duty to consult, the proposed Class EA process would not be intended to replace or alter that negotiated process.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #32

Aboriginal Community

Historic Saugeen Métis

Summary

2.5 Range of Environmental Settings and Effects. The document includes a progressive method to considering environmental effects including any part or contribution of the forgoing [aspects of the environment] and the interrelationships between any two or more of them. HSM has long been concerned with the cumulative effects of different aspects of a project, or multiple projects, on the environment. It is important to see a mechanism for looking at cumulative effects of mine projects in this document.

Proponent’s response

The considerations included in MNDM's Class EA are in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. In addition, the Class EA is not intended to capture mine projects, it is meant to capture MNDM's activities under the Mining Act that are subject to the Environmental Assessment Act, which are limited to discretionary tenure decisions by MNDM related to surface rights, mining rights and chattels, and discretionary rehabilitation activities by MNDM.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #33

Aboriginal Community

Historic Saugeen Métis

Summary

5.1 Consultation with Interested Persons. This sections states, As the proponent, MNDM will determine the approach to consultation that is required for a project. Can a consultation process that is determined by only one party truly be consultation? HSM suggests that consultation should always be collaborative process with consideration for all parties' views on the approach to be taken. Also within this section is a provision to maintain communication through the entire life of the project. Communication should continue to play an important role during any further design or implementation stages, while seeking their regulatory approvals, and during construction, operation, decommissioning and monitoring, as required. HSM strongly support this initiative of continued communication through the entire life of a project. In this way all parties can maintain a constructive working relationship and will be able to identify any issues at their very earlier stages.

Proponent’s response

While the decisions that MNDM makes under the Class EA are the responsibility of MNDM, Aboriginal communities will play an important role in that decision-making. The Crown’s duty to consult requires MNDM to consult with Aboriginal communities where its actions or decisions may adversely affect asserted or established Aboriginal or treaty rights. In addition, and whether or not the Crown’s duty to consult is triggered, Aboriginal communities play a significant role in determining the outcome of the environmental assessment of a project, by providing input and information and raising concerns about the proposed project.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #34

Aboriginal Community

Historic Saugeen Métis

Summary

Section 6: Aboriginal Consultation. Under this section it states The scope of the duty to consult is proportionate to a preliminary assessment of the strength of the existing or asserted right, and seriousness of the potential adverse effect. Although this is not an unreasonable or uncommon approach HSM would suggest that the Aboriginal community being assessed would have the opportunity to examine the strength of claim assessment and respond to its conclusions if necessary. Furthermore, the Aboriginal community should be involved in the determination of the seriousness of the potential adverse effect on their asserted rights and interests.

This section also outlines the fact that the consultation process for the Class EA may not always satisfy MNDM's obligations under the ‘Crown’s duty to consult' and therefore MNDM may need to supplement the consultation process in these circumstances. It is positive to see this distinction made and a commitment outlined.

Proponent’s response

As noted above, effective and meaningful involvement of Aboriginal communities is an integral part of MNDM's Class EA process. Aboriginal communities play a significant role in determining the outcome of the environmental assessment of a project by providing input and information and raising concerns about the proposed project.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #35

Aboriginal Community

Historic Saugeen Métis

Summary

7.1 Compliance Monitoring and Reporting. This section and the few following outline a thorough process for ensuring the goals of ‘long-term economic and environmental sustainability' through a variety of monitoring and reporting procedures. Verification and accountability are an essential part of environmental protection.

Proponent’s response

Effective compliance monitoring and reporting is an important part of MNDM's Class EA process to ensure that MNDM's projects under the Class EA are carried out consistent with the Environmental Assessment Act.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #36

Aboriginal Community

Historic Saugeen Métis

Summary

This document strives to create a process that will contribute to sustainable development and ultimately proves long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Sustainable development is best achieved with multiple stakeholder involvement and this document strives to incorporate this principle. It is advised that this principle should be carried through all aspects of this process including the different levels of consultation, allowing Aboriginal communities to define their rights, interests and consultation goals in the specific area of a project.

Proponent’s response

Again, as noted above, effective and meaningful involvement of Aboriginal communities is an integral part of MNDM's Class EA process. Aboriginal communities play a significant role in determining the outcome of the environmental assessment of a project by providing input and information and raising concerns about the proposed project.

The Class EA provides a process for screening, evaluating and mitigating potential environmental effects. MNDM's Class EA will contribute to sustainable development by ensuring that MNDM's activities under the Mining Act that are subject to the Environmental Assessment Act are carried out in a manner that provides for long-term economic and environmental sustainability.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #37

Aboriginal Community

Huron-Wendat Nation

Summary

We wish to acknowledge the fact that you contacted us at the very beginning of the beginning of this project linked to mines in Ontario. This proves that the Ministry of the Environment respects the obligation to consult First Nations when management, development or any other measures regarding a new project could affect our rights, as described in Supreme Court judgments resembling Haida, Taku River and Mikisew.

Proponent’s response

Effective and meaningful involvement of Aboriginal communities is an integral part of MNDM's Class EA process. Aboriginal communities play a significant role in determining the outcome of the environmental assessment of a project by providing input and information and raising concerns about the proposed project.

Status

The MOE is satisfied.

Comment #38

Aboriginal Community

Huron-Wendat Nation

Summary

One of the possibilities we can see is that the Huron-Wendat Nation could be in charge of the environmental assessment. Our team includes forest engineers, biologists, wildlife technicians and geomatics specialists. We are specialized in bird and wetlands monitoring, as well as forest management, restoration and fish-related projects.

Proponent’s response

While the decisions that MNDM makes under the Class EA are the responsibility of MNDM, Aboriginal communities will play an important role in that decision-making.

Status

MOE is satisfied.

Appendix C: Supplemental information

Contents are available in hard copy at the public record locations listed in this ministry review.