Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Growth in Saskatchewan means removal of Federal environmental assessment requirement impacts projects in the province most significantly

The federal Canadian government has removed the requirement for environmental assessments (EAs) on nearly 3000 projects across Canada. The EA requirement has been removed because the federal government changed the rules on what projects require an environmental assessment when the new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act came into effect on July 6, 2012. This in itself is not particularly remarkable and was widely anticipated. What did surprise me is the large number of projects in Saskatchewan impacted by this change - the most in Canada by a fair margin.

Number of Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency EA requirements removed on July 6, 2012 by province:

Saskatchewan: 764
Ontario: 561
British Columbia: 492
Alberta: 348
Quebec: 295
Newfoundland and Labrador: 152
Nova Scotia: 151
New Brunswick: 141
Manitoba: 87
PEI: 24
Northwest Territories: 6
Nunavut: 1
Yukon: 1

EA requirements for more projects were removed in Saskatchewan than in 5 other provinces and 3 territories combined. There were 203 more EA requirements removed in Saskatchewan than Ontario, the next largest province impacted by the changes.

The cancelled Federal assessments include a review of a proposed run-of-river hydro facility at Fond du Lac in Northern Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Research Council's plans to rehabilitate the former Lorado Uranium Mill in the northern part of the province and Prairie Green Renewable Energy's proposal to build an ethanol manufacturing facility near Hudson Bay.

The provincial government and other stakeholders will assume responsibility for environmental assessments, thereby reducing duplication of certain procedures.

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