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Impact Assessment Act (S.C. 2019, c. 28, s. 1)

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Act current to 2020-07-28 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

Designation of Physical Activity

Marginal note:Minister’s power to designate

  •  (1) The Minister may, on request or on his or her own initiative, by order, designate a physical activity that is not prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 109(b) if, in his or her opinion, either the carrying out of that physical activity may cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction or adverse direct or incidental effects, or public concerns related to those effects warrant the designation.

  • Marginal note:Factors to be taken into account

    (2) Before making the order, the Minister may consider adverse impacts that a physical activity may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada — including Indigenous women — recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 as well as any relevant assessment referred to in section 92, 93 or 95.

  • Marginal note:Agency’s power to require information

    (3) The Agency may require any person or entity to provide information with respect to any physical activity that can be designated under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Minister’s response — time limit

    (4) The Minister must respond, with reasons, to a request referred to in subsection (1) within 90 days after the day on which it is received. The Minister must ensure that his or her response is posted on the Internet site.

  • Marginal note:Suspending time limit

    (5) The Agency may suspend the time limit for responding to the request until any activity that is prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 112(1)(c) is completed. If the Agency suspends the time limit, it must post on the Internet site a notice that sets out its reasons for doing so.

  • Marginal note:Notice posted on Internet site

    (6) When the Agency is of the opinion that the prescribed activity is completed, it must post a notice to that effect on the Internet site.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (7) The Minister must not make the designation referred to in subsection (1) if

    • (a) the carrying out of the physical activity has substantially begun; or

    • (b) a federal authority has exercised a power or performed a duty or function conferred on it under any Act of Parliament other than this Act that could permit the physical activity to be carried out, in whole or in part.

  • Marginal note:Posting of notice of order on Internet site

    (8) The Agency must post on the Internet site a copy of the order made under subsection (1).

Planning Phase

Obligations

Marginal note:Proponent’s obligation — description of designated project

  •  (1) The proponent of a designated project must provide the Agency with an initial description of the project that includes the information prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 112(1)(a).

  • Marginal note:Copy posted on Internet site

    (2) The Agency must post a copy of the description on the Internet site.

Marginal note:Public participation

 The Agency must ensure that the public is provided with an opportunity to participate meaningfully, in a manner that the Agency considers appropriate, in its preparations for a possible impact assessment of a designated project, including by inviting the public to provide comments within the period that it specifies.

Marginal note:Agency’s obligation — offer to consult

 For the purpose of preparing for a possible impact assessment of a designated project, the Agency must offer to consult with any jurisdiction that has powers, duties or functions in relation to an assessment of the environmental effects of the designated project and any Indigenous group that may be affected by the carrying out of the designated project.

Marginal note:Federal authority’s obligation

  •  (1) Every federal authority that is in possession of specialist or expert information or knowledge with respect to a designated project that is the subject of the Agency’s preparations must, on the Agency’s request and within the period that it specifies, make that information or knowledge available to the Agency.

  • Marginal note:Engaging proponent

    (2) Every federal authority that has powers, duties or functions conferred on it under any Act of Parliament other than this Act with respect to a designated project that is the subject of the Agency’s preparations — including the Canadian Energy Regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board — must, on the Agency’s request, engage the proponent of the designated project in order that the federal authority may specify to the proponent the information, if any, that it may require in order to exercise those powers or perform those duties or functions.

Marginal note:Agency’s obligation — summary of issues

  •  (1) The Agency must provide the proponent of a designated project with a summary of issues with respect to that project that it considers relevant, including issues that are raised by the public or by any jurisdiction or Indigenous group that is consulted under section 12, and with any information or knowledge made available to it by a federal authority that the Agency considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Copy posted on Internet site

    (2) The Agency must post on the Internet site a copy of the summary of issues that it provided to the proponent.

Marginal note:Proponent’s obligation — notice

  •  (1) The proponent must provide the Agency with a notice that sets out, in accordance with the regulations, how it intends to address the issues referred to in section 14 and a detailed description of the designated project that includes the information prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 112(1)(a).

  • Marginal note:Additional information

    (2) If, after receiving the notice from the proponent, the Agency is of the opinion that a decision cannot be made under subsection 16(1) because the description or the prescribed information set out in the notice is incomplete or does not contain sufficient details, the Agency may require the proponent to provide an amended notice that includes the information or details that the Agency specifies.

  • Marginal note:Copy posted on Internet site

    (3) When the Agency is satisfied that the notice includes all of the information or details that it specified, it must post a copy of the notice on the Internet site.

Decisions Regarding Impact Assessments

Agency’s Decision

Marginal note:Decision

  •  (1) After posting a copy of the notice on the Internet site under subsection 15(3), the Agency must decide whether an impact assessment of the designated project is required.

  • Marginal note:Factors

    (2) In making its decision, the Agency must take into account the following factors:

    • (a) the description referred to in section 10 and any notice referred to in section 15;

    • (b) the possibility that the carrying out of the designated project may cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction or adverse direct or incidental effects;

    • (c) any adverse impact that the designated project may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;

    • (d) any comments received within the time period specified by the Agency from the public and from any jurisdiction or Indigenous group that is consulted under section 12;

    • (e) any relevant assessment referred to in section 92, 93 or 95;

    • (f) any study that is conducted or plan that is prepared by a jurisdiction — in respect of a region that is related to the designated project — and that has been provided to the Agency; and

    • (g) any other factor that the Agency considers relevant.

  • Marginal note:Posting notice on Internet site

    (3) The Agency must post a notice of its decision and the reasons for it on the Internet site.

Minister’s Notice

Marginal note:Minister’s obligation

  •  (1) If, before the Agency provides the proponent of a designated project with a notice of the commencement of the impact assessment of the designated project under subsection 18(1), a federal authority advises the Minister that it will not be exercising a power conferred on it under an Act of Parliament other than this Act that must be exercised for the project to be carried out in whole or in part, or the Minister is of the opinion that it is clear that the designated project would cause unacceptable environmental effects within federal jurisdiction, the Minister must provide the proponent with a written notice that he or she has been so advised or is of that opinion. The written notice must set out the reasons why the federal authority will not exercise its power or the basis for the Minister’s opinion.

  • Marginal note:Copy posted on Internet site

    (2) The Agency must post a copy of the notice on the Internet site.

Information Gathering

Marginal note:Notice of commencement

  •  (1) If the Agency decides that an impact assessment of a designated project is required — and the Minister does not approve the substitution of a process under section 31 in respect of the designated project — the Agency must, within 180 days after the day on which it posts a copy of the description of the designated project under subsection 10(2), provide the proponent of that project with

    • (a) a notice of the commencement of the impact assessment of the project that sets out the information or studies that the Agency requires from the proponent and considers necessary for the conduct of the impact assessment; and

    • (b) any documents that are prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 112(1)(a), including tailored guidelines regarding the information or studies referred to in paragraph (a) and plans for cooperation with other jurisdictions, for engagement and partnership with the Indigenous peoples of Canada, for public participation and for the issuance of permits.

  • Marginal note:Factors to consider — information or studies

    (1.1) The Agency must take into account the factors set out in subsection 22(1) in determining what information or which studies it considers necessary for the conduct of the impact assessment.

  • Marginal note:Scope of factors

    (1.2) The scope of the factors referred to in paragraphs 22(1)(a) to (f), (h) to (l) and (s) and (t) that are to be taken into account under subsection (1.1) and set out in the tailored guidelines referred to in paragraph (1)(b), including the extent of their relevance to the impact assessment, is determined by the Agency.

  • Marginal note:Copy posted on Internet site

    (2) The Agency must post a copy of the notice of the commencement of the impact assessment on the Internet site.

  • Marginal note:Extension of time limit

    (3) The Agency may, on request of any jurisdiction referred to in paragraphs (c) to (g) of the definition jurisdiction in section 2, extend the time limit referred to in subsection (1) by any period up to a maximum of 90 days, to allow it to cooperate with that jurisdiction with respect to the Agency’s obligations under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Posting notice on Internet site

    (4) The Agency must post a notice of any extension granted under subsection (3), including the reasons for granting it, on the Internet site.

  • Marginal note:Suspending time limit

    (5) The Agency may suspend the time limit within which it must provide the notice of the commencement of the impact assessment until any activity that is prescribed by regulations made under paragraph 112(1)(c) is completed. If the Agency suspends the time limit, it must post on the Internet site a notice that sets out its reasons for doing so.

  • Marginal note:Notice posted on Internet site

    (6) When the Agency is of the opinion that the prescribed activity is completed, it must post a notice to that effect on the Internet site.

 
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