Questions & Responses
Please use our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that contains our most commonly asked questions. Our FAQ are questions that have been made somewhat generic to address commonly asked queries about:
- MCEA Applicability
- Notices of Completion
- Schedule Selection
If you would like to submit a question, please use the form below.
This is now being complemented by a newer "Forum" page, that allows for a direct discussion on all things related to the MCEA. It is a moderated forum and you must register to post questions. It is hoped that it will develop into an extensive library of information on the MCEA.
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Commonly Asked Questions
Category: General - Completed and Approved EAs
General - Completed and Approved EAs
Depends on the context of your question as you could use the words 'approved' and 'complete' either interchangeably or in different contexts. A proponent may describe an EA as complete when the ESR is completed and they file the notice of completion. However, they cannot begin construction until the 30 appeal period passes without an appeal. Then it might be considered approved.
On the other hand, some proponents may have their Council approve an ESR as a municipal document before the notice of completion is issued and the appeal period begins.
Category: General - Minimal Impact
I want to understand more about the definition of "minimal impact" in typical Class EA Schedule A projects versus Schedule B projects: how can I learn about that?
It is suggested that the best way of understanding the different between Schedule A and B projects is
to review the project examples in each of the Schedules in Appendix 1.
Category: General - Public Review Information Access
I'm looking for some clarification regarding the Project File. Am I required to provide a copy of the ENTIRE project file to an individual if requested? I understand that I must make available in a public location the Project File for the 30-day Public review. But am I to incur the expense of providing copies of this information to individuals if requested? Please provide comment.
Technically you are only required to make a copy of the file available for viewing. However, it is suggested, that in the interest of good communication, a copy should be provided as requested. Perhaps electronic would be best so that there is no printing cost.
Category: MCEA Applicability - Municipal Dock
I am currently working on a project that involves upgrading/maintenance on an existing dock/port. Apparently this project requires a municipal Class EA. I was wondering where it fits in specifically under the terms for a municipal class EA and what schedule it would be classified as.
Both Schedule B and C for Wastewater projects list a number of projects along or in a water course. I suggest you review this list and, if your project falls within one of these categories then the project would be covered by that schedule.
If your project is not included in any of the projects listed in Schedule A, A+, B or C then it would not be covered by the MCEA. Instead it would be covered by the EA Act. Although not claiming absolute expertise on the Act, it appears that a regulation to the Act provides an exemption for projects less than $3.5 m. Otherwise, an individual EA is required.
Category: MCEA Applicability - Municipal Marina
A municipality is looking at developing a marina. The marina development would include floating docks, breakwaters, shoreline work, a building and dredging. The shoreline work and breakwaters are covered by Schedule C of the MCEA. How are the docks and dredging handled in a Provincial Class EA? or how does the MCEA cover these components of the project? We understand there will be a Federal review of the project as well.
Both Schedule B and C for Wastewater projects list a number of projects along or in a water course. It is suggested that you review this list and, if your project falls within one of these categories then the project would be covered by that schedule.
If your project is not included in any of the projects listed in Schedule A, A+, B or C then it would not be covered by the MCEA. Instead it would be covered by the EA Act. Although absolute expertise is not claimed on the Act, it appears that a regulation to the Act provides an exemption for projects less than $3.5 m. Otherwise, an individual EA is required.
Category: MCEA Applicability - Species at Risk Legislation
We are proposing to categorize our project as best meeting the criteria of a schedule A+ EA. Would we still be obligated to follow through with schedule B requests (which could result in site specific mitigative options to be implemented during construction for what would be considered a pre-approved activity)? . MNR has indicated that they would like to provide their comments as part of the schedule B process. It has been stated that we could note that comments have been received and considered. Would this be applicable to MNR comments with respect to Species At Risk and subsequent mitigation? Could we simply provide them with a formal notice indicating that the schedule is a preapproved activity and, as such, communications and proponent obligations will proceed along those lines?
The Species at Risk Legislation in laymen’s terms appears to say that an individual cannot harm an identified “species at risk”. If you are a landowner it is up to you to identify species at risk before making changes. Since MNR has identified a species in the immediate vicinity then under this legislation it is prudent to meet with MNR and to identify the next steps. A review of this legislation is suggested. It appears that the Species at Risk legislation has higher authority than the MCEA process so
simply defining the project to a Schedule A+ will not relieve you from any Species at Risk requirements that may be applicable for the area you are looking at.
Once a project is a Schedule A or A+ then external approvals are not required and projects are considered Pre – Approved unless there is specific legislation otherwise. The Species at Risk legislation appears to be just that.
Category: Notices of Completion- Where
I am just looking for clarification re: Notice of Completion. I thought Part II order requests were to be sent to the EAAB at 2 St. Clair Ave W, Floor 12A. But in examples of Notices I've seen it lists The Honourable John Gerretsen at 135 St. Clair Ave W. Who should I be identifying on my Notices?
Response updated to July 2014
Part II Order requests should be made in writing
You need to send your request in writing to:
The Ministry/Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
77 Wellesley St West, 11th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 2T5
You should also send a copy of your written request to the proponent.
Information on this is available on the MOE website page
Category: Road - Cost Limit Thresholds
I would like to know the current 2010 cost limit for new roads and widenings. (i.e. $2.7
The cost limits for road project in the printed MCEA of 2.2m and 8.7m have been adjusted for inflation
for 2010 to be 2.7m and 10.7m. Check the MCEA website home page for the cost limit thresholds for
all other years in question.
Category: Road - Profiles
Are vertical profiles (of the road) required to be included in the ESR for a Schedule C -
Municipal Class EA for a road realignment?
The ESR needs to define the project clear enough so that impacts are understood by all and can be evaluated. If the area is all generally flat and the vertical profile of the finished road will generally match surrounding properties then a vertical profile is not likely necessary. However, if the new alignment includes some grade changes to the vertical profile this could have a significant impact on adjacent property owners and should be shown so it can be understood and evaluated.
Category: Road - Realignment
I am conducting background research regarding whether the realignment of a road, according to the Municipal Class EA, means that it is a new road, or if it is the reconstruction of a road. The realignment will allow for the road to maintain its same purpose, without changes to its operation. I would like to receive clarification so as to
determine our next steps in coordinating the federal and provincial EA processes for the project, identify whether there is a $ trigger for this project, and thereby determine the EA class schedule.
The Municipal Class EA defines a NEW ROAD as "the construction of an improved surface for vehicular traffic on a new right-of-way where the right-of -way is entirely separate from any previous right-of-way. Also refers to construction of a road on a road allowance where no road surface previously existed."
This is commonly interpreted to mean that if your project includes purchasing some property to improve a curve but to basically reconstruct on the same right-of-way this would be a Schedule A+ project (see example no. 19 of the Appendix 1 Road Section Tables).
On the other hand, if your project involves constructing a road on mostly new property (even if it is for the same use and capacity) then it is considered a NEW ROAD or a road not at the same location and therefore a Schedule B or C (see example no. 20 or 21 of the Appendix 1 Road Section Tables ). Another consideration is if the project is related to a planning act approval it may be a Schedule A (see example no. 23 of the Appendix 1 Road Section Tables ).
Category: Schedule Selection - Mixed Type Improvements
I am doing the design for the separation of a combined sewer and road reconstruction. I would like to know if this type of project falls under a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Schedule A.
It is suggested that you review the following project type that is a Schedule A+ project:
1. Establish, extend or enlarge a sewage collection system and all necessary works to connect the system to an existing sewage or natural drainage outlet, provided all such facilities are in either an existing road allowance or an existing utility corridor, included the use of Trenchless Technology for water crossings."
For the road portion of the project look at no. 19, Reconstruction, of the Appendix 1 Road Section Tables. It states that the reconstructed road or other linear paved facilities will be for the same purpose, use, capacity and at the same location as the facility being reconstructed (e.g. no change to the number of lanes) which is also schedule A+.
Your project likely fits this project type and therefore is a Schedule A+
Category: Schedule Selection - Property Needs
Several years ago the Class EA document deleted references to property acquisition due to changes in the EA Act. I am not sure what those changes were and would like clarification. Also, how does the EA Act address the issue of property acquisition so as not to prejudice the outcome of the EA? An easement acquired for a facility for example could change the EA Schedule. What would have been a Schedule B becomes a Schedule A+ if the facility is installed "within an established utility corridor" (i.e. the easement).
The purchase of property was removed from the MCEA to separate the issues. Municipalities are free to purchase property following the criteria established under other acts. In the example you provide, if you are installing a facility on property already obtained by the municipality, there is less need for review hence the A+ instead of B. If you are still considering locations then Schedule B includes an analysis of alternatives.
Category: Schedule Selection - Tables
I would like to ask you some clarification regarding the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process. My first question is about triggers for an Environmental Assessment under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (OEAA). An example could be the construction of a new Domestic Water Supply that will not involve the likely release of a polluting substance into a water body and will have a location more than 30m from a water
What are the mechanisms used to determine if this will qualify for an Environmental Assessment under the OEAA? Also, how it will be decided if a Municipal Class EA can be used instead of preparing an individual EA?
Thank you for your help.
The triggers you mention (and even the term "triggers") sound like Federal EA.
All municipal undertakings are subject to Ontario's EA Act. An individual EA is required unless the undertaking is exempt or is covered by a Class EA. It sounds like the undertaking you are describing would be covered by the Municipal Class EA as a Schedule C activity. However, you should carefully review the charts in Appendix 1 of the MCEA to determine the appropriate schedule for your project.