Proposed regulations for how the Environmental Assessment process will apply to four priority transit projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Environmental Assessment Act
Summary of Decision:
We have approved regulations to modify the existing environmental assessment process for four priority transit projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The regulations affect the administration of projects where the proponent is a Crown Corporation (Metrolinx) and represent program and process efficiencies, as opposed to "net new" burdens or requirements.
No administrative costs to business are forecasted to occur as a result of the proposed regulations.
February 18, 2020
Summary of Proposal:
The objective of the proposed regulations is to support the Transit Plan for the GTHA by modifying the existing EA process to better suit the P3 delivery model and ensure:
• appropriate consultation occurs
• the protection of the environment remains a priority
Reliable, efficient and accessible public transit reduces the congestion burden on roads and highways and helps contribute to a cleaner environment.
Metrolinx has identified a number of environmental, social and economic benefits of developing the Ontario Line in its July 2019 Initial Business Case Report.
Transit moves people more efficiently and sustainably than personal motorized vehicles, meaning it reduces the space and cost of getting people to their destinations. That is why key objectives of the new rapid transit lines are to:
• shift as many personal vehicle trips as possible to transit
• reduce road congestion
• minimize energy consumption in the process
The introduction of rapid transit also provides the opportunity to develop active transportation infrastructure for access in areas that are currently automobile-centered.
Travel demand projections show that building the Ontario Line will result in a 3.2% yearly decrease in automobile-generated greenhouse gas emissions. Transit reduces the amount of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions that have a detrimental impact to public health. Such a shift also has the added social benefit of increasing physical activity among the population with a positive effect on general health.
The Ontario Line will increase access to the Toronto Financial District, and can serve employment development at the proposed East Harbour. It also serves significant employment in the western part of downtown Toronto and will provide walking distance access to jobs, with the majority of the new access located in downtown Toronto.
Modifying the existing TPAP process to better suit the P3 delivery model and enhance transit service for Ontarians will retain the protection of the environment as a priority. Increasing transit usage in the GTHA as efficiently as possible will assist in achieving the environmental, social, and economic benefits set out above.
July 1, 2020