Regulation - LGIC

Moving to a Project List Approach under the Environmental Assessment Act

Regulation Number(s):
O.Reg 50/24
O.Reg 51/24
O.Reg 53/24
Instrument Type:
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Environmental Assessment Act
Summary of Proposal:
The July 2020 amendments to the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) enabled, among other things, the move to a project list approach, which means that projects that require a comprehensive environmental assessment (EA) (previously known as an individual EA) will be listed in the regulation rather than being based mainly on who is proposing the project.

Taking this approach will better align Ontario with other jurisdictions across Canada, which use project lists to determine the types of projects that must complete an EA. The shift to a Comprehensive EA Project List would maintain environmental safeguards are in place while providing clarity on the types of projects that will continue require the most detailed level of environmental assessment.

Under the proposal, we are proposing a few changes to allow some projects to follow a streamlined process instead of a comprehensive EA process. The streamlined processes will continue to provide environmental oversight and consultation prior to the project being able to proceed.

To move to a project list approach, we are proposing the following:

- designating and exempting regulation: new regulation identifying the projects that would be subject to comprehensive EA requirements (comprehensive EA projects regulation); this regulation would also replace O. Reg. 101/07 (Waste Management) and O. Reg. 116/01 (Electricity Projects), and the exemption in O. Reg. 231/08 (Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings). The Waste Projects and Electricity Projects regulations would be revoked, and the Transit Projects regulation would be amended.

- amendments to O. Reg. 231/08 (to maintain the Project Assessment Process in O. Reg. 231/08)

- amendments to class environmental assessments (to ensure alignment between class EAs and the projects that would be subject to comprehensive EA requirements) and revoking the Class EA for GO Transit Facilities

- new regulation exempting some projects from the EAA (this new regulation will replace Regulation 334 General)

- complementary amendments to regulations made under statutes other than the EAA

- complementary amendments to and revocations of regulations and orders made under the EAA

- new transitional and general matters regulation, which sets out transition rules and general matters.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
There would be a nominal one-time compliance cost associated with learning about the regulations and related actions associated with moving to a project list framework. Otherwise, the impact to the regulated community is expected to be positive, as cost savings are anticipated to outweigh any new costs.

Elements of the regulation will actively reduce burden, as in some cases, projects that had previously been subject to a comprehensive environmental assessment will be able to utilize a streamlined assessment process. The ministry anticipates this change in process for these proponents will result in significant savings for certain projects.

The project list framework will provide clarity and transparency for the regulated community and others when it comes to determining which projects are subject to the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. This would result in a net reduction in administrative burden.

Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
November 26, 2021
Comments Due Date:
January 25, 2022
Proposal Status: