Regulation - LGIC

Moving to a project list approach under the Environmental Assessment Act (updated)

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 Decision:
We have made regulations including the Comprehensive Environmental Assessment Projects regulation to move to a project list approach under the Environmental Assessment Act. Projects that require a comprehensive environmental assessment are now set out in regulation.
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 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:
March 10, 2023
Summary of Proposal:
Ontario is taking continued action to modernize its almost 50-year-old environmental assessment process that is not reflective of best practices and that places undue burden on proponents that may not lead to environmental benefits and results in unnecessary cost for critical infrastructure projects.

As part of modernizing the EA process, we are proposing changes that allow more projects to follow a streamlined EA process.

These proposed changes will better align Ontario with other jurisdictions across Canada, including the federal government, who use project lists to determine the types of projects that must complete a comprehensive environmental assessment.

Projects that are proposed to follow a streamlined process will continue to ensure environmental oversight and robust consultation prior to the project being able to proceed.
Environmental standards and protections will remain in place and continue to be a top priority for the government as we work to ensure Ontario has good paying jobs, affordable housing and a strong economy.

Changes to Proposal

In November 2021, Ontario consulted on proposed regulations and related actions to move to a project-list approach to designate projects that would require a comprehensive environmental assessment (currently referred to as an individual environmental assessment) under the Environmental Assessment Act.

Ontario is now seeking input on revisions to the proposal to allow for more projects to follow a streamlined process to reduce timelines for these projects while continuing to provide opportunities for consultation and environmental oversight.

The revised proposal is to move all transportation (highways and rail) and electricity transmission projects that had been proposed for a comprehensive EA to a streamlined EA process. The revised proposal also includes a new transition provision for waterfront projects.
The revised proposal does not include any changes to what was previously proposed for waste projects, waterpower facilities or large oil electricity generation facilities.
Contact Address:
Effective Date:
February 22, 2024