Regulation - LGIC

New regulation to focus municipal environmental assessment requirements

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Environmental Assessment Act
Summary of Proposal:
The Ontario government is proposing a new environmental assessment regulation for municipal infrastructure that puts the focus on certain water, shoreline and sewage system projects. The regulation will clearly outline which projects are subject and the process that must be followed. This approach will help us eliminate unnecessary burden on lower-impact projects and reduce duplicative requirements to support Ontario's rapidly growing population.

While the ministry's modernization efforts to date have focused on improving the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA), we recognize more can be done to support important public services and infrastructure for Ontario's growing communities.

Preliminary consultation on evaluating EA Act requirements for municipal infrastructure projects was completed in Spring 2023. There was strong support from the municipal and housing sectors for maintaining an EA process for higher-risk municipal projects while continuing to improve the process.

We are now proposing to focus EA Act requirements for municipal infrastructure projects on certain water, sewage, and shoreline/in-water works projects, led by municipalities. Projects which are currently subject to the MCEA and not listed in the proposed regulation would no longer have EA Act requirements.

The proposal includes two key components:

- The Project List that describes the municipal infrastructure project types subject to the process (to be designated as Part II.4 projects under the EA Act).

- The Municipal Project Assessment Process (MPAP) that sets out requirements for consultation, consideration of alternative designs, impact assessment studies, documentation and notification.

Should the MPAP Regulation be made, the MCEA and Private Sector Developers Regulation (O. Reg. 345/93) would be revoked, and other regulations under the EA Act that may be made as part of the CPL regulation proposal would be amended as necessary. The Private Sector Developers Regulation (O. Reg. 345/93) currently designates private sector projects that are for residents of a municipality and that are listed in Schedule C of the MCEA. This regulation is proposed to be revoked, as the ministry is proposing to focus EA Act requirements only on infrastructure projects led by a municipality.

For more information on this proposal please visit the attached ERO posting.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
There are no anticipated increased cost impacts to regulated community.

There are no anticipated direct costs or new administrative burdens associated with the proposal. While the proposal could result in a minor, temporary increase in administrative costs mostly associated with the time taken to learn about the proposed regulation, the impact to the regulated community is anticipated to be negligible.

The proposal will result in cost and time savings to proponents as it will focus which projects require an environmental assessment, and improve timelines for the projects which are subject to the regulation.

Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
February 17, 2024
Comments Due Date:
March 18, 2024
Contact Address:
Environmental Assessment Branch
1352 St. Clair Avenue West, 1st Floor
Toronto, Ontario M4V 1PL5 Canada