Scoping Step 1
• Desktop study
– Maps/air photos
– Previous studies
– Species inventories
• Site Visit
• Discussions with stakeholders
– First Nations (Traditional Ecological Knowledge) –TEK
– Federal agencies
– Other jurisdictions
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency created in 1994 to oversee the Act
-Although it had royal assent in June of 1992, political issues, a federal election and further legislative hearings and amendments prevented the Act becoming law until Jan 19 1995
-Five Year Review
-Amended in 2003
THE ACT-many questions arise when planning a project and carrying out an EA
-Is an EA necessary?
-What legal requirements must be addressed?
-Should the public and stakeholders be involved?
-The Act provides answers and guidance on these issues and others
ABOUT THE ACT
-Applies to fed gov depts and agenceis
-sets out roles an dresponsibilities related to the EA process
-recommends the types of EA and the EA process to be followed
-Ensure projects are considered in a precautionary manner to ensure they do not cause significant adverse environmental effects
Scoping Step 3
Identifying Environmental Components
• Important because it will form the basis for the detailed assessment.
• Need to describe:
– Project Setting
– Physical Environment
– Biological Environment
– Socio-Cultural Environment
n Major Rivers/Creeks/Lakes
n Fish Species
n Vegetation Communities
n Wildlife Habitats
n Rare Species
n Socio-economic conditions
n Economy, jobs
n Land uses
n Traditional land use
n Historical sites
n Human Health
Step 3 Analysis
Identify Project-Envirnoment Interactions
-use a systematic logical approach
-minimizes the chance yo might overlook a potential environmental effect
Five Scoping Steps
1)gather relevant information
2)Scoping the Project
3)Identify Environmental Components
4)Scopnig the Assessment
5)Verifying and documenting scope
A land that is saturated with water long enough topromote wetland or aquatic processes as indicated by:
-poorly drained soils
Include bogs, fens, marches, swamps, shallow waters (2m deep or les) as defined in the Canadian Wetland Classification System
-The water in a wetland is owned by the provincial crown as defined in the Water Act
-The surrounding land may be privately owned or held by another jurisdiction
-Wetland conservation is a shared federal, provincial, territorial, as well as municipal responsability.
Fed interest related to international conventions (Ramsar Convention, North American Waterfowl Plan, Migratory birds)
-CWS (Canadian Wildlife Service) has fed guidelines that outlines what Env Can expects to see in a EA conducted under CEAA
-The guieline has been developed to be consistent with the Federal Policy on Wetland Conservation (Gov of Can 1991)
Best Practices Should be FOllowed When:
-A proposed project is expected to have an effect on a wetland under federal jurisdiction
-effect on a nonfederal wetland while at the same time triggering an environmental assessent under CEAA
-When EC is involved in the review of an env assesment of another jurisdiction and there is potential to affect a wetland
OBJECTIVE-To promote conservation of Canada's wetlands to sustain their ecological and socio-economic functions, now and in the future
OVERRIDING PRINCIPLE: NO NET LOSS!!!!
Analysis Step 1
Describing Project Activities
n Obtain boundaries from scoping exercise
n Identify all project components and activities
n Describe activities in space and time
Example – Power Generating Station
n Construction of access road
n Construction of facility
n Installation of water intake system
n Construction of parking lot
n Construction of municipal infrastructure
Scoping Step 2
Scope the Project
• Refers to the components of the proposed activity that should be considered as part of the project.
• Important to consider
– PRINCIPAL Project
• Main physical work or activity
– ACCESSORY Project
• Activities or physical works required to in order to complete PRINCIPAL Project (i.e., linked and interdependent)
To eliminate or reduce potential enviornmental effects before they occur and to:
-assist government decision-making
-address legislative requirements (ie. CEAA, Fisheries Act)
-assist project planning
Scoping Step 4
Scoping the Assessment
-potential env effects
-spatial and temporal boundaries
-effects of malfunctions and accidents
-cumulative env effects
-significance of effects
-comments received from public
Careful when selecting boundaries!
-Use scientific robust criteria as much as possible (ie. ZONE OF INFLUENCE ZOI) may extend beyong Project Footprint certain VECs
**Need to consider when and how each VEC will interact with or be influenced by Project and activities
-Spatial Boundaries may be physical (watersheds), biological (habitats), or political
-Temporal boundaries set by the "life of the project"
-Construction, operation, decommissioning
Verifying and Documenting the Scope
-Documenting scope should provide:
1)temporal and spatial boundaries with rationale of delineation
2)Rationale for scoping both project components as well as environment components in or out
3)Should provide criteria for selection of environmental components
*A description of the scope of the project must be posted on the Registry's Internet Site
Four Types of Federal EA (CEAA)
-assessment by Review panel
-screenings and comprehensive studies are considered a self-assessment (or self-directed EA)
-because the RA is responsible for ensuring the EA is conducted in accordance with the Act
Independent Assessments are those conducted by a mediator or Review Panel appointed by the federal Minister of the Environment
*Network Diagrams or pathways are useful to identify potential CE*
Consider whether the CE are...
additive= combined effects are equal to sum of individual effects
synergistic= combined effecs greater than sum of individual effects
Science and TEK
EIAs are typically reductionist (ie VECs)
This process of compartmentalizing biophysical components is inconsistent with the aboriginial view of the world, which sees all aspects of the environment as equally important.
In aboriginal peoples' "holistic" view, biophsical components can be separated neither from each other nor from the human components (social, cultural, spiritual, and economic aspects)
If social and environmental impacts are to be linked, aboriginal communities and TEK must be part of the environmental process
-BHP Diamond Mine, NWT
-Voisey's Bay Nickel Mine, Labrador
-Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline
When can mitigation be identified?
During Project Planning
-need to identify mitigation measures as part of the environmental effects evaluation
-mitigation measures can then be applied during project construction, operation or decommissioning activities
May also be identified as part of follow-up monitoring (unforseen effects)
What is mitigation?
According to CEAA (the act), mitigation is "the elimination, redution or control of the adverse environental effects of the project and includes restitution for any damage to the environment caused by such effects through replacement, restoration, compensation, or any other means."
CE can occur in various ways....
-stressor transported away from project area
-interacts with another action
-"death by a thousand cuts" = gradual disturbance
Spatial and Temporal Crowding
-too much going on in one place at one time
-spin off actions
-ie. increased human disturbance due to new road access
Examples of CE
-combined SO2 emissions within a regional airshed
-from 3 operating natural gas processing facilities within an airshed
-combined reductions in flow volumes within a particular river resulting from irrigation, mucicipal and industrial withdrawls
-combind black bear mortalities in a wildlife management unit from hunter harvest, road-kill and human-bear conflicts
Determining Significance of the Residual Effects
WHAT IS SIGNIFICANCE?
Masuring the level of impact of an adverse residual (mitigation already considered) environmental effects.
Conclusion should be transparent, systematic, defendable.
Use Scientific data, Regulated thresholds/standards, Social Values, Cultural Knowledge,Professional Judgement
Assessing significance is a legal requirement unter CEAA
-subsection 16(1)b.. " RA need to consider significance in their decision"
Significance is not defined in act
How do you know?
-are adverse effects mitigable?
-are residual effects insignificant? (acceptable)
-is additional analysis required before decision?
Follow-up Mitigation and Monitoring Plans
Terms used to describe FUP:
-audit or post-audit
Monitoring vs. FUP
-monitoring only a component of FUP
-Compliance Monitoring responds to whether the mitigation measures were implemented
-FUP responds to were the mitigation measures effective
MITIGATION MONITORING PLANS
-policy or performance standards
-measures to be implemented
-roles and responsabilities
-monitoringm reporting commitments
WHAT ARE THEY?
-MMP are plans prepared by the proponent to ensure mitigation measures are impleented effectively and on schedule
-MMPs are often referred to as environmental protection plan (EMP) or environmental management plan (EMP)
USING FUP RESULTS-CEAA states that a FUP may be used for:
-implementing adaptive management measures
-improving the quality of future EA-NOTE: where a FUP is requires as part of a regulatory approval, failure to impleent could result in non=compliance with the regulatory approval
Planning Approach for PP and Meaningful PP
-parties need to now why they are there, and how their information will be used
-people respond depending on HOW information is presented
ensure it is understandable and presented in an appropriate format and language
3)adequate review time
-give public time to read and evaluate it (notification time)
4)feedback on how input was used
MEANINGFUL PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
-Easy access to Information
-Respect for Community/Cultureal Values
-Opportunity to Evaluate Information and Respond
***participants should be able to involve at a level consistent with their interest
-flexibility (adapt the program as issues arise)
-Results incorporated in EA and documented
SARA - Objectives, listing process, and lists
-species are designated "at risk" by the COSEWIC (committee on the status of endangered wildlife in canada)
-the federal cabinet then decides whether those species should be listed under SARA
-once it is listed, recovery strategies and acton plans are developed
-must identify threats to critical habitat and outline approaches to addressing those threats
-the act establishes this as the official list of wildlife species at risk (Endangered, threatened, special concern)
SCHEDULE 2 and 3
-represent a backlog of at risk species that have been previously identified by COSEQIC
-became law in June 2003, enforceable in June 2004
Barriers to Integration of TEK
-Distinct dif b/w ab view of significant and what proponents perceive as significant impacts
-within scientific community about credibility/reliability
-dismissed as not "hard empirical data"
-May be complications, and not politically palatable to policy makers
-Ab leaders withholding information under controversial unresolved land claims
-Ab peoples do not consider themselves as "stakeholders"... they have "constitutionaly protected rights"
**Crown has fiduciary responsibility to consult First Nations. This does NOT necessarily mean incorporation of TEK into EA
*Be aware of cultural differences
*Ethical principles... RESPECT!!
-Consider science and TEK as complementary... not competing forms of knowledge
-When TEK and western scietific knowledge are ued in a balanced and complementary manner, they can provide a powerful tool for sustainable development and environmental assessment within Canada
Detecting Environmental Impacts Caused By Human Activities
Challenge: Detect significant effect due to project.
Need to isolate predicted effects from "noise" associated /w natural spatial and temporal variability.
*Need threshold criteria to define both effect and significant effect!!
What will variable be? (SO2? population size?
-randomized allocation of impact sites not done
-cannot meet many assumptions of statistical distributions used to test hypotheses (ANOVA)
-No spatial or temporal replication (1 site, 1 year of study)
-compare control to impact site
-any differences attributed to project (human activities)
-N=1 for both sites
-no spatial replication
-differences may be due to spatial variation b/w sites
-temporal variation not accounted for
-different responses to natural environmental changes
-Sample impact site before and after
-avoids problem of spatial variation but fails to deal with temporal variability
-improved design... before-after-control-impact
-replicate samples taken several times before project begins (baseline) and several times after at both impact and control site.
-deals with temporal variation, but not with spatial variation (ie. two sites will not be exactly the same)
BACI designs use ANOVA to test for significant interactions terms between location (control vs impact) and time (before vs after) project activities
-use BACI but use multiple control sites
EA is an integral part of sustainable development
-Good EA ensures that environmental costs and benefits and any related socio-cultural and economic issues are considered in the decision making process...before projects are allowed to proceed
Origins of EIA
First system established in USA in 1970
-National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
-Proponents required to include and EI Statement (EIS) in their proposail
-Initially, EIA criticized as a tool to justify decisions already made
-Potential wider projects effects outside of local area often ignored
-By 1980s, more information was collected but reports were often very lengthy and simply a large compilation of biophysical data
-In the 1980s and 90s EIA evolved to include broader regional and social impacts, due in part to major global initiatives
Critical Habitat and Legal Requirements (SARA)
Section 58 of SARA prohibits destruction of critical habitat
Defined as: "Habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed species and that is identified as the species critical habitat in the recover strategy or recover plan for the species"
-Subsection 79(s) of SARA states that the RA
-must identify adverse effects on listed species
-ensure measures are taken to avoid or lessen the effects (mitigate)
-monitor the effects
CEAA was amended to redefine environmental effect... "any change that the project may cause in environment including any change that it may cuase to a listed wildlife species, its critical habitat or the residences of individuals of that species"
******If CEAA is triggered, SARA is triggered.
HOWEVER, SARA does not trigger CEAA (ie. SARA has not been added to Law List Regulations)
DUE DILIGENCE vs LEGAL OBLIGATION
-must address potential adverse effects on species listed on Schedule 1 = legal
-Best practices suggest proponents include other species identified at risk by COSEWIC or other jurisdictions = due diligence
BEST PRACTICES GUIDE
-If a listed species on Sched 1 occurs in your study area, it will require special attention in the EA (ie. make species a VEC)
-Your assessment must consider the effects on the listed species, their critical habitat or resitence
-Notify the competent ministers (Minister of Environment, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Minister of Canadian Heritage)
-Provide mitigation and Monitoring programs.
Prediction Methods (Analysis Step 4)
(extension of 'methods used to identify potential environmental effects)
l Professional Judgement
l Simulation Models
– e.g., dispersion models used to predict effects on air quality
– e.g., wildlife population model designed to predict the effects of the project on female reproductive success
l Make sure assumptions are appropriate for project and assessment area!
l Field or Lab Experiments
– Conduct a study to predict the effectiveness of different mitigation techniques
– conduct a lab experiment to predict the effect of pollutant exposure to a fish species
l Extrapolate from other EAs completed for similar projects and settings
Level of Prediction
Prediction methods should account for variability in the system or VEC (space in time) as well as uncertainty.
Review Panel Assessments
EA conducted by panel of people who are:
-free from conflict of interest (relative to the project)
-knowledge or experience (relevant to the anticipated effects of the project)
Why involve the public? Levels of Public Involvement?
-Registry provides access to EA information, but is not considered public participation.
-Public Notices to participate in an EA process must be posted on Registry's Web Page
-The following must be maintained n less than 14 days prior an EA decision is made:
notice of commencement
description of scope of Project
description of factors to be considered (issues)
LEVELS OF PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
***more public involvement means less RA control
inform: privide information so public understands
consult: obtain public input on analysis/interpretation/decisions
involve: work with public during process to ensure concers are considered
Partner: with public to find solutions/alternatives during process
Conditions for Potential CEA and what you are expected to do
Conditions for Potential CEA:
-if local effects on VEC occur as a result of the action under review
-if those VECs are afeted by other actions
-assess effects over a larger area (regional)
-define larger spatial boundary
-assess effects during a longer time period into the past and future
-define longer temporal boundary
-consider the effects on VECs due to interactions with other activities
-evaluate significance of CE
Scoping- Case Study Sunpine Forest Products LTD.
• In 1995, SFP was granted authorization by the Alberta Government to build a new mainline road to access forest resources and transport logs to their mill in Strachan, Alberta.
• Applications for two bridges required along the road were also filed under the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA).
• This triggered CEAA (Law List Regulation)
• AT ISSUE: Is the scope of the Project the two bridges or the two bridges and the road?
• CCG/DFO approved the screening based solely on the two bridges
• Landed in court
• Failed to comply with specific section of CEAA “consider all related undertakings” and …. “cumulative effects” of CEAA.
• As well as access to information (i.e. public registry)
• Court ruled in favour of Env. Groups
• Feds appealed and ultimately won (i.e., the Project was scoped to include the two bridges only)
What did we learn from this?
• The Federal Government Agency as the RA has the discretion to scope the project as they see it.
• The EA must include an analysis of cumulative effects
• Need to make information more accessible to public.
Canadian Fed. Gov. Assessment
Taks force delivered a report to the federal government in 1972
-During the 1970s EA was a review process based on guidelines only
Established teh Federal Environmental Assessment Review Office (FEARO) in April 1974.
What is a Federal Authority? (CEAA)
Any federal body (department or agency) that may have expertise or a mandate relative to the proposed project
-The Responsible Authority (RA) is teh lead federal agency responsible for EA and decision. FAs provide advice.
Specifically, the Act applies to...
1)federal minister of the crown
2)a department or corporation
3)an agency or other body accountable to through a minister
The Brundtland Report
The UN set up a commission to looks at environmental issues in 1983
-the Brundtland commission produced a final report entitled 'Our Common Future' in 1987
World Recognition of EIA: "Development that meets the needs of the present without compomising the ability of furture generations to meet their own needs."
CEAA- What is a "project"
A project is ...in relation to a physical work, any proposed construction, operation modification, decommissioning, abandonment or other undertakings in relation to that physical work
Any prposed physical activity not related to a physical work that is prescribed pursuant to the Inclusion List Regulations
SEA... What is it? Basic Principles? Advantages?
PREMISE-Based on the notion that many of the decisions potentially affecting the environment are made long before project proposals
WHAT IS SEA?
-refers to the environmental assessment of public policies, plans, programs and other alternatives
-it extends project-based EIAs to a broader strategic level.... less advanced than EIA
-Focused on alternatives
In Canada, SEA is a policy requirement under the 1999 "Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy Plans and Program Proposals"
Underlying principle in SEA recognizes that in order to make informed decisions that support sustainable development, you need to integrate social, economic and environmental considerations with policy plan and program proposals.
ADVANTAGES OF SEA
-Streamline project-based EA by identifying potential impacts and cumulative effects
-consider potential cumulative environmental effects of proposals (at broader scale)
-more pro-active and systematic approach to decision making
-save time and oney by setting the context for regional as well as project-based EA
-promote accountability and credibility among the general public and stakeholers
-conribute to broader governmental policy commitments and obligations
What is CEA? and Legal basis
CE are changes to the environment that are caused by an activity in combination with other past present and reasonably foreseeable human activities.
-CE are caused by the accumulation and interaction of multiple stresses affecting the environment.
-CEA is done to ensure incremental effects resulting fromt he combined influences of various actions are assessed
-ie. single actions may be considered insignificant but incremental effects may be significant
it is required by law "the environmental effects.. and any cumulative effects that are likely to result from the project in combination with other projects or activities that have been or will be carried out