Editorial: New environmental assessment rules proposed for Canada – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – February 13, 2018)

http://www.northernminer.com/

On Feb. 8 Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna introduced the 341-page Bill C-69, which seeks to comprehensively alter the current federal legislation guiding the environmental review and regulation of large resource projects in Canada, such as pipelines, oilsands extraction and mines.

Bill C-69 is named An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. The tortuous title is a first hint as to how much extra regulatory burden will be added to an already cumbersome and slow permitting process for major resource projects in Canada.

The heart of the bill is the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), which would replace the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act put in place in 2012 by the previous Conservative-led government in a bid to streamline environmental permitting by reducing duplication of efforts by provincial and federal regulators.

Under the IAA, the existing Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) would be replaced by the new Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

On the face of it, the IAA would seem to speed up the permitting process in that it would reduce the current legislated timelines for reviewing projects from 365 days to a maximum of 300 days for assessments led by the review agency, and from 720 days to a maximum of 600 days for assessments led by a review panel.

For the rest of this editorial: http://www.northernminer.com/environment/editorial-new-environmental-assessment-rules-proposed-canada/1003794018/

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