Internal Services Directive

Federal Environmental Assessment of Projects

PURPOSE

  • To identify, assess and mitigate the potential impacts that projects at the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) may have on human health and the environment
  • To formalize the process for environmental assessment and evaluation of projects and/or activities to ensure that procedures and responsibilities are compliant with the CEAA

APPLICATION

Applies to all projects that involve the construction, operation, modification, decommissioning, abandonment or other activity related to physical work at all CSC properties, facilities and institutions

NOTE

This document does not constitute part of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA) or its Regulations. In the event of inconsistency or conflict between the CEAA and this document, the CEAA takes precedence. This directive is an administrative document intended to facilitate compliance by CSC with the CEAA, the Regulations and the applicable associated policies. This document is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the interpretation of the CEAA or Regulations. Questions about legal obligations or responsibilities under the CEAA or Regulations should be referred to CSC legal counsel.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. 1. The Director, Environmental Protection Programs, or his/her delegates, on behalf of the Director General, Technical Services and Facilities, are responsible for:
    1. approving all Environmental Assessments (EA) and Environmental Effects Evaluations (EEE) conducted on national projects
    2. initiating, coordinating and overseeing all EAs, in cooperation with the Regional Coordinators, Environmental Programs, conducted on national projects
    3. when warranted, communicating and providing advice on federal EA and EEE requirements to national, regional and/or institutional Project Leaders
    4. maintaining an internal inventory of all CEAA Pre-Screening Checklists, EAs and EEEs conducted on CSC projects
    5. preparing annual reports to Parliament as stipulated in the CEAA.
  2. The Regional Coordinators, Environmental Programs, or their delegates are responsible for:
    1. a. when warranted, communicating and providing advice on EA and EEE requirements to regional and/or institutional Project Leaders
    2. b. approving all EEEs conducted on institutional and regional projects
    3. c. initiating, coordinating and overseeing all EAs conducted on institutional and regional projects
    4. d. submitting, twice yearly, the findings of all EEEs and EAs conducted on institutional and regional projects.
  3. The CSC or CORCAN Project Leaders are responsible for:
    1. ensuring that all projects for which they are accountable and that involve the construction, operation, modification, decommissioning, abandonment or other activity related to a built structure or physical work undergo a CEAA Pre­Screening Checklist (CEAA, 2012 Pre-Screening Checklist – refer to CSC form 1265-05) prior to the initiation of the project
    2. if warranted, initiating, coordinating and overseeing the EEEs for all projects for which they are responsible
    3. ensuring that on-site work does not begin until the required EEE or EA has been approved by the respective Regional Coordinator, Environmental Programs, or the Director, Environmental Protection Programs
    4. implementing mechanisms and procedures for monitoring and reporting of EA and EEE practices related to projects
    5. ensuring that copies of all final documents relating to the EA and EEE process are sent to the CSC’s Regional and National Headquarters.

PROCEDURES

General Requirements

  1. CSC must meet all of its obligations under the CEAA and its Regulations.
  2. Third parties retained by CSC (e.g., Public Works and Government Services Canada, external consultants, etc.) to complete aspects of the EA or EEE process under the CEAA must adhere to this Internal Services Directive. This information must be included in contracts or agreements.
  3. Where a project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be justified (even when mitigation measures are in place), CSC must first obtain the permission of the Governor in Council (GIC) before proceeding with the project.
  4. CSC will not have to determine significant adverse environmental effects before the project proceeds on federal lands if the project is:
    1. related to matters of national security
    2. in response to a national emergency for which special temporary measures are being taken under the Emergencies Act, or
    3. in response to an emergency and carrying out the project without delay is in the interest of preventing damage to property or the environment or is in the interest of health or safety.
  5. Under no circumstance, other than those listed above, will anyone acting on behalf of CSC allow a project to proceed if it has been identified as requiring an EA or EEE.

Specific Requirements

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 Pre Screening Checklist

  1. Prior to initiating or funding any project that involves the construction, operation, modification, decommissioning, abandonment or other activity in relation to a physical work that has a fixed location and is not intended to be moved, the Project Leader must complete and sign the CEAA, 2012 Pre-Screening Checklist (CSC form 1265-05).
  2. If the Checklist (Part 2) determines that the project is a designated physical activity, a federal EA under section 13 of the CEAA is required. The Project Leader must promptly contact the Regional Coordinator, Environmental Programs, or the Director, Environmental Protection Programs, in order to initiate the federal EA process.
  3. If the Checklist (Part 3) determines that the project requires an EEE pursuant to section 67 of the CEAA, the Project Leader must contact either the Regional Coordinator, Environmental Programs, (for institutional and regional-level projects) or the Director, Environmental Protection Programs, (for national-level projects) in order to initiate the EEE process.
  4. If the Checklist determines that the project does not require an EA or an EEE, it is strongly recommended that the Project Leader include, at a minimum, all of the applicable suggested mitigation measures (Annex 3) into the project’s design and/or specifications and ensure adherence with the mitigation measures. It should be noted that this list is not comprehensive and the project may require additional mitigation measures.
  5. Once completed, the Project Leader must forward the signed Checklist to Gen-NHQCEAA@csc-scc.gc.ca for record-keeping and reporting purposes.
  6. The Director, Environmental Protection Programs, and/or his/her delegates will review and file all CEAA, 2012 Pre­Screening Checklists. The Director, Environmental Protection Programs, may still request that a project undergo an EA or EEE regardless of the environmental screening decision.

Federal Environmental Assessment of Projects

* Please note that the process for the Federal Environmental Assessment of Projects is governed and controlled by the Canadian Environmental Assessment (CEA) Agency.

  1. Pursuant to section 13 of the CEAA, all designated projects are subject to a federal EA.
  2. Pursuant to paragraphs 84(a) and (e) of the CEAA, refer to the Regulations Designating Physical Activities (SOR/2012-147) for a list of projects that require a federal EA.
  3. CSC must submit a description of the proposed project to the CEA Agency for all projects that are listed in the Regulations Designating Physical Activities (SOR/2012-147) and that are likely to require a federal EA.
  4. Project descriptions submitted to the CEA Agency must be done pursuant to the Prescribed Information for the Description of a Designated Project Regulations (SOR/2012-148).
  5. Upon receipt of CSC’s complete project description, the CEA Agency has 10 days to comment on the project description followed by 45 days to determine if a federal EA is required. This determination will be based on the potential for environmental effects in areas of federal jurisdiction.
  6. If the CEA Agency decides that a federal EA is warranted, CSC must submit an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the CEA Agency based on a project-specific guidance document that the CEA Agency prepares for CSC.
  7. Upon receipt of the EIS, the CEA Agency will conduct the EA. It has 365 days from the start of the EA to render its final decision. This timeline does not include the time CSC spent preparing and revising the project description and EIS.
  8. At the end of a federal EA, the CEA Agency determines whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, taking into account mitigation measures that were identified during the EA.
  9. The CEA Agency decision statement sets out the decision and associated conditions with which CSC must comply. Failure to fulfill the conditions in a decision statement is a violation of the CEAA, 2012.
  10. Enforcement officers will verify compliance. The Minister of the Environment may also seek an injunction to stop activities that violate CEAA, 2012 or to prevent such violations. Contraventions of the CEAA, 2012, can result in significant fines.
  11. Follow-up programs outlined by the CEA Agency are mandatory after all federal EAs. These programs are intended to verify the accuracy of the predictions regarding potential environmental effects and to determine if mitigation measures are working as intended.
  12. The Project Leader will be responsible for ensuring that all mitigation measures outlined in the federal EA are implemented and that the follow-up program is strictly adhered to.

Environmental Effects Evaluation of Projects

  1. For projects on federal lands that are not classified as designated projects pursuant to the Regulations Designating Physical Activities (SOR/2012-147), section 67 of CEAA,  2012 requires that before federal authorities make any decision that would allow a project to proceed, they must determine whether a project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
  2. EEEs may be conducted by a third party retained by CSC (e.g., PWGSC, consultants); however, CSC remains legally responsible for determining whether a project is likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects.
  3. EEEs must be conducted, at a minimum, according to the following process:
    1. a project description must be documented in the EEE report. The project description should characterize, within the scope of project and for each life-cycle phase (e.g., construction, operation, decommissioning, etc.), the following:
      1. physical structure(s)
      2. resource requirements
      3. construction methods
      4. schedule
      5. energy use/emissions
      6. discharges
    2. an environmental description must be documented in the EEE report with the appropriate level of detail and based on the agreed-upon scope of factors. The environmental description should characterize, at a minimum, the following:
      1. the site’s aquatic and terrestrial environment
      2. surrounding natural environments
      3. all sensitive aquatic or terrestrial ecosystems
      4. any avian, terrestrial or aquatic species and/or their habitat that is covered by the Species at Risk Act, the Fisheries Act or the Migratory Birds Convention Act
      5. the site’s socio-economic and cultural environment
      6. any structure or entity present on the site that is of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance
      7. all potential effects or indirect environmental effects that the project may have on any of the above
    3. formal public consultation should occur if public and/or Aboriginal interest in the environmental impacts of the project exists or may exist. CSC must consult with potentially affected Aboriginal communities if the project’s environmental effect may have an impact on Aboriginal rights or treaty rights
    4. once potential environmental effects have been identified, described and predicted, the mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate adverse effects must be documented. Consideration should be given to the technical and economic feasibility to implement these mitigation measures
    5. for each environmental effect that is predicted, a conclusion must be made on the significance of each effect. The conclusion must be based on the “residual effects” that are predicted to remain after the effective application of the mitigation measures
    6. CSC must decide whether a follow-up program is required. Under the CEAA , 2012, follow-up is not a legal requirement for  EEEs.
  4. Upon completion of the EEE, CSC must draw an overall final decision on the significance of residual environmental effects that are likely to occur, taking into account the implementation of identified mitigation measures.
  5. If the project is to be carried out, the mitigation measures identified in the report are to be incorporated into the design plans and implemented.
  6. The project, analysis and conclusions of the EEE must be referred to the Governor in Council (GIC) if any of the following are met and if CSC still wishes to proceed with the project:
    1. the project is likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects, taking into account the effective application of appropriate mitigation measures
    2. uncertainty exists over whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, taking into account effective application of appropriate mitigation measures, or
    3. public concern that cannot be addressed by the EEE exists.
  7. The GIC will review the findings and decide whether or not the environmental effects are justified in the circumstances. CSC must ensure that the GIC has all relevant information to make its decision.
  8. For projects referred to the GIC, the Director, Environmental Protection Programs, must prepare a Memorandum to Cabinet (MC) outlining the rationale of whether the environmental effects are justified or not.

Data Management and Reporting

Records

  1. A project file for an EA or EEE must be maintained for every project from the beginning of the EA or EEE until the completion of any follow-up program, or, for EEE projects that do not include a follow-up program, until CSC has made its decision on the significance of environmental effects.
  2. The material to be maintained in the project file will typically be retained with the Project Leader. A hard or an electronic copy of the EA and the EEE will be warehoused with CSC-NHQ Environmental Programs and the RHQ Environmental Programs for review and reference purposes.
  3. The following must be maintained for a minimum of five years, in a project file for every EA and EEE project undertaken by CSC:
    1. all records included on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet Site (CEARIS) (for federal  EAs only)
    2. the project’s CEAA, 2012 Pre-Screening Checklist (CSC form 1265-05)
    3. any documentation relating to the EA or EEE
    4. any comments filed by the public in relation to the EA or EEE
    5. any records relating to the need for, design of or implementation of any follow-up program
    6. any documents identifying mitigation measures to be implemented.

Reporting

  1. At the end of each fiscal year, the Director, Environmental Protection Programs, on behalf of the Director General, Technical Services and Facilities, will prepare a report that summarizes CSC’s activities on federal lands.
  2. The Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services, will annually submit a report, through the CEA Agency, to be tabled in Parliament, that summarizes CSC's activities on federal lands, as stipulated in the CEAA.

ENQUIRIES

  1. Strategic Policy Division
    National Headquarters
    Email: Gen-NHQPolicy-Politi@csc-scc.gc.ca

Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services,

Original Signed by:

Liette Dumas-Sluyter

ANNEX A

CROSS-REFERENCES AND DEFINITIONS

CROSS-REFERENCES

CD 318 – Environmental Programs

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency:
http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca

Emergencies Act:
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/PDF/E-4.5.pdf

Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry:
http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/index_e.cfm

Prescribed Information for the Description of a Designated Project Regulations:
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2012-148/index.html

Regulations Designating Physical Activities:
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2012-147/index.html

DEFINITIONS

The following definitions apply to this Internal Services Directive. For additional definitions, refer to the above-mentioned Regulations and authorities.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet Site (CEARIS): an information system established in accordance with the CEAA to facilitate public access to records relating to environmental assessments conducted under the CEAA or its regulations. The Registry consists of an Internet site and a project file. The Registry must be maintained throughout the duration of an environmental assessment.

Designated project: one or more physical activities that:

  1. are carried out in Canada or on federal lands
  2. are designated by regulations pursuant to paragraph 84(a) or designated in an order made by the Minister pursuant to subsection 14(2) of the CEAA
  3. are linked to the same federal authority as specified in those regulations or that order.

It includes any physical activity that is incidental to those physical activities.

Environment: as defined in the CEAA, "environment" means the components of the Earth, and includes:

  1. land, water and air, including all layers of the atmosphere
  2. all organic and inorganic matter and living organisms
  3. the interacting natural systems that include components referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b).

Environmental assessment (EA): an assessment of the environmental effects of a designated project that is conducted in accordance with the CEAA.

Environmental effects: as defined in the CEAA, "environmental effect" means:

  1. any change that the project may cause in the environment, including any change it may cause to a listed wildlife species, its critical habitat or the residences of individuals of that species, as those terms are defined in subsection 2(1) of the Species at Risk Act
  2. any effect of any change referred to in paragraph (1) on:
    1. health and socio-economic conditions
    2. physical and cultural heritage
    3. the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by aboriginal persons, or
    4. any structure, site or thing that is of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance.

Environmental effects evaluation (EEE): an internal type of environmental assessment that is usually conducted for projects that are not designated projects, but that could still potentially cause significant adverse environmental effects. The EEE process systematically evaluates and documents the anticipated environmental effects of a proposed project and determines the need to modify the project plan or recommend further mitigation to eliminate or minimize the adverse environmental effects.

Environmental effects evaluation (EEE) report: an EEE report usually contains a description of the project, the scope of project and assessment, and identification of the environmental effects, proposed mitigation measures, and the likely significance of the residual effects. It can also contain information on the analysis methodology, the public participation methods and results and the follow-up program, if appropriate.

Governor in Council (GIC): the Governor General of Canada acting by, and with the advice and consent of, the Queen's Privy Council for Canada (i.e., Cabinet).

Indirect environmental effect: a secondary environmental effect that occurs as a result of a change that a project may cause in the environment. An indirect effect is at least one step removed from a project activity in terms of cause-effect linkages. For instance, a river diversion for the construction of a hydro power plant could directly result in the destruction of fish habitat causing a decline in fish population. A decline in fish population could result in closure of an outfitting operation causing loss of jobs. Thus, the river diversion could indirectly cause the loss of jobs.

Mitigation: "mitigation" means, in respect of a project, the elimination, reduction or control of the adverse environmental 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.

Project leader: CSC or CORCAN staff member who acts as the project’s knowledgeable client representative and who is responsible for coordinating and monitoring aspects of the project such as the scope, schedule, approvals, budget and overarching strategy.

Physical work: anything that has been or will be constructed (human-made) and has a fixed location.

Project: “project” means a physical activity that is carried out on federal lands or outside Canada in relation to a physical work and is not a designated project.

ANNEX B

SAMPLE STANDARD MITIGATION MEASURES

Disposal of Wastes

Implement waste management plan and prevent rubbish and waste materials from being buried on site.

Prevent disposal of waste or volatile materials, such as mineral spirits, oil or paint thinner into waterways, storm or sanitary sewer.

Waste oil and batteries shall be disposed of as hazardous waste through a licensed hazardous waste disposal company within the province.

All construction wastes must be recycled where possible or otherwise disposed of appropriately.

Contractor shall prepare a waste management plan to deal with non-hazardous waste.

Vehicular Access and Parking

Prevent contamination of access roads. Immediately scrape up debris or material on access roads which is suspected to be contaminated; transport and place into designated area.

Vehicles/equipment shall be in good working order, undergo daily inspections, and not be leaking any fuel or fluids.

Confine construction equipment/vehicles to the access roads and project area to minimize impacts to vegetation.

Restrict access of vehicles from creek banks to protect slope stability.

During construction, designated fuelling area(s) will be established. Equipment refueling operations must take place at least 30 metres from any watercourses on a prepared impermeable surface with a collection system.

Drainage

Provide temporary drainage and pumping as necessary to keep excavations and site free from water.

Do not allow any water from the excavation to enter into waterways, sewer or drainage systems.

Control disposal or runoff of water containing suspended materials or other harmful substances in accordance with local authority requirements.

Do not direct water flow in a manner which would cause erosion to existing areas.

Surface Water Quality

Materials and equipment shall be operated and stored in a manner that prevents deleterious substances (e.g., petroleum products, silt, etc.) as defined by the Fisheries Act from entering surface water.

Site Clearing and Plant Protection

Protect trees and plants on site and adjacent properties.

Wrap in burlap, trees and shrubs adjacent to construction work, storage areas and trucking lanes, and encase with protective wood framework.

Protect roots of designated trees during excavation and site grading to prevent disturbance or damage. Avoid unnecessary traffic, dumping and storage of materials over root zones.

Minimize stripping of topsoil and vegetation.

Wherever possible, exposed soil will be replanted or sodded to ensure soil stabilization.

Work Adjacent to Waterways

Do not operate construction equipment in waterways.

Do not dump excavated fill, waste material or debris in waterways.

Design and construct temporary crossings to minimize erosion to waterways.

Avoid indicated spawning beds when constructing temporary crossings of waterways.

Pollution Control

Maintain temporary erosion and pollution control features.

Control emissions from equipment and plant to local authorities' emission requirements.

Prevent sandblasting, lead paint removal and other extraneous materials from contaminating air and waterways beyond removal/application area, by providing temporary enclosures.

Cover or wet down dry materials and rubbish to prevent blowing dust and debris. Provide dust control for temporary roads.

Comply with requirements of Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) regarding use, handling, storage and disposal of hazardous materials; and regarding labeling and provision of MSDS acceptable to Labour Canada.

Spills or Release of Deleterious Substances

Immediately contain, limit spread and clean up and report in accordance with provincial regulatory requirements.

Adequately sized spill kits will be kept on-site during all project phases.

Have an Environmental Emergency Spill Response Plan on site at all times and staff trained accordingly.

Historical/ Archaeological Control

Provide procedures for identifying and protecting historical, archaeological, cultural resources, biological resources and wetlands known to be on project site: and/or identify procedures to be followed if historical archaeological, cultural resources, biological resources and wetlands not previously known to be onsite or in area are discovered during construction.

Species at Risk

Should a species at risk be encountered, the contractor must stop work and contact Departmental Representative for direction.

Fish and Fish Habitat

All materials and equipment used shall be operated and stored in a manner that prevents any deleterious substance (e.g., petroleum products, silt, etc.) as defined by the Fisheries Act from entering the surface water.

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.