Notice of amendment: Municipal Class Environmental Assessment

ERO number
Notice type
Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Bulletin posted
Last updated

This notice is for informational purposes only. There is no requirement to consult on this initiative on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. Learn more about the types of notices on the registry.

Bulletin summary

We have amended the Municipal Class Environment Assessment to better align assessment requirements with potential environmental impacts, including conditional exemptions for certain low-risk projects. This posting provides information on those changes and brings those changes into effect.

Why consultation isn't required

Consultation is not required under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 because class environmental assessments are not classified instruments.

This notice is being posted in accordance with subsection 15.4(7) of the Environmental Assessment Act which provides that amendments to a class environmental assessment come into effect upon the publication of a notice of the amendment in the Environmental Registry.

Information on the proposed amendments to the class environmental assessments, including the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment, was posted on the registry at and on The public had an opportunity to provide comments directly to the ministry on the proposed amendments from July 8 to August 22, 2020.

Please note that this notice only applies to the amendments made to the municipal class environmental assessment.

Bulletin details

Modernization of Ontario’s environmental assessment program

Ontario is taking action to streamline and modernize its almost 50-year-old environmental assessment process that is too slow, unnecessarily burdensome and costly to build Ontario while continuing to protect the environment.

We are making sensible, practical changes that would provide environmental oversight while reducing delays to get shovels in the ground on projects that matter most to Ontario communities.

As part of modernizing the environmental assessment program, we are making changes to the class environmental assessment process to ensure strong environmental oversight while reducing delays on infrastructure projects that matter most to Ontario communities.

These changes include; conditionally exempting certain low-risk, routine municipal road, water and wastewater projects from requiring an environmental assessment to better align assessment requirements with potential environmental impact. These exemptions will reduce duplication and streamline the process for municipal projects, while maintaining strong environmental oversight and protection.

Changes were also made to incorporate the amendments that were made to the Environmental Assessment Act in 2019 and 2020 to correct errors, update references and names, and to improve the clarity of the document. The ministry also modified some of amendments that were originally proposed by the Municipal Engineers Association in response to concerns from the public, municipalities, agencies, and Indigenous communities.

2023 amendments to the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment

These amendments consider the feedback we heard from Indigenous communities, proponents, stakeholders and other agencies. The changes include:

  • changing the environmental assessment requirements for some projects to better align requirements with the potential environmental impacts of the project and reduce any duplication and improve clarity and consistency, including:
    • making some projects eligible for exemption based on the results of an archaeological screening process, which is described below
    • exempting projects that are needed because of an emergency
    • updating cost thresholds, consistent with provisions in the existing Municipal Class Environmental Assessment and the Environmental Assessment Act
    • exempting some transit projects that are already exempt through O. Reg. 231/08 (Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings) to ensure consistency.
  • improving the clarity of the list of projects by reorganizing the projects under subheadings and clarifying some project descriptions
  • modernizing consultation requirements by allowing municipalities to develop their own custom notification procedures without a notification by-law
  • updating the class environmental assessment to address the amendments made to the Environmental Assessment Act in 2019 and 2020 and updating references to outdated legislation, policies and programs, correct errors and improve the clarity of the document.

Archaeological screening process

Based on input from Indigenous communities and the Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism (formerly the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport), we incorporated a new archaeological screening process that proponents will have to complete to determine if a low-risk project is exempt. This will ensure that archaeological resources are considered before a project proceeds. Please see Appendix A of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment for more information on the new archaeological screening process.

Consultation on amendments to the municipal class environmental assessment

In 2019, we invited proponents to review their class environmental assessments and to propose changes to better align assessment requirements with environmental risk and eliminate duplication. Following consultation with Indigenous communities, municipalities, and government agencies, changes were made to improve the environmental assessment program, as it applies to municipal infrastructure projects.

We consulted with the public on the proposed Municipal Class Environmental Assessment amendments from July 8 to August 22, 2020.

Following this consultation, we:

  • conducted a detailed technical review of the specific amendments in consultation with technical staff across the ministry
  • considered the comments submitted on the proposal by Indigenous communities, stakeholders, and government agencies

Additional details

This notice is being published to bring the amendments into effect. A summary of the reasons for the amendments are set out in the Notice of Amendments.

Please refer to the 2023 Municipal Class Environmental Assessment and the Notice of Amendments in the “Related files” section below to review the approved amendments and the reasons for making the amendments. All proponents are encouraged to review the amended listing of projects, schedules and the transition provisions to assess how the amendments may affect their projects.

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