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.
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 Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities, was posted on the Environmental Registry under ERO # 019-1712 and on Ontario.ca. 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 Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities.
Modernizing assessment requirements for transmission line projects
The ministry has been working to improve the environmental assessment program, as it applies to minor transmission facilities, to better align assessment requirements with potential environmental impact.
The changes we made allow routine and low-risk refurbishments to existing transmission lines and temporary transmission lines projects, such as the replacement of damaged and aging wood poles, to be exempt from requiring an environmental assessment subject to an archaeological screening process.
- align assessment requirements with potential environmental impact
- streamline the process for certain transmission line projects
- maintain strong environmental oversight and protection
This will help to get these projects started sooner so communities can benefit from reliable and cost-effective electricity services while protecting the environment and archaeological resources.
We also made changes to:
- incorporate the amendments that were made to the Environmental Assessment Act in 2019 and 2020
- correct errors
- update references and names
- improve the clarity of the document
- modify some of the amendments that were originally proposed by Hydro One in response to concerns from stakeholders, agencies and Indigenous Communities
Consultation on amendments to the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities
In 2019, we invited proponents to review their class environmental assessments to propose changes to better align assessment requirements with environmental risk and eliminate duplication.
Following consultation with Indigenous communities, stakeholders, general public and government agencies, changes were proposed to improve the environmental assessment program, as it applies to minor transmission facility projects.
We consulted with the public on the proposed amendments to the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities from July 8 to August 22, 2020.
Following this consultation, the ministry undertook a detailed technical review of the specific amendments and considered the comments submitted on the proposal by Indigenous communities, stakeholders and government agencies. No comments were received from the general public.
2022 Amendments to the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities
The amendments to the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities consider the feedback heard from Indigenous communities, proponents, stakeholders and other agencies. The changes include:
- changing the environmental assessment requirements for certain transmission line projects to better align requirements with the potential environmental impacts of the project, improve clarity and consistency, including:
- making temporary transmission line projects (less than 50 km) and refurbishments to existing transmission lines (up to 45 poles or structures) eligible for an exemption based on the results of an archaeological screening process, which is described below
- clarifying that responding to an emergency is exempt, consistent with other Class Environmental Assessments
- minor administrative updates which include:
- updates to naming conventions, acronyms, references to recent legislative changes and the addition and deletion of certain definitions consequential to other amendments
- increasing the time-lapse provision (the time between filing the Class EA with the ministry and initiation of construction) to ten years from the previous five years to prevent delays in project implementation
- clarifying that emergency situations include imminent risk of failure with the potential to cause a power disruption or safety or environmental hazards
- clarifying Class EA screening process criteria and example projects where the screening process may be applied
- minor updates to the description of telecommunication stations to clarify that although typical, some telecommunication stations may not have an actual tower present
Archaeological screening process
Based on input from Indigenous communities and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, we incorporated a new archaeological screening process that proponents will have to complete to determine if temporary transmission lines and refurbishments of existing transmission line projects are eligible for exemption.
This will ensure that archaeological resources are considered before a project proceeds.
Please see Appendix I of the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities for more information on the new archaeological screening process.
These amendments to the Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities are additional to the amendments to update thresholds that came into effect on January 1, 2022.
This notice is being published to bring the amendments into effect. Please refer to the July 2022 amended Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities, available in the Supporting materials section of this notice. It incorporates all of the approved amendments.
We encourage all proponents to review the amended Class Environmental Assessment and the transition provisions to assess how the amendments may affect project requirements.
View materials in person
Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.
Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.
135 St Clair Ave West
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