Municipal Class EA Process
The Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) is an approved process that municipalities must follow under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. Class EA projects are classified in terms of schedules (A, B or C) depending on the degree of impact to the environment:
- Schedule A projects include normal or emergency operational and maintenance activities. Environmental impacts of these projects are usually minimal and; therefore, they are considered pre-approved.
- Schedule B projects involve improvements and minor expansions to existing facilities. There is some potential for adverse environmental impacts and; therefore, these projects go through a screening process including public consultation.
- Schedule C projects involve the construction of new facilities and major expansions to existing facilities. These projects must go through the entire EA planning process.
Phases of the Municipal Class EA Process
Importance of Public Consultation
Consultation early in and throughout the process is a key component of environmental assessment planning. While the Class EA establishes minimum requirements only, most proponents develop public consultation plans that exceed the minimum.
Members of the public who have concerns about the potential environmental effects of a project or the planning process being followed, have a responsibility to bring their concerns to the attention of the proponent early in the planning process, when the proponent has greater flexibility to accommodate changes in the project development and the process.