Course Description

Substance of Environmental Assessment


The goal of the course is to provide participants with an overview of the technical aspects of environmental assessments (EA) of designated projects under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) when the Agency is the responsible authority and/or when the Agency supports an EA conducted by a review panel. The course will describe the environmental effects (section 5) and factors that must be taken into account (section 19) in an EA, as well as the Agency’s policy and guidance on these subjects. Using a fictitious case study, participants will apply the EA Framework (scoping, analysis, mitigation, determining significance and follow-up) as it pertains to the development of high-quality Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) which satisfy the requirements of the EIS Guidelines.

Ideal Participants

  • Individuals who are or will be involved with the EA of a designated project under CEAA 2012 for which the Agency is the responsible authority and/or when the Agency supports an EA conducted by a review panel
  • EA practitioners from industry, such as proponents and consultants
  • Federal departments and agencies as well as provincial and territorial governments that provide expert advice in EAs process or are involved in coordinated EA
  • Indigenous groups and members of the public interested in gaining a better understanding of the technical aspects of EA (e.g., cumulative effects)

Outcomes and Benefits

This course will:

  • provide an understanding of information requirements for Project Descriptions and how it supports the determination if an EA is required made by the Agency;
  • help participants comprehend the EIS Guideline requirements, including format, content and adequacy; and
  • understand how the analysis presented by the proponent and all other parties involved in the EA process leads to EA Decisions.


Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • familiarize themselves with the EA Framework and its application in meeting the legislative requirements of CEAA 2012;
  • apply the principles of the Agency’s Operational Policy Instruments in developing high-quality EIS (e.g., alternative means); and
  • using a fictitious case study, complete a series of activities which will help participants in the selection of Valued Components, the analysis of environmental effects, the selection of mitigation measures, the determination of significant environmental effects, and the design of follow-up programs.

Course Duration

Two days