Policy and Guidance

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) has several resources to help you understand the federal government’s environmental assessment process. These policies and guides help explain environmental assessments:

You can also get more information about environmental assessment by:

The Agency also developed guidance and information on projects on federal lands and outside Canada under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

Public Comment Opportunities

We are asking users of our policy and guidance material to send us feedback on this online information through the user feedback webpage.

Your comments and suggestions will help us improve this material.

In addition, targeted public comment opportunities are offered on specific documents. These opportunities are listed below as they become available.

Current Opportunities

  • None at this time

Past Opportunities

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

The documents listed below provide guidance on federal environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

Operational Policy Statements
Assessing Cumulative Environmental Effects under CEAA 2012
Addressing “Purpose of” and “Alternative Means” under CEAA 2012
Determining Whether a Designated Project is Likely to Cause Significant Adverse Environmental Effects under CEAA 2012
Information Requests and Timelines
Technical Guidance
Guide to Preparing a Description of a Designated Project under CEAA 2012
Technical Guidance for Assessing Cumulative Environmental Effects Under CEAA 2012
Technical Guidance for Assessing Physical and Cultural Heritage or any Structure, Site or Thing that is of Historical, Archeological, Paleontological or Architectural Significance under CEAA 2012
Technical Guidance for Assessing the Current Use of Lands and Resources for Traditional Purposes under the CEAA 2012
Reference Guides
Cost Recovery for Environmental Assessments by Review Panels under CEAA 2012
Participant Funding Program – National Program Guidelines under CEAA 2012
Participant Funding Program Application Forms under CEAA 2012
Practitioners Glossary for the Environmental Assessment of Designated Projects Under CEAA 2012
Considering Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Assessments conducted under CEAA 2012
Designating a Project under CEAA 2012
Screening Process under CEAA 2012

Former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

All documents related to environmental assessments under the former Act (2010) are kept for the completion of transitional environmental assessments commenced prior to CEAA 2012. Some information contained in the documents may still be of interest to those undertaking environmental assessments under CEAA 2012, provided that they have not been replaced by an updated version in the previous table.

Procedural Guides
Cumulative Effects Assessment Practitioners Guide
Addressing Cumulative Environmental Effects
Incorporating Climate Change Considerations in Environmental Assessment: General Guidance for Practitioners
Determining Whether A Project is Likely to Cause Significant Adverse Environmental Effects
Assessing Environmental Effects on Physical and Cultural Heritage Resources
Operational Policy Statements
Adaptive Management Measures under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Addressing Cumulative Environmental Effects under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
[for environmental assessments under CEAA 2012 see updated guidance]
Addressing "Need for", "Purpose of" "Alternatives to" and "Alternative Means" under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
[for environmental assessments under CEAA 2012 see updated guidance]
Follow-up Programs under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Public Participation
Public Participation Guide
Ministerial Guideline on Assessing the Need for and Level of Public Participation in Screenings under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Other
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act: An Overview
A Guide on Biodiversity and Environmental Assessment
Glossary
[for environmental assessments under CEAA 2012 see updated guidance]
Considering Aboriginal traditional knowledge in environmental assessments conducted under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act -- Interim Principles
[for environmental assessments under CEAA 2012 see updated guidance]

Strategic Environmental Assessment

The Cabinet Directive represents the official policy on strategic environmental assessment of the Government of Canada. As such, all Government of Canada departments and agencies that are developing policy, plan and program proposals are obligated to implement the Cabinet Directive consistent with the guidelines for implementing the Cabinet Directive.

Policy
Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals and Guidelines
Guidance on Public Statements for Federal Departments and Agencies