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DRAFT GUIDELINES FOR THE
PREPARATION OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

Pursuant to the
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

for the
Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project

Proposed by
Port Metro Vancouver

November 8, 2013

Table of Contents

DISCLAIMER

This document is not a legal authority, nor does it provide legal advice or direction; it provides information only, and must not be used as a substitute for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) or its regulations. In the event of a discrepancy, the CEAA 2012 and its regulations prevail. Portions of CEAA 2012 have been paraphrased in this document, but will not be relied upon for legal purposes.

Part 1 - Background

1 INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this document is to identify for the proponent the information requirements for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a designated project1 to be assessed pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). This document specifies the nature, scope and extent of the information required.

It is the responsibility of the proponent to provide sufficient data and analysis on any potential changes to the environment to permit a thorough evaluation of the environmental effects of the project by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency). The EIS Guidelines set out minimum information requirements. It is the proponent's responsibility to provide any additional information required to assess the environmental effects of the project. Except where specified by the Agency, the proponent has the discretion to select the most appropriate methods to compile and present data, information and analysis in the EIS.

2 GUIDING PRINCIPLES

2.1 Environmental assessment as a planning tool

Environmental Assessment (EA) is a planning tool used to ensure that projects are considered in a careful and precautionary manner in order to avoid or mitigate the possible adverse effects of projects on the environment and to encourage decision makers to take actions that promote sustainable development.

2.2 Public Participation

One of the purposes of CEAA 2012 is to ensure opportunities for meaningful public participation during an EA. CEAA 2012 requires that the Agency provide the public with an opportunity to participate in the EA and an opportunity to comment on the draft EA report.

The overall objective of meaningful public participation is best achieved when all parties have a clear understanding of the proposed project as early as possible in the review process. The proponent is required to provide current information about the project to the public and especially to the communities likely to be most affected by the project.

2.3 Aboriginal Consultation

One of the purposes of CEAA 2012 is to promote communication and cooperation with Aboriginal peoples, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis. To work toward this goal, the proponent will ensure that it engages with Aboriginal people and groups that may be affected by the project or that have potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests in the project area, as early as possible in the project planning process. The proponent is strongly encouraged to work with Aboriginal groups in establishing an engagement approach. In addition, the Aboriginal persons involved will have access to relevant information that allows them to understand the proposed project and to determine its impacts on their rights and interests. The proponent will make reasonable efforts to integrate "traditional Aboriginal knowledge" that will contribute to the assessment of environmental impacts.

Information gathered through the EA process and associated engagement by the proponent and consultation by government with Aboriginal peoples will be used to inform decisions under CEAA 2012. This information will also inform the Crown's understanding of the potential adverse impacts of the project on potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests, and the effectiveness of measures proposed to avoid or minimise those impacts.

3 PREPARATION AND PRESENTATION OF THE EIS

3.1 Agency Guidance

The proponent is encouraged to consult relevant Agency Policy and Guidance2 on topics to be addressed in the EIS. The proponent is further encouraged to consult with the Agency and federal authorities (see section 3.4.1) during the planning and development of the EIS materials.

3.2 Study Strategy and Methodology

The proponent is expected to respect the intent of the EIS Guidelines and to consider the effects that are likely to arise from the project (including situations not explicitly identified in these guidelines), the technically and economically feasible mitigation measures that will be applied, and the significance of any residual effects. It is possible that the EIS Guidelines may include matters that, in the judgement of the proponent, are not relevant or significant to the project. If such matters are omitted from the EIS, the proponent will clearly indicate it and the justification for their conclusion provided so that the Agency, federal authorities, Aboriginal groups, the public and any other interested party have an opportunity to comment on this decision. Where the Agency disagrees with the proponent's decision, it may require the proponent to provide the specified information.

In describing methods, the proponent will document how it used scientific, engineering, traditional and local knowledge to reach its conclusions. Wherever professional judgement or expert input is asserted, the name(s) and qualifications of the individual(s) making that judgement and the criteria that judgment is based on will be provided. Assumptions will be clearly identified and justified. All data, models and studies will be documented such that the analyses are transparent and reproducible. All data collection methods will be specified. The uncertainty, reliability and sensitivity of models used to reach conclusions must be indicated.

All significant gaps in knowledge and understanding related to key conclusions presented in the EIS must be identified. The steps to be taken by the proponent to address these gaps will also be identified. Where the conclusions drawn from scientific and technical knowledge are inconsistent with the conclusions drawn from traditional knowledge, the EIS will contain a balanced presentation of the issues and a statement of the proponent's conclusions.

3.3 Integration of EA, Aboriginal and Public Consultation Information

In preparing the EIS, the proponent is encouraged to integrate Aboriginal and public consultation outcomes into the consideration and mitigation of environmental effects at the appropriate EA analytical steps shown on the next page (Figure 1). The proponent will ensure that public and Aboriginal concerns are well documented in the EIS. The proponent will identify and explain all unresolved questions or concerns as part of its analysis of the impacts of the project as well as any related next steps or further action to be taken to resolve these issues.

This information will help the Crown assess adequacy of consultation with Aboriginal groups, as set out in the Updated Guidelines for Federal Officials to Fulfill the Duty to Consult (2011)3.

Figure 1. Integration of environmental assessment, Aboriginal and public consultation information into the Environmental Impact Statement
Figure 1. Integration of environmental assessment, Aboriginal and public consultation information into the Environmental Impact Statement

3.4 Use of Information

3.4.1 Scientific Advice

Section 20 of CEAA 2012 requires that every federal authority with specialist or expert information or knowledge with respect to a project subject to an EA make that information or knowledge available to the Agency. The Agency will advise the proponent of the availability of any pertinent information or knowledge so that it can be incorporated into the EIS, along with, as appropriate, expert and specialist knowledge provided by other levels of government.

3.4.2 Community Knowledge and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge

Sub-section 19(3) of CEAA 2012 states that "the environmental assessment of a designated project may take into account community knowledge and Aboriginal traditional knowledge". For the purposes of these guidelines, community knowledge and Aboriginal traditional knowledge refers to knowledge acquired and accumulated by a community or an Aboriginal community, through generations of living in close contact with nature.

The proponent will incorporate into the EIS the community and Aboriginal traditional knowledge to which it has access or that is acquired through Aboriginal engagement activities, in keeping with appropriate ethical standards and without breaking obligations of confidentiality, if any. Agreement should be obtained from Aboriginal groups regarding the use, management and protection of their existing traditional knowledge information during and after the EA.

3.4.3 Existing Information

In preparing the EIS, the proponent is encouraged to make use of existing information relevant to the project. However, when relying on existing information to meet requirements of the EIS Guidelines, the proponent will either include the information directly in the EIS or clearly direct the reader to where it may obtain the information (i.e., through cross-referencing). When relying on existing information, the proponent will also comment on how the data have been applied to the project, clearly separate factual lines of evidence from inference, and state any limitations on the inferences or conclusions that can be drawn from the existing information.

3.4.4 Confidential Information

In implementing CEAA 2012, the Government of Canada is committed to promoting public participation in the environmental assessment of projects and providing access to the information on which environmental assessments are based. All documents prepared or submitted by the proponent or any other stakeholder in relation to the environmental assessment are included in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry (CEAR) and made available to the public on request. For this reason, the EIS will not contain

  • information that is sensitive or confidential (i.e., financial, commercial, scientific, technical, personal, cultural or other nature), that is treated consistently as confidential, and the person affected has not consented to the disclosure, or
  • information that may cause harm to a person or harm to the environment through its disclosure.

The proponent will consult with the Agency regarding whether specific information requested by these guidelines will be treated as confidential.

3.5 Presentation and Organization of the EIS

To facilitate the identification of the documents submitted and their placement in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry (CEAR), the title page of the EIS and its related documents will contain the following information:

  • project name and location
  • title of the document, including the term "environmental impact statement"
  • subtitle of the document
  • name of the proponent
  • the date

The EIS will be written in clear, precise language. A glossary defining technical words, acronyms and abbreviations will be included. The proponent will provide charts, diagrams, tables, maps and photographs, where appropriate, to clarify the text. Perspective drawings that clearly convey the various components of the project will also be provided. Wherever possible, maps will be presented in common scales and datum to allow for comparison and overlay of mapped features.

For purposes of brevity and to avoid repetition, cross-referencing is preferred. The EIS may make reference to the information that has already been presented in other sections of the document, rather than repeating it. The exception to this preference is the cumulative effects assessment, which should be provided in a stand-alone section as described in section 12.1.2. Detailed studies (including all relevant and supporting data and methodologies) will be provided in separate appendices and will be referenced by appendix, section and page in the text of the main document of the EIS. The EIS will explain how information is organized in the document. This will include a list of all tables, figures, and photographs referenced in the text of the EIS. A complete list of supporting literature and references will also be provided. A Table of Concordance which cross references all respective sections containing the information presented in the EIS with the information requirements identified in the EIS Guidelines will be provided. The proponent will provide copies of the EIS and its summary for distribution, including paper and electronic version in an unlocked, searchable PDF format, as directed by the Agency.

Part 2 – Content and Structure of the EIS

4 SUMMARY OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

The proponent will prepare a summary of the EIS in both of Canada's official languages (French and English) to be provided to the Agency at the same time as the EIS and which will include the following:

  • a concise description of all key components of the project and related activities
  • a summary of the consultation conducted with Aboriginal groups, the public, and government agencies, including a summary of the issues raised and the proponent's responses
  • an overview of the key environmental effects of the project and proposed technically and economically feasible mitigation measures and any residual environmental effects
  • the proponent's conclusions on the residual environmental effects of the project and the significance of adverse environmental effects after taking mitigation measures into account

The summary is to be provided as a separate document and should follow the outline provided below:

  1. Introduction and environmental assessment context
  2. Project overview
  3. Scope of project and assessment
  4. Alternative means of carrying out the project
  5. Public and Aboriginal engagement
  6. Summary of environmental effects assessment
  7. Mitigation measures
  8. Proposed significance conclusions

The summary will have a sufficient level of detail for the reader to learn and understand the entire project, potential impacts, mitigation measures proposed by the proponent, the residual and cumulative effects, and conclusions regarding their significance.

5 INTRODUCTION AND PROJECT OVERVIEW

5.1 Geographical Setting

The EIS will contain a description of the geographical setting in which the project will take place. This description will focus on those aspects of the project and its setting that are important in order to understand the potential environmental effects of the project. The description will address the natural and human elements of the environment as well as explain the interrelationships between the biophysical environment and people and communities. The following information will be included:

  • UTM coordinates of the main project site;
  • the land and water lot area requirements and acquisitions, including those required for temporary and permanent works;
  • current land use in the area and the relationship of the project facilities and components with any federal lands;
  • environmental significance and value of the geographical setting in which the project will take place and the surrounding area;
  • environmentally sensitive areas, such as national, provincial and regional parks, ecological reserves, wetlands, estuaries, and habitats of federally or provincially listed species at risk and other sensitive areas;
  • local and Aboriginal communities; and
  • Aboriginal traditional territories, treaty lands, Indian reserve lands.

The EIS will provide a description and mapping of the project location, including each of the project components as outlined in section 5.6 of this document.

Maps of the project's location at an appropriate scale will accompany the text. The location map should include the boundaries of the proposed site including UTM coordinates, the major existing infrastructure, adjacent land uses and any important environmental features. In addition, site plans/sketches and photographs showing project location, site features and the intended location of project components will be included.

5.2 Regulatory Framework and the Role of Government

To understand the context of the EA, this section will identify, for each jurisdiction, the government bodies involved in the EA as well as the EA processes. More specifically identify:

  • any federal power duty or function to be exercised that may permit the carrying out (in whole or in part) of the project or associated activities
  • environmental and other specific regulatory approvals and legislation that are applicable to the project at the federal, provincial, regional and municipal levels
  • any differences in the scope of assessment between the federal and provincial environmental assessments for this proposed project and include a concordance table which lists the locations within the EIS where specific provincial requirements are addressed
  • government policies, resource management, planning or study initiatives pertinent to the project and EA and discuss their implications
  • whether a request will be made to Transport Canada's Marine Safety Directorate to undertake the TERMPOL review process4
  • any self-government agreements with Aboriginal groups that are pertinent to the project or EA
  • any relevant Land Use Plans, Land Zoning, Community Plans, or Aboriginal communities' plans or initiatives
  • a summary of the objectives, standards or guidelines that have been used by the proponent to assist in the evaluation of any predicted environmental effects

The submission of additional regulatory and technical information, necessary for federal authorities to make their regulatory decisions during the conduct of the environmental assessment is at the discretion of the proponent. Although that information is not necessary for the EA decision, the proponent is strongly encouraged to submit it concurrent with the EIS to ensure timely completion of regulatory reviews.

5.3 Participants in the Environmental Assessment

Clearly identify the main participants in the EA including jurisdictions other than the federal government, Aboriginal groups, community groups, and environmental organizations.

5.4 The Proponent

The proponent will

  • provide contact information (e.g. name, address, phone, fax, email),
  • identify itself and the name of the legal entity that would develop, manage and operate the project,
  • explain corporate and management structures, as well as insurance and liability management related to the project,
  • specify the mechanism used to ensure that corporate policies will be implemented and respected for the project,
  • summarize key elements of its environment, health and safety management system and discuss how the system will be integrated into the project, and
  • identify key personnel, contractors, and sub-contractors responsible for preparing the EIS.

5.5 Purpose of the Project

The proponent will describe the purpose of the project by providing the rationale for the project, explaining the background, the problems or opportunities that the project is intended to satisfy and the stated objectives from the perspective of the proponent. If the objectives of the project are related to, or

contribute to broader private or public sector policies, plans or programs, this information will also be included. The proponent should also include reference to any current opportunities and limitations that are guiding project development such as limited windows of opportunity for development due to economic or environmental concerns.

5.6 Project Components

The EIS will describe the project and present the project components, associated and ancillary works, and other characteristics that will assist in understanding the environmental effects. This description of the project components will include:

  • the approach channel, harbour basin, and berth areas for the marine terminal and tug basin (including area and size, location, and orientation to existing terminals);
  • the marine terminal (including the three berth wharf) and tug basin, and all associated infrastructure, ancillary systems and support facilities (including size, dimensions, location, design criteria, and construction development plans);
  • the container storage yard including installation of utility and electrical infrastructure, container handling equipment (e.g. electric stacking cranes), and paved surfaces;
  • the rail intermodal yard, including the installation of utility and electrical infrastructure, container handling equipment (e.g. rail-mounted gantry cranes), and rail tracks;
  • permanent and temporary linear infrastructures (including description and size of road, railroad, pipelines, power supply), identifying the route of each of these linear infrastructures, the location and types;
  • causeway expansion for both road and rail improvements and upgrades (including size, location, design criteria and construction plans);
  • water management, including infrastructure for drinking water, industrial water, wastewater treatment and discharge (e.g. site water run-off, ballast and bilge water management and options for disposal);
  • marine traffic (including number, type, size, weight and capacity of vessels including approximate timing of arrivals and departures at the marine terminal and tug basin);
  • cargo traffic (including type, tonnage, and storage time in the terminal for goods handled), data is to be provided separately for imports, exports, ship-to-ship transfers, and land-to-land transfers;
  • road and rail traffic (including number, type, size, weight and capacity of trucks and trains including approximate timing of arrivals and departures); and
  • permanent and temporary works related to the construction phase of the project, including the sediment transfer pit (including size, location, source, type and volume of sediments to be stored).

The EIS will include maps and bathymetric surveys, at an appropriate scale, of the project location, the land and water lot area requirements, boundaries of the proposed side with UTM coordinates, major existing infrastructure, adjacent land uses and any important environmental features.

5.7 Project Activities

The EIS will include expanded descriptions of the construction, operation, maintenance, foreseeable modifications, and where relevant, restoration of sites and facilities associated with the proposed project.

This would include detailed descriptions of the activities to be carried out during each phase, the location of each activity, expected inputs and outputs and an indication of the activity's magnitude and scale.

Although a complete list of project activities is required, the emphasis will be on activities with the greatest potential to have environmental effects. Sufficient information will be included to predict environmental effects and address public and Aboriginal groups' concerns identified. Highlight activities that involve periods of increased environmental disturbance or the release of materials into the environment.

Included in the EIS will be a detailed schedule including time of year, frequency, and duration for all project activities.

The following information will be provided:

  • dredging activities (including any maintenance dredging anticipated), specifying the surface area, types and volumes of sediment to be dredged, dredging methods (e.g. type of dredge, dredging depth, duration, frequency), sediment management plans (land and aquatic), and sediment transport methods of materials to/from disposal at sea location(s) and transfer pit location;
  • site preparation activities for the construction of the marine terminal and expansion of the tug basin (including berth areas) and causeway, blasting requirements (if any), installation of fill and mattress rock, water diversion(s) requirements, construction of perimeter and interior containment dikes, levelling, drilling, soil densification, pre-loading and compaction;
  • construction methods for the development of the marine terminal including the three berth wharf structure (including caisson installation, backfilling and soil densification, installation of rip-rap, pile dredging, and sheet piling);
  • construction methods and dimensions for anchorage areas at the main terminal and in the navigation channel, if any;
  • construction methods for causeway rail improvements including construction of rail sub-ballast structures, ties, rails and ballast for new tracks and rail intermodal yard, tie-in of new lead tracks to existing mainline , and relocation of existing rail tracks;
  • construction methods for causeway road improvements including construction of new access roads, overpass, and associated utilities (e.g. water main, electrical);
  • installation and operation of lighting for all project components;
  • power requirements for all project components, including for ship to shore power supply, if any;
  • fueling and maintenance activities for marine vessels, locomotives, trucks, and cargo handling equipment;
  • decommissioning of any construction-related temporary facilities;
  • post-construction cleanup and on-site grounds reclamation;
  • disposal at sea activities (including location, type and volume of sediments to be disposed, method of disposal);
  • utilities (sanitary sewer, fire water, potable water, electical distribution, substations, fibre optic controls);
  • fish habitat compensation plan and associated works (if any); and
  • wetland compensation plan and associated works (if any).

6 SCOPE OF PROJECT

The scope of project for the purposes of the EA includes the components (section 5.6), physical activities (section 5.7) and federal decisions (section 5.2). The proponent will consider all the components, activities and decisions identified in these sections as part of the effects assessment.

Based on information received in the project description from the proponent, the Agency defines the scope of project to be assessed as the construction, operation and decommissioning of the following project components:

  • approach channel for both the marine terminal and tug basin
  • harbour basin for both the marine terminal and tug basin
  • berths for both the marine terminal and tug basin
  • marine terminal, including the container storage yard, intermodal yard, and linear infrastructure
  • tug basin
  • causeway expansion, including land, rail and road additions and alterations
  • temporary works necessary for project construction
  • dredging, site preparation, earthmoving, compacting, drilling, and blasting activities (if any)
  • disposal at sea and sediment transfer pit location(s)
  • marine, road and rail transportation within the port's jurisdiction
  • cargo
  • water management systems

Finally, it is understood that some elements of the project must still be defined and that it will be necessary to include in the scope of the project, among other things, the environmental mitigation and compensation measures that would require the construction and management of works that may cause effects (e.g. sills, spits, upstream and downstream migration works for fish, temperature control structures, minimum flow control structures and management).

7 SCOPE OF ASSESSMENT

7.1 Factors to be Considered

7.1.1 Valued Components

Valued Components (VCs) refer to attributes of the physical, biophysical and human environment that may be affected by the project that have been identified to be of concern by the proponent, government agencies, Aboriginal peoples and the public. The value of a component not only relates to its role in the ecosystem, but also to the value placed on it by people.

The proponent will identify the VCs deemed appropriate to ensure the full consideration of the factors listed in subsection 19(1) of CEAA 2012 as well as the 2012 amendment to section 79 of the Species at Risk Act. As a minimum, the proponent must consider the list of environmental components provided in section 9.1 of this document. The final list of VC to be presented in the EIS will be completed according to the evolution and design of the project and reflect the knowledge acquired on the environment through public and Aboriginal consultations. The proponent will describe how the VCs were selected and what methods were used to predict and assess the adverse environmental effects of the project on these components.

The VCs will be described in sufficient detail to allow the reviewer to understand their importance and assess the potential for environmental effects arising from the project activities. The rationale for selecting these components as VCs and for excluding others will be stated. Challenges may arise regarding particular exclusions, so it is important to document the information and the criteria used to make each determination. Examples of justification include primary data collection, computer modelling, literature references, public consultation, expert input or professional judgement. If comments are received on a component that has not been included as a VC, these comments will be summarised and addressed in this section.

For consultations associated with the identification of VCs, the proponent will identify those VCs, processes, and interactions that either were identified to be of concern during any workshops or meetings held by the proponent or that the proponent considers likely to be affected by the project. In doing so, the proponent will indicate to whom these concerns are important and the reasons why, including Aboriginal, social, economic, recreational, and aesthetic considerations. The proponent will describe any issues raised or comments noted regarding the nature and sensitivity of the area within and surrounding the project and any planned or existing land and water use in the area. The proponent will also indicate the specific geographical areas or ecosystems that are of particular concern to interested parties, and their relation to the broader regional environment and economy.

7.1.2 Effects of Potential Accidents or Malfunctions

The proponent will list and identify probability of potential accidents and malfunctions related to the project, including an explanation of how those events were identified, potential consequences (including the environmental effects), the plausible worst case scenarios and the effects of these scenarios.

The geographical and temporal boundaries for the assessment of malfunctions and accidents may be different than those in the scope of factors for each VC. This will include an identification of the magnitude of an accident or malfunction, including the quantity, mechanism, rate, form and characteristics of the contaminants and other materials likely to be released into the environment during the accident and malfunction events.

The EIS will also describe the safeguards that have been established to protect against such occurrences and the contingency/emergency response procedures in place if accidents or malfunctions do occur and the efficacy of those respective plans. Detailed contingency and response plans will be presented.

7.1.3 Effects of the Environment on the Project

The EIS will take into account how local conditions and natural hazards, such as severe or extreme weather conditions and external events (e.g. flooding, landslides, erosion, subsidence, fire, and seismic events) could adversely affect the project and how this in turn could result in impacts to the environment (e.g., extreme environmental conditions result in malfunctions and accidental events). These events will be considered in different probability patterns (i.e. 5-year flood vs. 100-year flood). Longer-term effects of climate change will also be discussed up to the projected post-closure phase of the project. This discussion will include a description of climate data used.

The EIS will provide details of a number of planning, design and construction strategies intended to minimize the potential environmental effects of the environment on the project.

7.2 Scope of the Factors

Scoping establishes the boundaries of the EA and focuses the assessment on relevant issues and concerns. The spatial and temporal boundaries used in the EA may vary depending on the VC.

7.2.1 Spatial Boundaries

The EIS will clearly indicate the spatial boundaries to be used in assessing the potential adverse environmental effects of the proposed project and provide a rationale for each boundary. It is recognized that the spatial boundaries for each VC may not be the same.

Spatial boundaries will be defined taking into account as applicable the appropriate scale and spatial extent of potential environmental effects, community and Aboriginal traditional knowledge, current land and resource use by Aboriginal groups, ecological, technical and social and cultural considerations. The description of the project setting will be presented in sufficient detail to address the relevant environmental effects of the project.

The proponent is advised to consult with the Agency, federal and provincial government departments and agencies, local government and Aboriginal groups, and take into account public comment when defining the spatial boundaries used in the EIS.

7.2.2 Temporal Boundaries

The temporal boundaries of the EA will span all phases of the project: construction, operation, maintenance, foreseeable modifications, and where relevant, restoration of sites affected by the project. Temporal boundaries will also consider variations related to VCs for all phases of the project, where appropriate. Community and Aboriginal traditional knowledge should factor into decisions around appropriate temporal boundaries.

If the temporal boundaries do not span all phases of the project, the EIS will identify the boundaries used and provide a rationale.

8 ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF CARRYING OUT THE PROJECT

The EIS will identify and consider the effects of alternative means of carrying out the project that are technically and economically feasible. The proponent will complete the following procedural steps for addressing alternative means:

  • Identify the alternative means to carry out the project.
    • Develop criteria to determine the technical and economic feasibility of the alternative means; and
    • Identify those alternative means that are technically and economically feasible, describing each alternative means in sufficient detail.
  • Identify the effects of each technically and economically feasible alternative means.
    • Identify those elements of each alternative means that could produce effects in sufficient detail to allow a comparison with the effects of the project.
  • Identify the preferred means.
    • Identify the preferred means based on the relative consideration of effects; and of technical and economic feasibility; and
    • Determine criteria to examine the effects of each remaining alternative means to identify the preferred means.

In its alternative means analysis, the proponent will address, at a minimum, the following project components:

  • location of the marine terminal within B.C.
  • location, orientation, and layout of the approach channel, harbour basin, and berth(s) for both the marine terminal and tug basin;
  • location, orientation, configuration and construction of the marine terminal and tug basin;
  • configuration and construction of the causeway and the road and rail corridors;
  • location and configuration of the sediment transfer pit;
  • alternative methods for dredging;
  • alternatives to disposal at sea of sediments; and
  • disposal at sea location(s).

9 BASELINE CONDITIONS

9.1 Existing Environment

9.1.1 Methodology

The EIS will include a description of the environment, including the components of the existing environment and environmental processes, their interrelations and interactions as well as the variability in these components, processes and interactions over time scales appropriate to the project. The description will be sufficiently detailed to characterize the environment before any disturbance to the environment due to the project and to identify and assess the significance of the potential adverse environmental effects of the project. This data should include results from studies done prior to any physical disruption of the environment due to initial site clearing activities. The information describing the existing environment may be provided in a stand-alone chapter of the EIS or may be integrated into clearly defined sections within the effects assessment of each VC. This analysis will include environmental conditions resulting from historical and present activities in the local and regional study area.

In describing the physical and biological environment, the proponent will take an ecosystem approach that considers both scientific and traditional knowledge and perspectives regarding ecosystem health and integrity. The proponent will identify and justify the indicators and measures of ecosystem health and integrity used for analysis and relate these to the identified VCs and proposed monitoring and follow-up measures.

For the biophysical environment, baseline data in the form of inventories alone are not sufficient to assess effects. The proponent will consider the resilience of relevant species populations, communities and their habitats. The proponent will summarize all pertinent historical information on the size and geographic extent of relevant species populations as well as density, based on best available information. Where little or no information is available, specific studies will be designed to gather further information on species populations, densities and the interrelations of these species to the ecosystem.

The proponent will make all reasonable efforts to gather information from any previous studies, and include this information in relevant portions of its baseline conditions.

Habitat at regional and local scales should be defined in ecological mapping of aquatic and terrestrial vegetation types and species (e.g. ecological land classification mapping). This mapping should include reference to Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping using the applicable provincial Resource Information Standards Committee (RISC) standards. Habitat use will be characterized by type of use (e.g. spawning, breeding, migration, feeding, nursery, rearing, wintering), frequency and duration. This assessment will consider all relevant variations for all VCs as appropriate. Emphasis will be on those species, communities and processes identified as VCs. However, the interrelations of these components and their relation to the entire ecosystem and communities of which they are a part will be indicated (e.g. population-level risk assessment). The proponent will address issues such as habitat, nutrient and chemical cycles, food chains, productivity, to the extent that they are appropriate to understanding the effect of the project on ecosystem health and integrity. Range and probability of natural variation over time will also be considered. The proponent will also examine changes in the distribution, populations, behaviour, and availability of wildlife, fish, and flora in the important context of implications to current use of lands and resources by Aboriginal peoples.

If the baseline data have been extrapolated or otherwise manipulated to depict environmental conditions in the study areas, modelling methods and equations will be described and will include calculations of margins of error and other relevant statistical information, such as confidence intervals and possible sources of error. Models that are developed should be validated using field data from the appropriate local and regional study areas.

Based on the scope of project described in section 0, the proponent will present the following baseline information to facilitate the identification of valued components for the purposes of the environmental assessment. Should other VCs be identified during the conduct of the EA, these will also be described in the EIS.

9.1.2 Air quality, noise, lighting and climate

As a minimum, the EIS will include the results of baseline surveys for the following:

  • ambient air quality, including the following contaminants: total suspended particulates, PM2.5, PM10, CO, SOx, VOCs, NOx, ground-level ozone, and any other identified mobile-source air toxins (i.e. acetaldehyde, acrolein, benzene, etc);
  • current ambient noise levels at key receptor points (e.g. local and Aboriginal communities, and seasonal residences), including the results of a baseline ambient noise survey. Information on typical sound sources, geographic extent and temporal variations will be included;
  • existing ambient night-time light levels at the project site, including spill-over light, nighttime glare from point light sources and sky glow, and at any other areas where project activities could have an effect on light levels. The EIS will describe night-time illumination levels during different weather conditions and seasons; and
  • multi-seasonal weather and climatic information including historical records and baseline information for precipitation, mean, max and min temperatures, air humidity, wind (duration, direction and forces), fog (frequency, duration), tidal fluctuations, storm surges, changes in sea level and extreme weather events.
9.1.3 Coastal Geomorphology

A coastal geomorphology study will be included in the EIS to determine how ocean waves, river and tidal currents, and sediment transport and erosion processes may be potentially impacted by the project and how, in turn, those potential impacts may alter the coastal processes and physical environment at Roberts Bank.

As a minimum, the EIS will include:

  • characterization, including maps at appropriate scales, and the results of multi-seasonal baseline surveys of the following, as appropriate:
    • bathymetry
    • surface and subsurface current patterns and velocities
    • waves (e.g. heights, direction and average length)
    • tides
    • other hydrodynamic processes
    • sediment transport and erosion patterns, including long shore drift processes
    • sediment budget (sources and sinks)
  • description and maps, at an appropriate scale, of major drainage basins (i.e. Fraser River), including watershed and sub-watershed boundaries, flood risk areas and wetlands, overlaid by key project components;
  • characterization of the hydrological regime of the Fraser River Estuary, including monthly, seasonal and annual water flow (freshet) data from the Fraser River;
  • a sediment transport model for the regional and local project areas as well as the disposal at sea location(s). The model should be verified against field measurements of currents and waves at relevant locations;
  • description of surficial geology and marine sediment including:
    • sediment types and classifications (i.e. grain size, porosity, thickness/density)
    • sediment quality and chemical composition including concentrations of trace elements (including persistent organic pollutants in marine sediments)
    • sediment stability and load bearing capacity of marine sediments/seabed in the project area (in situ measurements of bed shear stress, porosity, and sediment density)
    • sediment stability and load bearing capacity of materials to be used for fill (grain size, sediment porosity and density)
    • dendritic channels (locations and sizes)
  • geological hazards and geotechnical characteristics including:
    • history and potential impacts of seismic activity in the area
    • isostatic rise or subsidence
    • landslides, slope erosion and the potential for ground and rock stability, and subsidence following project activities, and
    • history and potential impacts of landslide-generated tsunamis and tsunamis related to earthquakes in the Cascadia subduction zone
9.1.4 Aquatic environment

As a minimum, the EIS will include:

  • the characterization of marine water quality, including the results of multi-seasonal baseline surveys, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen concentrations, available nitrogen, turbidity and salinity profiles, total suspended solids, and persistent organic pollutants and their concentrations (e.g. PAHs, PCBs, DDT);
  • a description of the physical, chemical and biological processes influencing the marine and estuarine ecosystems that could be effected by the project. Specific ecosystems described should at a minimum include those communities found in the intertidal, subtidal, and delta foreslope zones of the Roberts Bank/Fraser River Estuary (e.g. biofilm, benthic, eelgrass, sea pen colonies, sands and mudflats, and marsh communities);
  • a description of marine plants, including all benthic and detached algae, biofilm, eelgrass, marine flowering plants, brown algae, red algae, green algae and phytoplankton;
  • a description of any federally or provincially listed aquatic plant species;
  • a delineation and characterization of groundwater areas/sources including the locations of groundwater discharge and recharge areas;
  • a description of groundwater flow patterns and rates, including seasonal changes in groundwater flow; and
  • a description of local and regional potable groundwater sources including their current use and potential for future use;
9.1.5 Fish and fish habitat

Note that under CEAA 2012 and in this document, the definition of fish is the one from Section 2 of the Fisheries Act, which includes shellfish, crustaceans, and other marine animals. Habitat is defined in Section 34(1) of the Fisheries Act and includes: spawning grounds and nursery, rearing, food supply and migration areas on which fish depend directly or indirectly in order to carry out their life processes (i.e. food and forage).

To enable analysis of the projects effects, the EIS will document the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the fish and fish habitat likely to be directly or indirectly affected by the project.

As a minimum, the EIS will include:

  • a description of the hydrology, marine ecology, freshwater and marine biota, fish species, associated habitats and habitat distribution;
  • a characterization, including the results of baseline surveys, of fish populations (e.g. marine invertebrates, fish, and other marine animals) found in or migrating through the local and regional study areas. This should include species abundance, distribution, and life stage (e.g. zooplankton and benthic stages for marine invertebrates, juvenile and returning adult stages for salmonids, juvenile and adult stages for forage fish), and also include seasonal and annual variations;
  • a description of fish habitat by homogeneous section, including water depths, type of substrate (sediments), aquatic and riparian vegetation, and photos;
  • maps, at a suitable scale, indicating the surface area of potential or confirmed fish habitat for spawning, nursery, feeding, overwintering, migration routes. This information should be linked to water depths (bathymetry) to identify the extent of the fish habitat;
  • a description of predator-prey interactions for identified fish populations;
  • a description and location of species at risk (e.g. Southern Resident Killer Whale) that appear on federal and provincial lists and that are likely to be effected by the project,
  • the regional importance, abundance and distribution, including the results of baseline surveys, of any potentially effected species at risk; and
  • the residences, seasonal or local movements, movement corridors, habitat requirements, key habitat areas, designated or identified critical habitat and/or recovery habitat (where applicable) and general life history of species at risk that may occur in the project area, or be affected by the project
  • a characterisation of the contaminant loading in fish species and species at risk and the pathways of bio-accumulation, for those species whose contaminant loadings may be affected by the project. The results of baseline surveys should be included.
9.1.6 Birds wildlife and their habitat5

As a minimum, the EIS will include:

  • a description of any terrestrial ecosystems used by migratory birds and by federally or provincially listed species that are likely to be affected by the project as well as a description of the physical, chemical and biological processes influencing these terrestrial ecosystems;
  • abundance, distribution, and life stages of migratory and non-migratory birds in the area (including waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, marsh birds and other landbirds), including the results of baseline surveys;
  • a characterization of year-round migratory bird use of the area (e.g. over-wintering, spring migration, breeding season, fall migration), including results of baseline surveys;
  • areas of concentration of migratory birds, such as breeding, denning and/or wintering areas;
  • existing or proposed protected areas, special management areas, and conservation areas in the regional study area, including results of baseline surveys;
  • locations and extent of wetlands likely to be affected by project activities according to their location, size, type (wetland class and form), species composition and ecological function (Canadian Wetland Classification System, National Wetlands Working Group, 1997);
  • abundance and distribution of key plant, bird and wildlife communities that rely on wetlands;
  • abundance and distribution of submerged floating and emergent aquatic vegetation including biofilm and eelgrass;
  • a description of predator-prey interactions for migratory birds and federally or provincially listed bird and wildlife species;
  • a list of all potential or known species at risk that may be affected by the project (fauna and flora), using existing data and literature as well as surveys to provide current field data;
  • the regional importance, abundance and distribution of species at risk; and
  • residences, seasonal movements, movement corridors, habitat requirements, key habitat areas, designated or identified critical habitat and recovery habitat (where applicable) and general life history of species at risk that may occur in the project area, or be affected by the project
  • a description of the contaminant loading in migratory bird species and species at risk and the pathways of bio-accumulation, for those species whose contaminant loadings may be affected by the project. The results of baseline surveys, as appropriate, should be included.
9.1.7 Human environment

Note: the description of the human environment for Aboriginal peoples is covered more specifically in the following subsection.

As a minimum, the EIS will include a description of:

  • the rural and urban settings likely to be affected by the project;
  • any federal lands, including submerged lands, and land or water located in the United States that may be affected by the project;
  • the current use of land in the study area, including a description of hunting, recreational and commercial fishing, trapping, gathering, outdoor recreation, use of seasonal cabins, outfitters;
  • current use of all waterways and water bodies that will be directly affected by the project, including recreational uses;
  • location of and proximity of any permanent, seasonal or temporary residences or camps;
  • health6 and socio-economic conditions, including the functioning and health of the socio-economic environment, encompassing a broad range of matters that affect communities in the study area in a way that recognizes interrelationships, system functions and vulnerabilities; and
  • physical and cultural heritage, including structures, sites or things of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance.
9.1.8 Aboriginal peoples

With respect to Aboriginal peoples that might be affected by the project, at a minimum, the EIS will include a description of:

  • general health conditions and demographics based on publicly available information;
  • drinking water sources (permanent and seasonal, periodic, or temporary);
  • reliance on country foods;
  • any other relevant exposure pathways that could affect health;
  • general social and economic conditions of the community/Aboriginal group;
  • location of reserves and communities;
  • commercial harvesting activities (e.g. fishing, trapping, hunting, forestry, outfitting);
  • recreational uses of the project area;
  • traditional uses currently practiced that could be affected by the project;
  • places where fish, wildlife and plants are harvested;
  • fish, wildlife and plants of importance for traditional use;
  • access and travel routes for conducting traditional practices;
  • location of hunting camps and cabins;
  • location of traditional territory;
  • ancillary benefits to the traditional practices including transfer of culture and language;
  • physical and cultural heritage7 (including any site, structure or thing of archaeological, paleontological, historical or architectural significance); and
  • culturally important sites, structures, objects and viewscapes (e.g. burial sites, spiritual places).

With respect to potential effects on Aboriginal peoples and the related VCs, baseline information will be provided for each Aboriginal group identified. The EIS will also indicate how input from Aboriginal groups was used in establishing the baseline conditions related to health and socio-economics, physical and cultural heritage and current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes. Other information or factors of importance to Aboriginal groups should be reflected as necessary.

9.2 Potential or Established Aboriginal Rights and Related Interests

For the purposes of developing the EIS, the proponent will engage with Aboriginal groups whose potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests may be affected by the project, which include at a minimum the following groups:

  • Tsawwassen First Nation;
  • Musqueam First Nation;
  • Semiahmoo First Nation;
  • Tsleil-Waututh Nation; and
  • Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group (Stz'uminus First Nation, Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Lake Cowichan First Nation, Lyackson First Nation, Penelakut Tribe).

In preparing the EIS, the proponent will ensure that Aboriginal groups, especially those most likely to be affected by the project, have access to timely and relevant information that they require in respect of the project and how the project may adversely impact them.

For the above-named Aboriginal groups, the proponent will hold meetings and facilitate these by making key EA summary plain language documents (baseline studies, EIS and key findings) accessible. At a minimum, the EIS will summarize available information on the potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests of the above-named Aboriginal groups that have the potential to be adversely impacted by the project. As part of this summary, the EIS will include for each Aboriginal group:

  • background information and a map of the group's asserted traditional territory
  • a summary of engagement activities conducted prior to the submission of the EIS, including the date and means of engagement (e.g. meeting, mail, telephone)
  • information on each group's potential or established rights (including geographical extent, nature, frequency, timing), including maps and data sets (e.g. fish catch numbers) when this information is provided by a group to the proponent
  • an overview of key comments and concerns provided by each group to the proponent;
  • responses provided by government and the proponent, as appropriate
  • future planned engagement activities
  • efforts undertaken to engage with Aboriginal groups as part of developing the information identified above

The proponent will describe all efforts, successful or otherwise, taken to solicit the information required to prepare the EIS.

There are additional Aboriginal groups that are expected to be less affected by the project and its related effects. These Aboriginal groups include:

  • Stó:l? Tribal Council (Seabird Island First Nation, Scowlitz First Nation, Soowahlie Band, Kwaw'Kwaw'Apilt First Nation, Kwantlen First Nation, Shxw'ow'hamel First Nation, Chawathil First Nation, Cheam Indian Band)
  • Stó:l? Nation (Aitchelitz First Nation, Leq'a:mel First Nation, Matsqui First Nation, Popkum First Nation, Skawahlook First Nation, Skowkale First Nation, Shxwha:y Village, Squiala First Nation, Sumas First Nation, Tzeachten First Nation, Yakweakwioose Band)
  • Métis Nation British Columbia

The proponent will make key EA summary documents (draft/final EIS, key findings, plain language summaries) accessible to these Aboriginal groups and ensure their views are heard and recorded.

The Agency will provide additional instructions to the proponent in cases where further research and engagement effort by the proponent is required to support Canada's ability to fulfil the duty to consult with one or more Aboriginal groups that may be adversely affected by the project.

Should the proponent have knowledge of potential adverse impacts to an Aboriginal group not appearing on the above list; the proponent will bring this to the attention of the Agency at the earliest opportunity.

10 EFFECTS ASSESSMENT

10.1 Environmental Effects

10.1.1 Methodology

The proponent will indicate the project's effects during construction, operation, maintenance, foreseeable modifications, and where relevant, restoration of sites and facilities associated with the project, and describe these effects using appropriate criteria. To the maximum extent possible, this documentation will include, for each potential project-related environmental effect, an indication of the nature of the effect, mechanism, magnitude, duration, frequency, geographic extent, and the degree to which it may be reversible. The proponent will consider both the direct and indirect, reversible and irreversible, short- and long-term environmental effects of the project. In predicting and assessing the project's effects, the proponent will indicate important details and clearly state the elements and functions of the environment that may be affected, specifying the location, extent and duration of these effects and their overall impact.

The assessment of the effects of each of the project components and physical activities, in all phases, will be based on a comparison of the biophysical and human environments between the predicted future conditions with the project and the predicted future conditions without the project. In undertaking the environmental effects assessment, the proponent will use best available information and methods. All conclusions will be substantiated. Predictions will be based on clearly stated assumptions. The proponent will describe how it has tested each assumption. With respect to quantitative models and predictions, the proponent will discuss the assumptions that underlie the model, the quality of the data and the degree of certainty of the predictions obtained.

Risk Assessment Framework

The proponent is expected to employ, where appropriate, standard ecological risk assessment frameworks that categorize the levels of detail and quality of the data required for the assessment. These tiers are as follows:

  • Tier 1: Qualitative (expert opinion, including traditional and local knowledge, literature review, and existing site information);
  • Tier 2: Semi-quantitative (measured site-specific data and existing site information); and,
  • Tier 3: Quantitative (recent field surveys and detailed quantitative methods).

Thus, if the Tier 2 assessment still indicates a potential for effects to VCs, a Tier 3 assessment may need to be conducted to reduce the level of uncertainty. If the risk characterization component is uncertain this may necessitate the probabilistic modelling of the population-level consequences of the proposed project.

Biophysical changes to the environment that may impact human health include changes to: air quality, water quality, noise levels, contaminants in country food sources, and radiation levels. Such changes in the biophysical environment, as described in Section 9 (Baseline Environment), can impact human health. When risks to human health due to changes in one or more of these components are predicted, a complete Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) examining all exposure pathways for pollutants of concern may be necessary to adequately characterize potential risks the human health.

Impact Matrix

An impact matrix methodology in combination with identification of VCs should be used to evaluate environmental effects of the proposed project, including those related to Aboriginal peoples. The assessment will include the following general steps:

  • identification of the activities and components of the project
  • predicting/evaluating the likely effects on identified valued components
  • identification of technically and economically feasible mitigation measures for any adverse environmental effects
  • conclusions regarding any residual environmental effects
  • ranking of each residual adverse environmental effect based on various criteria
  • conclusions of the potential significance of any residual environmental effect following the implementation of mitigation
Application of Precautionary Approach

In documenting the analyses included in the EIS, the proponent will:

  • demonstrate that all aspects of the project have been examined and planned in a careful and precautionary manner in order to ensure that they would not cause serious or irreversible damage to the environment, especially with respect to environmental functions and integrity, system tolerance and resilience, and the human health of current or future generations,
  • outline and justify the assumptions made about the effects of all aspects of the project and the approaches to minimize these effects,
  • ensure that in designing and operating the project, priority has been and would be given to strategies that avoid the creation of adverse effects,
  • develop contingency plans that explicitly address accidents and malfunctions, and
  • identify any proposed follow-up and monitoring activities, particularly in areas where scientific uncertainty exists in the prediction of effects.
10.1.2 Changes to the Environment

Section 5 of CEAA 2012 describes specific categories of direct and indirect environmental effects that will be considered in the EA (see Figure 2). However, to be able to assess these categories of environmental effects, a complete understanding of the changes the project will cause to the environment is required, including changes that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to any federal decisions that would permit the project to be carried out.

Figure 2. 'Environmental effects' under CEAA 2012.
Figure 2. "Environmental effects" under CEAA 2012.

The EIS will describe any change that may be caused by the project (as scoped in section 0 of this document) on the environment, which is defined as the components of the Earth, including:

  • land, water and air, including all layers of the atmosphere,
  • all organic and inorganic matter and living organisms, and
  • the interacting natural systems that include the components described above.

These descriptions will be integrated into the effects assessment sections of each VC included in the EIS.

Changes to components of the environment within federal jurisdiction

The EIS will include a stand-alone section that summarises those changes that may be caused by the project on the components of the environment listed in paragraph 5(1)(a) of CEAA 2012, namely fish and fish habitat, aquatic species and migratory birds.

Changes to the environment that would occur on federal or transboundary lands

The EIS will include a stand-alone section that summarises changes the project may cause to the environment on federal lands or lands outside the province in which the project is to be located (including outside of Canada).

Changes to the environment that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to federal decisions

As the project requires one or more federal decisions identified in section 5.2, the EIS will also include a stand-alone section that summarizes changes that may be caused by the project on the environment that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to these decisions.

10.1.3 Effects of changes to the Environment
Effects of changes to the environment on Aboriginal peoples

From the perspective of the proponent, the EIS will describe the effects of any changes the project may cause to the environment, with respect to Aboriginal peoples, on health and socio-economic conditions, physical and cultural heritage, the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes, or any structure, site or thing that is of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance.

Effects of changes to the environment that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to federal decisions

In relation to the changes to the environment that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to federal decisions identified in section 5.2, the EIS will also include a stand-alone section that describes the effects of these changes on health and socio-economic conditions, physical and cultural heritage, or any structure, site or thing that is of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance, other than as they pertain to Aboriginal peoples (who are considered in the previous section).

10.2 Adverse Impacts on Aboriginal Rights and Related Interests

The EIS will describe, from the perspective of the proponent, the potential adverse impacts of the project on the ability of Aboriginal peoples to exercise the potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests identified in section 9.1.2. As part of this description, this section will summarise:

  • Potential adverse impacts (on potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests) that were identified through the environmental effects described in sections 10.1.2 and 10.1.3
  • Specific issues and concerns raised by Aboriginal groups in relation to the potential adverse impacts of the project on potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests;
  • VCs suggested for inclusion in the EIS by Aboriginal groups, whether or not those factors were included, and the rationale for any exclusions;
  • Where and how Aboriginal traditional knowledge or other Aboriginal views were incorporated into the consideration of environmental effects and potential adverse impacts on potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests; and
  • Efforts undertaken to engage with Aboriginal groups as part of collecting the information identified above.

The assessment of the potential adverse impacts of each of the project components and physical activities, in all phases, will be based on a comparison of the exercise of the identified rights between the predicted future conditions with the project and the predicted future conditions without the project. It is recommended that the impact matrix methodology described in section 10.1.1 be adapted for this purpose.

10.3 Public Concerns

This section will detail public concerns raised in relation to the project, including through public consultation conducted prior to the preparation of the EIS, and community knowledge that may have been provided.

11 MITIGATION

11.1 Environmental Mitigation

11.1.1 Methodology

Every EA conducted under CEAA 2012 will consider clear, enforceable measures that are technically and economically feasible and that would mitigate any significant adverse environmental effects of the project. As a first step, the proponent is encouraged to use an approach based on the avoidance and reduction of the effects at the source. Such an approach may include the modification of the design of the project or relocation of project components.

The EIS will describe the standard mitigation practices, policies and commitments that constitute technically and economically feasible mitigation measures and that will be applied as part of standard practice regardless of location. The proponent will then describe its environmental protection plan and its environmental management system, through which it will deliver this plan. The plan will provide an overall perspective on how potentially adverse effects would be minimized and managed over time.

The EIS will then describe mitigation measures that are specific to each environmental effect identified in section 10.1. Measures will be written as specific commitments that clearly describe how the proponent intends to implement them. Where mitigation measures have been identified in relation to species listed under the Species at Risk Act or critical habitat, the mitigation measures will be consistent with any applicable recovery strategy and action plans.

The EIS will describe proponent commitments, policies and arrangements directed at promoting beneficial or mitigating adverse socio-economic effects. The EIS will further discuss the mechanisms the proponent would use to require its contractors and sub-contractors to comply with these commitments and policies and with auditing and enforcement programs.

The EIS will specify the actions, works, minimal disturbance footprint techniques, best available technology, corrective measures or additions planned during the project's various phases (construction, operation, modification, or other undertaking related to the project) to eliminate or reduce the significance of adverse effects. The impact statement will also present an assessment of the effectiveness of the proposed technically and economically feasible mitigation measures. The reasons for determining if the mitigation measure reduces the significance of an adverse effect will be made explicit.

The EIS will indicate what other technically and economically feasible mitigation measures were considered, including the various components of mitigation, and explain why they were rejected. Trade- offs between cost savings and effectiveness of the various forms of mitigation will be justified. The EIS will identify who is responsible for the implementation of these measures and the system of accountability.

Where mitigation measures are proposed to be implemented for which there is little experience or for which there is some question as to their effectiveness, the potential risks and effects to the environment should those measures not be effective will be clearly and concisely described. In addition, the EIS will identify the extent to which technology innovations will help mitigate environmental effects. Where possible, it will provide detailed information on the nature of these measures, their implementation, management and the development of the Follow-up Program as described in section 11.4.

Adaptive management is not considered a valid mitigation measure, but if the Follow-up Program indicates that corrective action is required, the proposed approach for managing the response should be identified.

11.1.2 Summary of Environmental Mitigation

In addition, the EIS will summarise the mitigation measures, follow-up and related commitments identified to address the categories of environmental effects specified in section 10:

  • changes to components of the environment within federal jurisdiction
  • changes to the environment that would occur on federal or transboundary lands
  • changes to the environment that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to federal decisions
  • effects of changes to the environment on Aboriginal peoples
  • effects of changes to the environment that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to federal decisions

11.2 Measures to Address Impacts on Aboriginal Rights

This section will describe, from the perspective of the proponent, the measures identified to mitigate the potential adverse impacts of the project described in section 10.2 on the potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests identified in section 9.1.2. These measures will be written as specific commitments that clearly describe how the proponent intends to implement them. This description will include a summary of:

  • specific suggestions raised by Aboriginal groups for avoiding, reducing, mitigating or otherwise accommodating the potential adverse impacts of the project on potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests in relation to environmental effects specified in sections 10.1.2 and 10.1.3
  • environmental mitigation and avoidance measures identified in section 11.1 that also serve to address potential adverse impacts on potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests
  • any potential cultural, social or economic impacts or benefits to Aboriginal groups that may arise as a result of the project
  • where and how Aboriginal traditional knowledge or other Aboriginal views were incorporated into the mitigation or avoidance of environmental effects of potential adverse impacts on potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests
  • efforts undertaken to engage with Aboriginal groups as part of developing the information identified above

In preparing the EIS, the proponent will ensure that Aboriginal people and groups have access to the information that they require in respect of the project and of how it may impact them. The proponent will describe all efforts, successful or not, taken to solicit the information required to prepare the EIS.

The proponent will structure its Aboriginal engagement activities to provide adequate time for Aboriginal groups to have reviewed the relevant information in advance and to ensure there are sufficient opportunities for individuals and groups to provide oral input in the language of their choosing. Consultation activities must be appropriate to the groups' needs and should be arranged through discussions with the groups.

11.3 Measures to Address Public Concerns

This section will describe measures identified for addressing public concerns in relation to the project identified in section10.3. Measures will be written as specific commitments that clearly describe how the proponent intends to implement them.

For any consultations undertaken with the general public, the EIS will describe the ongoing and proposed consultations and information sessions with respect to the project at the local, regional and provincial levels, where applicable. The EIS will provide a summary of discussions, indicate the methods used and their relevance, locations, the persons and organizations consulted, the concerns raised, the extent to which this information was incorporated in the design of the project as well as in the EIS, and the resultant changes. The proponent will also provide a description of efforts made to distribute project information

and provide a description of information and materials that were distributed during the consultation process.

11.4 Follow-Up Program

A Follow-up Program is designed to verify the accuracy of the effects assessment and to determine the effectiveness of the measures implemented to mitigate the adverse effects of the project. The EIS will describe the proposed Follow-up Program in sufficient detail to allow independent judgment as to the likelihood that it will deliver the type, quantity and quality of information required to reliably verify predicted effects (or absence of them), and to confirm both the assumptions and the effectiveness of mitigation. The Follow-up Program will include specific commitments that clearly describe how the proponent intends to implement them.

The Follow-up Program will be designed to incorporate baseline data, compliance data (such as established benchmarks, regulatory documents, standards or guidelines) and real time data (such as observed data gathered in the field). The proponent will describe the reporting methods to be used, including frequency, methods and format.

The effects predictions, assumptions and mitigation actions that are to be tested in the follow-up program must be converted into field-testable monitoring objectives. The monitoring design must include a statistical evaluation of the adequacy of existing baseline data to provide a benchmark against which to test for project effects, and the need for any additional pre-construction or pre-operational monitoring to establish a firmer project baseline.

The Follow-up Program will include a schedule indicating the frequency and duration of effects monitoring. This schedule is to be developed after an evaluation of the length of time needed to detect effects given estimated baseline variability, likely magnitude of environmental effect and desired level of statistical confidence in the results (Type 1 and Type 2 errors).

The description of the Follow-up Program will include any contingency procedures/plans or other adaptive management provisions as a means of addressing unforeseen effects or for correcting exceedances as required to comply or to conform to benchmarks, regulatory standards or guidelines.

The Follow up Program will also be designed to monitor the implementation of mitigation measures resulting from Aboriginal consultation, including:

  • verifying predictions of environmental effects with respect to Aboriginal peoples, as well as residual impacts that could not be addressed within the context of the EA
  • determining the effectiveness of mitigation measures as they relate to environmental effects with respect to Aboriginal peoples in order to modify or implement new measures where required
  • supporting the implementation of adaptive management measures to address previously unanticipated adverse environmental effects with respect to Aboriginal peoples or unanticipated adverse impacts to Aboriginal rights
  • verifying measures identified to prevent and mitigate potential adverse effects of the project on potential or established Aboriginal rights
  • providing information that can be used to improve and support future EAs and Aboriginal consultation processes

Where appropriate, the Follow-up Program can also encompass measures identified to address public concerns identified in section 11.3.

11.5 Proponent Commitments

Proponent commitments identified in the EIS, including environmental mitigation measures to address public and Aboriginal peoples concern, and Follow-up Program elements, may be considered for inclusion as conditions in the EA decision statement or as part of other compliance and enforcement mechanisms. Each commitment will be specific, achievable, measurable and verifiable, and described in a manner that avoids ambiguity in intent, interpretation and implementation.

12 RESIDUAL EFFECTS

12.1 Residual and Cumulative Environmental Effects

12.1.1 Residual Environmental Effects

After having established the technically and economically feasible mitigation measures, the EIS will present any residual environmental effects of the project on the biophysical and human environments after these mitigation measures have been taken into account. The residual effects, even if very small or deemed insignificant will be described.

12.1.2 Cumulative Environmental Effects

The proponent will identify and assess the project's cumulative effects using the approach described in the Agency's Operational Policy Statement Addressing Cumulative Environmental Effects under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act8.

Cumulative effects are defined as changes to the environment due to the project combined with the existence of other works or other past, present and reasonably foreseeable physical activities. Cumulative effects may result if,

  • implementation of the project being studied may cause direct residual adverse effects on the environmental components, taking into account the application of technically and economically feasible mitigation measures, and
  • the same environmental components may be affected by other past, present or reasonably foreseeable physical activities.

The EIS will describe the analysis of the total cumulative effect on a VC over the life of the project, including the incremental contribution of all current and proposed physical activities, in addition to that of the project. The EIS will include different forms of effects (e.g. synergistic, additive, induced, spatial or temporal) and identify impact pathways and trends.

The EIS will include a narrative discussion of existing projects in the vicinity of the proposed project. The narrative will include the description of any existing studies of changes to the environment resulting from those projects that are similar to potential changes resulting from the project, including any mitigation measures that were implemented, and any long term monitoring or follow up program that were conducted. The effectiveness of those mitigation measures and key results of monitoring or follow-up programs will be described. This narrative discussion should include historical data, where available and applicable, to assist interested parties to understand the potential effects of the project and how they may be addressed.

The cumulative effects assessment may consider the results of any relevant study conducted by a committee established under section 73 or 74 of CEAA 2012.

12.1.3 Summary of Residual Environmental Effects

In addition, the EIS will summarise the residual environmental effects (including cumulative environmental effects) identified in relation to the categories of environmental effects specified in sections 10.1.2 and 10.1.3 :

  • changes to components of the environment within federal jurisdiction
  • changes to the environment that would occur on federal or transboundary lands
  • changes to the environment that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to federal decisions
  • effects of changes to the environment on Aboriginal peoples
  • effects of changes to the environment that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to federal decisions

12.2 Outstanding Aboriginal Issues

This section will describe, from the perspective of the proponent, the potential adverse impacts on potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests that have not been fully mitigated as part of the environmental assessment and associated consultations with Aboriginal groups. This includes potential adverse impacts (on potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests) that may result from the residual and cumulative environmental effects described in section 10.2.

The information in this section will assist the Crown in assessing the adequacy of consultation and accommodation as set out in the Updated Guidelines for Federal Officials to Fulfill the Duty to Consult (2011)9.

12.3 Outstanding Public Concerns

This section will describe the outstanding public concerns in relation to the project that have not been resolved as a result of changes to the project, mitigation measures, or public consultation.

13 SIGNIFICANCE DETERMINATION

13.1 Significance of Adverse Environmental Effects

13.1.1 Methodology

This section will provide a detailed analysis of the significance of the residual environmental effects (including cumulative environmental effects) that are considered adverse, using the approach described in the Agency's Reference Guide Determining Whether a Project is Likely to Cause Significant Adverse Environmental Effects10.

The EIS will identify the criteria used to assign significance ratings to any predicted adverse effects. It will contain clear and sufficient information to enable the Agency, technical and regulatory agencies, Aboriginal groups and the public to review the proponent's analysis of the significance of effects. The proponent will define the terms used to describe the level of significance.

The following elements should be used in reaching conclusions on the significance of residual effects:

  • magnitude
  • geographic extent
  • duration and frequency
  • reversibility
  • ecological and social context
  • existence of environmental standards, guidelines or objectives for assessing the impact

In assessing significance against these criteria the EIS will, where possible, employ relevant existing regulatory documents, environmental standards, guidelines, or objectives such as prescribed maximum levels of emissions or discharges of specific hazardous agents into the environment. The EIS will contain a section which explains the assumptions, definitions and limits to the criteria mentioned above in order to maintain consistency between the effects on each VC.

Where significant adverse effects are identified, the EIS will set out the probability (likelihood) that they will occur, and describe the degree of scientific uncertainty related to the data and methods used within the framework of its environmental analysis.

13.1.2 Summary of Significant Adverse Environmental Effects

In addition, the EIS will summarise the significant adverse environmental effects identified in relation to the categories of environmental effects specified in sections 10.1.2 and 10.1.3:

  • changes to components of the environment within federal jurisdiction
  • changes to the environment that would occur on federal or transboundary lands
  • changes to the environment that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to federal decisions
  • effects of changes to the environment on Aboriginal peoples
  • effects of changes to the environment that are directly linked or necessarily incidental to federal decisions

14 SUMMARY TABLES

The EIS will contain a series of tables summarising the following key information:

  • potential environmental effects (section 10.1), adverse impacts on potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests (section 10.2) and public concerns (section 10.3)
  • proposed mitigation measures and commitments (section 11.5) by proponent to address potential impacts on environment, (section 11.1), Aboriginal rights (section 11.2) and public concerns (section 11.3), and Follow-up Program (section 11.4)
  • potential residual and cumulative environmental effects (section 12.1) and the significance of the residual environmental effects (section 13.1) ; outstanding Aboriginal issues (section 12.2) and outstanding public concerns (section 12.3)
  • comments from the public and responses
  • comments from Aboriginal groups and individuals and responses
  • relationship of the identified Valued Components (section 7.1.1) to Aboriginal groups' potential or established Aboriginal rights and related interests (section 9.1.2)

The summary tables will be used in the EA Report prepared by the Agency. Proponent commitments may be considered for inclusion as conditions in the EA decision statement and as part of other compliance and enforcement mechanisms.

15 BENEFITS TO CANADIANS

15.1 Changes to the Project Since Initially Proposed

The EIS will include a summary of the changes that have been made to the project since originally proposed, including the benefits of these changes to the environment, Aboriginal peoples, and the public.

15.2 Benefits of the Project

The EIS will include a section describing the predicted environmental, economic and social benefits of the project. This information will be considered in assessing the justifiability of the significant adverse environmental effects, if necessary.

16 MONITORING PROGRAM AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PLANS

The goal of a monitoring program is to ensure that proper measures and controls are in place in order to decrease the potential for environmental degradation during all phases of project development, and to provide clearly defined action plans and emergency response procedures to account for human and environmental health and safety. In the EIS, the proponent will describe the monitoring activities at all stages of the project, the proponent's proposed commitment to implementing these activities and the resources provided for this purpose. The program will need to provide the key information such as contacts, protocols, measured parameters, deadlines, intervention in case of non-compliance of legal requirements and production of monitoring reports.

The finalization of a detailed monitoring program will occur through consultation with federal and provincial government agencies, Aboriginal groups, the public and other stakeholders. This may occur after the environmental assessment but will be consistent with the information presented in the EIS. Pertinent legislation, regulations, industry standards, documents and legislative guides will be used in the development of the monitoring program.

Environmental management plans (EMPs) are an example of a tool that can be used to ensure that proper measures and controls are in place in order to decrease the potential for environmental degradation during all phases of project development, and to provide clearly defined action plans and emergency response procedures to account for human and environmental health and safety. The EMPs will serve to provide guidance on specific actions and activities that will be implemented to decrease the potential for environmental degradation during construction and operation, and to clearly define the proponent's ongoing environmental commitment.


1 In this document, "project" has the same meaning as "designated project" as defined in the CEAA 2012.

2 Visit the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website: www.canada.ca/en/environmental-assessment-agency.html

3 Visit the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada website at: www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100010002/1100100010021

4 Termpol Code: "Code of Recommended Standards for the Safety and Prevention of Pollution for Marine Transportation Systems and Related Assessment Procedures"

5 Surveys should be designed with reference to the Canadian Wildlife Service's guidance such as Technical Report No. 508, A Framework for the Scientific Assessment of Potential Project Impacts on Birds (Hanson et al. 2009). Appendix 3 of the Framework provides examples of project types and recommended techniques for assessing impacts on migratory birds.

6 The proponent should refer to Health Canada's Useful Information for Environmental Assessments document in order to include the appropriate baseline information relevant to human health. This document can be obtained at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/eval/environ_assess-eval/index-eng.php

7 Heritage resources to be considered will include but not be limited to, physical objects (e.g. middens, culturally-modified trees, historic buildings), sites or places (e.g. burial sites, sacred sites, cultural landscapes) and attributes (e.g. language, beliefs).

8 Visit the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's website at: www.canada.ca/en/environmental-assessment-agency.html

9 Visit the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada website at: www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100010002/1100100010021

10 Visit the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's website at: www.canada.ca/en/environmental-assessment-agency.html

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