Cumulative Effects Assessment Practitioners' Guide

Appendix B: CEA Case Studies

This Appendix describes 12 CEA case studies. [Some of these have appeared earlier in the Case Study Information Boxes. For these, this Appendix provides additional background information that should help to better place the study in context. Five case studies (Express Pipeline, Alliance Pipeline, Steepbank Mine, West Castle Valley Resort and Kluane National Park Reserve) are not described here in detail, and only appear as information boxes in Chapters 2, 3 and 4.] Each case study is in the form of a narrative which describes a project and the approach that was used to address cumulative effects issues in the project's assessment. Each case study is prefaced by a brief description of the VECs, the major issues, the principle methodological approach, and the major lessons that can be learned from their review. Key attributes of each case study are summarized in Table C1.

The purpose of the case studies is to demonstrate approaches used in addressing various project types and environmental concerns. The case studies (all from Canada) were selected based on familiarity of the CEA Working Group members with the projects. Review of these case studies provides an indication of what has been done in response to legislative requirements and, therefore, serve as a benchmark for future assessments. The case studies are not judged as to their quality, and it is not implied that what was done was necessarily state-of-the-art.

It is hoped that the reader can learn by example, and build on these examples with the guidelines provided in this Guide towards the goal of continually improving assessment practice into the future.

Practitioners should note that different projects create a unique set of effects and interactions among relevant VECs. Practitioners should therefore take care in adopting without modification any of the approaches described unless they are sure that it is appropriate for assessing conditions for their case at hand.

Case Studies (for references cited in this Appendix)

Table C1: Summary of Detailed Case Studies in Appendix B
ProjectExample of...Type of ProjectType pf ReviewYear EIA InitiatedMajor VECsLocationLevel of ReviewStatutory Requirements
Alberta-Pacific Pulp MillAssessing long-range quatic transport of contaminantsIndustrial ProcessPH1989WaterABJoint*EARP/ AEP
Northern Saskatchewan Uranium MinesUse of Pathway Models to assess effects of radionucleidesMine (underground)PH1991AllSKJointEARP/ SK
Cold Lake Oil Sands ProjectFocused Impact Assessment and Impact ModelsInsitu heavy oilPH1996WaterABProv.AEP
Cheviot Coal MineUse of GIS to assess effects on wildlifeMine (open pit coal)PH1996Wildlife, WaterABJointCEAA / AEP
Huckleberry Copper MineAssessment of a mine using a Project Committee approachMine (open pit base metal)PH1994Water, fishBCJointCEAA / BC EAA
Terra Nova Offshore Petroleum ProjectAssessing effects in a marine environmentOffshore petroleumPH1996Water, fishNLJointCEAA
Eagle Terrace SubdivisionUse of GIS to assess effects on wildlifeResidential developmentPH1996WildlifeABTownMunicipal
TransCanada Highway Twinning Phase IIIAAssessment in a National ParkHighwayPH1994WildlifeABFederalEARP
Transportation Corridors (Glacier and Banff NPs)Visual Impact AssessmentHighway, RailwayPH1979VisualBCFederalEARP
Keenleyside Power ProjectAssessment of a hydroelectric dam using a workshop approachHydroelectric damSC1997Water, fishBCJointCEAA
La Mauricie National Park Hiking TrailUse of a screening level appraochRecreational trailSC1996WildlifeQCFederalCEAA
Mineral Exploration in the Northwest TerritoriesConsideration of effects of remote exploration activitiesMineral ExplorationSC1996Wildlife, huntingNTTerrit.EIRB/ IFA

* i.e.; federal/provincial


  • Type of Review
    • PH=Public Hearing
    • SC=Screening Level Review
  • Statutory Requirements
    • AEP=Alberta Environmental Protection
    • CEAA=Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
    • EARP=Environmental Assessment and Review Process
    • EIRB=Environmental Impact Review Board
    • IFA Inuvialuit Final Agreement
    • BC EAA=British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act