Canada, Sask renew EA co-operation accord
REGINA, SASK-Federal Environment Minister StÈphane Dion and Saskatchewan Environment Minister David Forbes have renewed the Canada-Saskatchewan Agreement on Environmental Assessment Co-operation. The renewed bilateral agreement, signed May 31, replaces a 1999 agreement between Saskatchewan and Canada which expired in November 2004. Like its predecessor, the new agreement provides a framework for continued effective, efficient co-operation in conducting environmental assessments (EAs) of projects requiring review under both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Saskatchewan's Environmental Assessment Act. Projects subject to both federal and provincial EA legislation include municipal and provincial projects that require federal environmental approvals, permits or licences, or involve federal funding, such as infrastructure projects. The renewed agreement: preserves each government's authority and legislative requirements; sets out the principles for carrying out a co-operative EA and describes the roles and responsibilities of the parties; provides guidelines to determine a "lead party" responsible for the administration of each co-operative EA; provides for the development of project-specific schedules to make the co-operative EA process more timely and efficient; and establishes a single contact in each jurisdiction to co-ordinate consultation, resolve process issues, and ensure that parties meet established timelines. The full agreement may be viewed on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency or Saskatchewan Environment Web sites, www.ceaa.gc.ca, www.se.gov.sk.ca.