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July 26, 2004
EA ordered for Pine Valley Dr extension
TORONTO, ONT-The Ontario government is ordering an environmental assessment of a proposed extension of Pine Valley Drive. The City of Vaughan, immediately north of Toronto, has proposed the extension, running north of Highway 407 to Rutherford Road, to address the north-south transportation need of a population anticipated to grow to 35,000 by 2021. The project was being planned by the city under the Municipal Engineers Association Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (class EA). An environmental assessment is required when the environmental impacts are not predictable and when a class EA (a self-assessment process) cannot effectively measure how those impacts will be addressed. An EA will examine a fuller array of issues and ensure a comprehensive review by several provincial ministries. Both Vaughan and the Regional Municipality of York have expressed a willingness to prepare an EA as co-proponents for the project. "The Pine Valley is an area of natural heritage significance that contains old-growth trees," noted Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky. "Because this roadway could have significant environmental impacts on the area, it warrants an environmental assessment."