January 2, 2006

Feds propose revisions to streamline EA Act Exclusion List regs

OTTAWA, ONT-Proposed amendments to the Exclusion List Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act would significantly reduce unnecessary environmental assessment (EA) screenings and redirect human and financial resources to projects with the potential to cause significant environmental effects. Types of projects to be exempted would be those involving structures such as buildings, fences and other associated facilities, leases within national park communities, road widening projects and railway crossings. The proposed amendments were published in the December 17, 2005 edition of the Canada Gazette, Part I. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will be accepting comments on the regulatory proposal until January 31, 2006; these will be considered when preparing the regulations for final approval. The amendments were developed through extensive consultations in recent years with federal departments and agencies responsible for ensuring that EAs are conducted when required by the Act. A multi-stakeholder Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC) reporting to the federal Environment Minister (who is responsible for the Agency) also participated in drafting the amendments, which may be accessed through the Agency's Web site, www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca. Comments, in either official language, should be sent to John D Smith, director of legislative and regulatory affairs at the Agency, 161 Elgin St, 22nd Floor, Ottawa K1A 0H3; 613/948-1942, E-mail john.smith@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

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