March 12, 2007

Canada, Manitoba renew co-operative EA agreement

WINNIPEG, MAN-The federal and Manitoba governments have renewed the Canada-Manitoba Agreement on Environmental Assessment Co-operation. The bilateral agreement replaces its predecessor, which was signed in 2000 and expired in May 2005. It provides a framework allowing projects subject to both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Manitoba's Environment Act to undergo a single, co-operative assessment, meeting the legal requirements of both governments while maintaining their respective existing roles and responsibilities. Such projects include municipal and provincial projects requiring federal environmental approvals, permits, licences, or activities receiving federal funding, such as infrastructure projects. Among other things, the renewed agreement provides guidelines for determining a lead party to administer each co-operative EA and principles for carrying out a co-operative EA, together with descriptions of the roles and responsibilities of the parties. It 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 agreement may be viewed on the Web sites of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, www.ceaa.gc.ca, or Manitoba Conservation, www.gov.mb.ca/conservation.

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