Steps in the Procedure
In accordance with Article 154 of the Environment Quality Act (EQA), any project proponent wishing to carry out a project that is automatically subject to the procedure, or a “grey zone” project, must first request a certificate of authorization or an attestation of exemption and undergo the social and environmental impacts assessment and review procedure For details, please consult the section “Projects Subject To and Exempt From the Process”.
1 Preliminary Information Statement
As the first step in the procedure, the proponent must complete a Preliminary Information Form. This step should coincide with the preliminary planning of the project, when the proponent is studying the various possible options and the technical, economic, environmental and social aspects of a project so as to select the best options for further study. Under Articles 155 and 156 of the Act, the proponent must then send the appropriate Administrator a notice of intent and the preliminary information on the project. The content of this preliminary information is set out in Article 2 of the Regulation respecting the environmental and social impact assessment and review procedure applicable to the territory of James Bay and Northern Québec, and includes in particular:
- The identity of the proponent and their consultant, if there is one;
- the project title;
- the project objectives and justification;
- the project location and any plans to study alternative locations;
- a description of the project and alternatives under study;
- main environmental and human constraints;
- primary impacts anticipated;
- public information and consultation processes;
- project schedule;
- subsequent phases and related projects;
- in the case of a “grey zone” project, which is not automatically subject to or exempt from the procedure according to Schedules A and B of the Act, sufficient information must be provided to enable a summary evaluation of the social and environmental impacts of the project and to determine, if necessary, whether or not the project must undergo the assessment and review procedure.
Please visit the page “Renseignements préliminaires pour la réalisation d’un projet en milieu nordique” on the MDDELCC website for more details on the information required and the form that must be completed.
2 Assessment and Directive
Once the Administrator has received the preliminary information and the notice of intent, the file is forwared to the Evaluating Committee (COMEV).
In the case of a grey zone project, the COMEV must first decide to recommend to the Administrator that the project be subject to or exempted from the assessment and review procedure. To this end, the COMEV studies all the documentation presented. If necessary, the COMEV may recommend that the Administrator ask the proponent to respond to additional questions or comments. When the COMEV has completed its analysis, it sends its recommendation to the Administrator. Note that when a project is exempted, an attestation of exemption is sent to him/is issued. If a project is subject to the procedure, whether automatically or following the recommendation of the Evaluating Committee, it continues its way through the process.
The COMEV issues a directive for all projects that must undergo the process. The directive is a document outlining the nature and scope of the impact study that the proponent must undertake. This directive is sent to the Administrator, who forwards it to the proponent, with or without revisions. If the Administrator considers it necessary to revise a recommendation from the COMEV, he must consult it first.