ARCHIVED - Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Posts Amendments to the Regulations Designating Physical Activities

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25 October 2013

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Posts Amendments to the Regulations Designating Physical Activities

Amendments to the Regulations Designating Physical Activities (the Regulations) under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) have been posted on the website of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (pending posting in the Canada Gazette Part II). These Regulations are now in force.

Designated projects that are referenced in these Regulations and that are regulated by the NEB will trigger CEAA 2012. Key amendments relating to NEB-regulated activities include:

  • CEAA 2012 will be triggered by the “drilling, testing and abandonment of offshore exploratory wells in the first drilling program in an area set out in one or more exploration licences issued in accordance with the Canada Petroleum Resources Act” (i.e. this is now a designated project under the Regulations);
  • The entries in the Regulations related to offshore oil or gas production are now specific to a new offshore floating or fixed platform, vessel or artificial island used for production of oil or gas;
  • The entry for offshore pipelines has been modified to clarify that flowlines are not included (and therefore not a designated project); and,
  • The entry for NEB-regulated pipelines (other than offshore pipelines) has been modified by reducing the threshold from 75 km on a new right-of-way to 40 km of new pipe, whether or not it is on a new right-of-way. This means all pipeline applications for a certificate will trigger a CEAA 2012 assessment.

Other amendments can be found in the Regulations.

The changes may impact future applications for NEB-regulated projects. For example, CEAA 2012 may apply to some physical activities that would not have required a CEAA 2012 environmental assessment under the former Regulations. For projects where CEAA 2012 does not apply, the NEB will continue to conduct an environmental assessment as part of its review. The safety of Canadians and protection of the environment are the NEB’s top priorities.

The amendments will apply to all designated projects for which the NEB receives an application from this time forward. Please note that the changes will not impact any review that the NEB has already commenced. More details on the amendments can be found on Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s website.

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