Impact Assessment Act

Last updated: 8 November 2022

This act outlines the federal process for impact assessments and the prevention of significant adverse environmental effects from projects carried out on federal lands. It aims to establish a fair, predictable and efficient process for conducting impact assessments that enhances Canada’s competitiveness, encourages innovation in the carrying out of designated projects and creates opportunities for sustainable economic development. It also aims to ensure respect for the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada and that opportunities are provided for meaningful public participation during an impact assessment, a regional assessment or a strategic assessment.
A proponent is prohibited from carrying out a project, in whole or in part, if it may cause effects that are within federal jurisdiction unless the proponent complies with the conditions of this act and the related impact assessment requirements. The Minister of the Environment is responsible for the final decision on whether a project can be developed and what are the conditions that must be followed by the proponent to ensure it is of public interest, in light of the information provided by the impact assessment process.
The Physical Activities Regulations indicates activities subject to impact assessments, including projects in the following sectors: Renewable energy; Oil and gas; Mining; Nuclear; Hazardous waste; Federal lands and protected areas. 

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