EA Frequently Asked Questions
Who does a Class EA apply to?
The Municipal Class EA applies to Regional and municipal partners that are planning infrastructure projects, including road improvements water and wastewater projects, facility expansions, rehabilitation or improvements to facilitate a new service. Since projects undertaken by municipalities can vary in their environmental impact, such projects are classified in terms of schedules.
What is a Class EA Schedule?
Schedules help identify the type of Class EA that will need to be conducted. Depending on the nature of a project, a schedule will help outline the level of activities and expectations on a proposed project.
Under the Class EA Schedules are as follows:
Schedule A – Pre-approved Activities
Schedule “A” activities are pre-approved. It generally includes normal or emergency operational and maintenance activities where the environmental effects of these activities are usually minimal and, therefore, these projects are pre-approved.
Examples of Schedule ‘A’ projects: Maintenance and operational activities; bike lanes and/or sidewalk installations, adding traffic control signals, emergency improvements, repairing watermain breaks, cleaning sanitary sewers and minor improvements with minimal environmental impacts.
Schedule A+ – Pre-approved Activities
Introduced in 2007 and similar to Schedule “A”, Schedule “A+” activities are pre-approved, however, the public is to be advised prior to project implementation in a manner that is appropriate.
Examples of Schedule ‘A+’ projects: Re-designation of existing lanes; minor road improvements; addition of turning lanes at intersection; emergency improvements; corridor reconstruction with no change in the number of lanes; installation of sewers within an existing road allowance and refurbishing a water or wastewater facility.
Schedule B – Activities subject to the Screening Process
Includes improvements and minor expansions to existing facilities where there is the potential for some adverse environmental impacts. The municipality is required to undertake a screening process in consultation with those directly affected and relevant review agencies.
Examples of Schedule ‘B’ projects: minor road improvements or expansion; road intersection improvements; neighbourhood improvements; minor modifications to existing facilities, increasing the depth of a municipal well; retiring a water pollution control plant.
Schedule C – Proceed through the EA Planning Process
Generally includes the construction of new facilities and major expansions to existing facilities with significant environmental effects; these projects proceed through a five-phased environmental assessment planning process. In a Schedule C project, information and findings must be presented in an Environmental Study Report (ESR), which must be made available for review by the public and from regulatory review agencies.
Examples of Schedule ‘C’ projects: New facilities or infrastructure; major modifications to existing facilities; significant road widening and realignment; expanding an existing water pollution control plant beyond its rated capacity.
How is the public being consulted?
Public consultation is a vital part of the EA process. York Region strives to go beyond the minimum consultation requirement in the Class EA process by working with the public and stakeholders through advertisement, correspondences, Public Consultation Centres (PCCs), as well as consulting directly with local municipal councils, review agencies, interest groups and property and business owners. We encourage you to contact the project team directly if you wish to be placed on the mailing list for updates. This web page also lists the current and completed road, water and wastewater EA studies within York Region. An online feedback form is available on each study page, which can be filled out during the EA study.
How long does the EA process take?
The duration of an EA depends on the schedules, type of projects, the potential impacts, and the degree of consultation required. Typically, a Schedule “C” EA can take up to 18 to 24 months, or more.
How can I get involved?
You can request to be placed on the project mailing list at any point during a Class EA study. You can also complete the online comment form in the Current EA Study page. Public notices for all EA studies are posted in the local newspapers, online and mailed to property owners affected by the study. We also encourage you to attend our Public Consultation Centres to provide your input on our studies.
Where can I review the study information?
We encourage you to check the study webpage periodically for project updates and public consultation events. Notices will be mailed to the interested residents, property owners and stakeholders on the mailing list. If you have any project-related inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact members of the project team or submit your question via the online feedback form
How will my comments be used?
Input from the public, review agencies and stakeholders will be examined and considered throughout the EA process. Comments will be evaluated along with other criteria such as the needs opportunities, environmental impacts, costs, road operations, technical standards and social impacts.
Except for any personal information, all comments received during the EA will be documented and included as part of the EA Study.
What are the next steps after the EA approval?
After an EA has been approved, the project will be ready to proceed into detailed design and construction.