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Bulk Transmission Canada On-Site Evaluation (10)

Information current as of 2019
In Canada, a bulk transmission developer should conduct an on-site evaluation in order to identify land use restrictions, and site-specific resource protection concerns and requirements. The developer should contact the appropriate federal, provincial, territorial, and/or local government entity with jurisdiction for further permit and regulation requirements that might be needed before the approval of any proposed activity.

Typical transmission on-site evaluations include, but are not limited to, biological, ecological, paleontological, archaeological, geological, hydrological, and aesthetic. These evaluations can determine the proposed site's compatibility with the proposed project's operations and impacts. Project site development may be restricted due to the presence of historical artifacts and structures, sacred Indigenous grounds, threatened or endangered species, and special status of specie, among other factors.

Canada On-Site Evaluation Process

10.1 – Conduct Project Site Visit

The appropriate provincial, territorial, local government entity and/or Indigenous Peoples should conduct a site visit to view the location(s) of the proposed project, including associated access roads, and ancillary structures. The appropriate government entity or Indigenous Peoples flags/stakes areas of proposed surface disturbance in order to determine whether any additional environmental and cultural surveys are required.

10.2 to 10.3 – Are There Potential Impacts or Restrictions on Land Uses?

The developer must evaluate land use restrictions, as well as the impact the proposed project on land uses. Pre-existing, existing, and concurrent land uses at and surrounding the project site are critical considerations in the early planning stages of the project. Federal, provincial, territorial, and local regulation may prohibit or limit interference with certain land uses. For instance, a developer should consider impacts on nearby airports, military lands, navigable waters, floodplains, wetlands, farmlands, and coastal zones. The developer should contact the relevant federal, provincial, territorial, or local government with jurisdiction for more information.

Additionally, a bulk transmission project must comply with federal, provincial, territorial, and local laws and regulations that protect cultural resources.

For more information, see:

Canada Cultural Resource Assessment Overview: 11 (4)

10.4 to 10.5 – Are There Potential Impacts to Biological Resources?

The developer must evaluate the impact the proposed project may have on biological resources in order to comply with the Canada – Species at Risk Act, S.C. 2002, c. 29, the Canada – Migratory Birds Convention Act, S.C. 1994, c. 22, and the Canada – Impact Assessment Act, S.C. 2019, c. 28, among other statutes and regulations.

Biological evaluations may serve multiple purposes, but the primary role is to document conclusions and the rationale to support those conclusions regarding the effects of a proposed project on protected resources. The presence of “designated” species on the site for a project will result in further environmental evaluation being required. Under the Canada – Species at Risk Act, S.C. 2002, c. 29, a developer may need a Species at Risk Act Permit for projects that may kill, harm, harass, capture, or take an individual of a wildlife species that is listed as an extirpated species, an endangered species, or a threatened species or damage their habitat. For more information, see:

Canada Biological Resource Assessment Overview: 12 (4)

10.6 to 10.8 – Consider Other Project Impacts

Through an on-site evaluation, the developer should consider other proposed project impacts. The developer should also consider the project’s impact on the following, among other impacts, and contact the federal, provincial, territorial, and/or local government entity with jurisdiction for more information:

  • Water quality;
  • Air quality;
  • Soils;
  • Geological resources;
  • Paleontological resources;
  • Aesthetic resources;
  • Recreational resources;
  • Floodplains;
  • River corridors; and
  • Environmental justice concern.