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Manitoba Provincial Environmental Review (9-MB-a)

Information current as of 2018
In Manitoba, a developer may need an Environment Act License (License) from the Manitoba Environmental Approvals Branch (EAB) of the Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development if the project is subject to review pursuant to the Manitoba Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26. Specifically, any person must obtain an Environment Act License to construct, alter, operate or set into operation any Class 1, 2, or 3 development. Manitoba Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, s. 11(1). Class 2 and 3 developments pertain to transmission development. Class 2 developments include:
  • Transmission lines of 115 kilovolts (kV) and over but not exceeding 230 kV;
  • Transformer stations of 115 kV and over but not exceeding 230 kV; and
  • Conversion or replacement of transmission lines in existing rights-of-way if the lines converted or replaced are equal to or exceed 230 kV.

Man. Reg. 164/88, s. 3(7).

Class 3 developments include:

  • Electric transmission lines greater than 230 kV and associated facilities; and
  • Transformer states greater than 230 kV.

Man. Reg. 164/88, s. 4(3).

The Manitoba Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26 review and licensing process assesses developments in Manitoba that may have potential for significant environmental and/or human health effects. The process exists to ensure environmental and human health protection, encourage early consultation, allow for full public participation, and ensure economic development occurs in an environmentally responsible manner. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

The EAB Director conducts environmental assessments and issues an Environment Act License for Class 2 developments and the Minister of the Department of Sustainable Development conducts environmental assessments and issues an Environment Act License for Class 3 developments in accordance to Manitoba – Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26 and Manitoba – Classes of Development Regulation, Man. Reg. 164/88.



Provincial Environmental Review Process

9-MB-a.1 – Consult with Environmental Approvals Branch (EAB)

The developer should consult with the EAB determine if the proposed project is subject to review pursuant to the Manitoba – Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26 and requires an Environment Act License. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act; Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Environmental Assessment and Licensing Process Flowchart. Early contact with EAB, as well as continued contact throughout the review process, can ensure that the review process is managed effectively and efficiently and that delays in the process are minimized. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

Manitoba and Canada cooperate on projects that require a review under both federal and provincial environmental assessment legislation. The jurisdiction receiving the development proposal will share the environmental assessment information with the other jurisdiction, and additional information requests and approval decisions will be coordinated. The jurisdictions are represented by the EAB for Manitoba and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency for Canada. The objective of the cooperative process is to reduce duplication, while meeting the legal requirements of both governments and maintaining their respective roles and responsibilities. Early consultation with EAB helps determine whether both federal and provincial environmental approvals are required. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.2 – Consult with Interested Parties and First Nations (Optional)

The developer should consult with affected public, interested parties, and First Nation communities to identify issues and concerns prior to finalizing an Environment Act Proposal and submitting it to the EAB. Consultation allows the developer to address potential concerns early in the environmental review process. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.3 – Development Environmental Assessment Report

The developer must prepare a Development Environmental Assessment Report (Report) to submit with the Environment Act Proposal. The Report should contain, at minimum, the following information:

  • An executive summary;
  • Introduction and background information which should include a description of the need or rationale for the development, purpose, and alternatives;
  • Information about the proposed development (i.e., construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of the development), if applicable, including:
  1. a map or maps at a scale no less than 1:50,000 showing the location of the proposed development;
  2. information about the owner of land upon which the development is intended to be constructed, and of mineral rights beneath the land, if different from surface owner;
  3. a description of the existing land use on the site and on land adjoining it, as well as changes that will be made in such land use for the purposes of the development;
  4. the land use designation for the site and adjoining land as identified in a development plan adopted under Planning Act, C.C.S.M., c. p80 or City of Winnipeg Charter Act, S.M., 2002, c. 39 and the zoning designation as identified in a zoning bylaw, if applicable;
  5. a description of proposed development and schedule for stages of the development, including proposed dates for planning, design, construction, commissioning, operation, and decommissioning and/or termination of operation (if known), identifying major components and activities of the development as applicable (e.g. access road, airstrip, processing facility, waste disposal area, etc.)
  6. a description of the funding, including the name and address of any government agency or program (federal, provincial or otherwise) from which a grant or loan of capital funds have been requested (where applicable); and
  7. other federal, provincial or municipal approvals, licenses, permits, authorizations, etc. known to be required for the proposed development, and the status of the project’s application or approval.
  • Results of any public consultations undertaken or to be undertaken in conjunction with project planning;
  • A description of the existing environment in the project area that should include the biophysical environment as related to the development, including:
  1. topographic and base maps and aerial photographs as necessary;
  2. a description of the local area and regional setting including important terrain features such as hills, valleys, lakes, rivers, shorelines, etc;
  3. a description of the prevailing climate and meteorological conditions, and identification of any nearby climate monitoring stations;
  4. identification and description of local and regional surface waterbodies (lakes, rivers, wetlands, etc.) and description of the regional groundwater conditions including aquifers, recharge areas, quality, wells, etc.;
  5. a description of the aquatic environment including fish resources, fish habitat, benthic invertebrates, aquatic macrophytes, etc. for each waterbody that could be affected by the proposed development;
  6. a description of the terrestrial environment including vegetation, wildlife (mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, etc.), wildlife habitat, etc. that could be affected by the proposed development;
  7. identification and description of any rare, threatened or endangered species or any important or sensitive species and/or habitats, particularly if federally and/or provincially protected; and
  8. identification and description of the existing land and resource uses in the region including agriculture, forestry, mining, hydroelectric, oil and gas, recreation, tourism, etc.
  • A description of the socioeconomic environment as related to the development, including topographic and base maps and aerial photographs as necessary, as follows:
  1. identification of any existing public safety and human health risks in the development area;
  2. identification and description of protected areas (e.g. national and provincial parks);
  3. heritage resources (e.g. archaeological and historic sites), etc; and
  4. identification of Indigenous communities in the vicinity of the proposed development.
  • A description of the environmental effects of the proposed development should include potential impacts of the development on the environment, including, but not necessarily limited to:
  1. the impact on biophysical environment, including wildlife, fisheries, surface water, groundwater, and forestry resources;
  2. the type, quantity and concentration of pollutants (emissions, effluents and solid wastes) to be released, and the technologies proposed to contain or treat the waste streams;
  3. information on the storage, transportation and disposal of any hazardous wastes that may be produced;
  4. identification of any storage of gasoline or associated products (e.g. diesel fuel, used oil, heating oil, aviation gas, solvents, isopropanol, methanol, acetone, etc.);
  5. impact on heritage resources;
  6. socio-economic implications resulting from environmental impact; and
  7. climate change implications including a greenhouse gas inventory calculated according to guidelines developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the United Nations;
  8. potential impacts of the development on human health and safety, including, but not necessarily limited to:
  9. potential impact on human health and safety resulting from any release of pollutants, including a human health risk assessment;
  10. potential impacts of the development on Indigenous communities, including, but not necessarily limited to:
  • direct impacts on communities in the project area;
  • resource use, including hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering, etc.; and
  • cultural or traditional activities in the project area.
  • A description of the human health effects of the proposed development;
  • Mitigation measures to protect the environment and human health, and residual environmental effects;
  • Proposed environmental management and risk mitigation practices to be employed to prevent or mitigate adverse implications from the impacts identified above, having regard to, where applicable:
  1. mitigation incorporated at the planning and design stages;
  2. containment, handling, monitoring, storage, treatment, and final disposal of pollutants;
  3. conservation and protection of natural or heritage resources;
  4. environmental restoration and rehabilitation of the site upon decommissioning; and
  5. protection of environment and human health.
  • A description of the residual environmental effects remaining after the application of mitigation measures, to the extent possible expressed in quantitative terms relative to baseline conditions;
  • A description of control technology as compared to best available control technology;
  • Follow-up plans, including monitoring and reporting required at any stage of development (e.g., monitoring, inspection, surveillance, audit, etc.); and
  • Conclusions.

Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environment Act Proposal Report Guidelines; Manitoba – Licensing Procedures Regulation, Man. Reg. 163/88, s.1(1). Existing environmental information may come from sources such as site visits, previous studies, environmental databases, baseline data, ecological land classification, and traditional ecological knowledge. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environment Act Proposal Report Guidelines. For the purpose of complying with the Environment Act and supporting regulations the following terms are defined:

  • Environment means air, land, and water or plant and animal life, including humans.
  • Environmental health means those aspects of human health that are or can be affected by pollutants or changes in the environment.
  • Pollutant means any solid liquid, gas, smoke, waste, odor, heat, sound, vibration, radiation, or a combination of any of them that is foreign to or in excess of the natural constituents of the environment, and
    • affects the natural, physical, chemical, or biological quality of the environment, or
    • is or is likely to be injurious to the health or safety of persons, or injurious or damaging to property or plant or animal life, or
    • interferes with or is likely to interfere with the comfort, well-being, livelihood or enjoyment of life by a person.

Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, s. 1(2); Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environment Act Proposal Report Guidelines.

9-MB-a.4 – Environment Act Proposal

The developer must submit a complete Environment Act Proposal (Proposal) to the EAB. A complete Proposal includes, at minimum, the following:

  • A cover letter;
  • Two (2) hard copies of the Environment Act Form (Form) and one (1) electronic copy of the Form;
  • Reports and plans supporting the Proposal; and
  • A fee.

Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Environment Act Proposal Form.

Fees

  • Class 2 Developments: $7,500.00;
  • Class 3 Developments:
    • Transportation and Transmission Lines: $10,000.00.

Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Environment Act Proposal Form; Manitoba – Environment Act Fees Regulation, Man. Reg. 168/96.

9-MB-a.5 to 9-MB-a.6 – Review Proposal Material for Completeness

EAB reviews the Proposal for administrative and technical completeness. The proponent (developer) may be required to submit additional information. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.7 – Conduct Site Visit (Optional)

EAB may conduct a site visit at some point during the environmental assessment and licensing process. EAB could conduct the site visit at the pre-proposal stage, during the review of the Proposal, prior to licensing, or after a license is issued. A site visit may be helpful to clarify site or operational details of the Proposal, and is often the most efficient way for both the developer and the EAB to have a common understanding of aspects that will be of interest during the environmental assessment and licensing process. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.8 – Provide Notice of Proposal

EAB must post the Proposal on the online public registry for public review within 30 days of receipt of Proposal for Class 2 developments and within 45 days of receipt of Proposal for Class 3 developments. Hard copy documents are placed in public registries at the Manitoba Legislative Library and the City of Winnipeg’s Millennium Public Library. EAB’s public notice (usually in a local newspaper) must provide a summary of the Proposal, links to the online registry, and location information for hard copy registries, and must request public comments and objections on the Proposal. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(8)(a), 12(4)(a), 17; Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.9 – Provide Contact Person

EAB must also provide the developer with the name of the EAB contact person that will coordinate the assessment within 60 days of receipt of Proposal for Class 2 developments and within 120 days for Class 3 developments. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(8)(d)-(e),12(4)(d)-(e).

9-MB-a.10 – Distribute Proposal Materials

EAB must distribute the Proposal documents to the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for review within 30 days of receipt of Proposal for Class 2 developments and within 45 days of receipt of Proposal for Class 3 developments. The TAC consists of provincial and federal government specialists who may provide technical expertise. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(8)(b), 12(4)(b); Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Environmental Assessment and Licensing Process Flowchart; Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.11 to 9-MB-a.12 – Comment on Proposal

The public and TAC members may provide comments on and objections to the Proposal within the timeframe prescribed by the EAB. The EAB publishes comments on all public registries. The EAB reviews the comments and decides if additional information is required from the developer. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(8)(a)-(b), 11(9), 12(5)(a), 12(4)(a)-(b); Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Environmental Assessment and Licensing Process Flowchart; Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.13 to 9-MB-a.14 – Is an Environmental Impact Statement Required?

For complex or controversial Class 2 or Class 3 Proposals, the EAB may require a separate detailed Environmental Assessment Report – a Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS may include such studies, research, data gathering and analysis or monitoring, alternatives to the proposed development processes and locations, and the details of the proposed environmental management practices to deal with the issues. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(9)(c), 12(5)(c); Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

EAB may issue guidelines and instructions on the EIS and/or for the overall assessment. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(9)(b), 12(5)(b); Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act. The EIS and EIS guidelines may be considered part of the of screening process which involves identifying the major issues and effects associated with the Proposal and determining procedural and information requirements of the assessment and Final License Report. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.15 to 9-MB-a.16 – Provide Copy of EIS and/or EIS Guidelines

EAB must provide a copy of the EIS and/or EIS guidelines to the public and the TAC for screening and public comment. The public and the TAC may provide comments on the EIS, EIS guidelines and the Proposal within the timeframe prescribed by EAB. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.17 to 9-MB-a.24 – Determine Whether to Hold Public Hearing

EAB must determine whether to hold a public hearing on the Proposal. Where the EAB receives objections and reasons for objection with respect to the Proposal, they may hold a public hearing. Where objections to the Proposal have been made and EAB decides not to hold a public hearing, EAB must provide written reasons to the objector and publish written reasons within the public registry (if applicable for Class 3 developments). Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(10), 12(6).

If a public hearing is warranted the EAB requests that the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission (Commission) hold a public hearing. Upon EAB’s request the Commission must provide notice of the public hearing. The Commission must give notice to the developer and must provide notice in by advertisement (e.g., newspaper). Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, s. 7(1).

The Commission holds a public hearing and the public may provide comments and evidence on the Proposal at the public hearing. The Commission then provides advice and recommendations to EAB based on evidence received during the hearing process. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(10)-(10.1), 12(6); Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Environmental Assessment and Licensing Process Flowchart; Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.25 to 9-MB-a.26 – Determine Form of Assessment (If Applicable)

After review of the public hearing comments, recommendations of the Commission and consultation with the TAC, EAB must determine the form of assessment required for a Class 2 Proposal within 60 days of receipt of the Proposal. EAB may also conclude that the Proposal must be forwarded the Minister of the Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development for consideration as a Class 3 development (if applicable). Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, s. 11(8)(c).

9-MB-a.27 – Provide Notice of the Assessment Options

EAB must provide notice to the proponent (developer) of the assessment options and the tentative schedule for assessment within 60 days of receipt of Proposal for Class 2 developments and within 120 days for Class 3 developments. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(8)(d)-(e), 12(4)(d)-(e).

9-MB-a.28 to 9-MB-a.35 – Review Proposal Materials for Approval

EAB (Director for Class 2 Proposals and Minister for Class 3 Proposals) must review the Proposal materials for approval. EAB drafts a license decision either approving the Proposal or rejecting the Proposal. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(11), 12(7). EAB must distribute the draft license decision to the TAC for review within ten (10) working days. Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Environmental Assessment and Licensing Process Flowchart; Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

EAB may approve the Proposal and issue a License with specifications, limits, terms and conditions or with the requirement for modifications to ensure effective environmental management. EAB must provide the License to the developer, interested public, and post the license on the public registry. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(11), 12(7); Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Environmental Assessment and Licensing Process Flowchart.

EAB may also refuse to issue the License and thereby prohibit the construction, alteration, operation or implementation of the proposed development. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(11), 12(7). EAB must provide the developer with written notice for the reasons for a decision to refuse to issue a License. The notice must also be published in the public registry. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, ss. 11(12); Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Environmental Assessment and Licensing Process Flowchart; Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development – Information Bulletin for Environmental Assessment and Licensing under the Environment Act.

9-MB-a.36 – Appeal Decision (Optional)

Any person that is affected by a decision by the Director of the EAB may within 30 days appeal, in writing, the decision to the Minister of the EAB. Environment Act, S.M. 1987-88, c. 26, s. 27(1).


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