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New Brunswick Provincial Environmental Review (9-NB-a)

Information current as of 2018
In New Brunswick, a developer may need a Certificate of Determination from the Minister of the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government (herein DELG) if the project may have a significant environmental impact and is subject to review pursuant to the New Brunswick Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6. New Brunswick Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6, s. 31.1(1). Specifically, no proponent may carry on an undertaking unless the Minister of DELG determines that the undertaking may be carried on without the completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), or the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, following the completion of a required EIA, has approved the undertaking. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 4. An EIA is the process by which the environmental impact caused by or resulting from the undertaking is predicted and evaluated. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 4.


Activities, projects, structures, and works specified in New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, Schedule A are designated as undertakings that the Lieutenant -Governor in Council has deemed may result in a significant environmental impact and must complete an EIA. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s.3(1). Those designated undertakings, include:

For a complete list of activities that are considered undertakings that must complete an EIA, see: New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, Schedule A.


For the purpose of complying with the Clean Environment Act and supporting regulations the following terms are defined:

Proponent means a person who carries out or proposes to carry out an undertaking, or is the owner or person having charge, management or control of an undertaking. New Brunswick Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6, s. 31.1(1).

Undertaking means any enterprise, activity, project structure, work or program designated by regulation to be an enterprise, activity, project, structure, work or program that may, in the opinion of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, result in a significant environmental impact, and includes a modification, an extension, an abandonment, a demolition, and a rehabilitation. New Brunswick Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6, s. 31.1(1).

Environment means any air, water, or soil, plant and animal life, including human life, and the social, economic, cultural and aesthetic conditions that influence the life of humans or a community. New Brunswick Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6, s. 31.1(1).

Environmental Impact means any change to the environment. New Brunswick Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6, s. 31.1(1).

The Lieutenant-Governor in Council and DELG regulate environmental compliance with New Brunswick law pursuant to the New Brunswick Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6 and the New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83.



Provincial Environmental Review Process

9-NB-a.1 – Contact Department of Environment and Local Government (DELG)

The developer should contact the Environmental Impact Assessment Branch of the DELG for details and guidance on the EIA process and compliance with the New Brunswick Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6 and associated regulations. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick at p.11.

9-NB-a.2 – Consult with the Public and First Nations

The developer should consult with the public and First Nation’s as early as possible regarding the proposed. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick at pp.6-7.

9-NB-a.3 – Conduct Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Study

The developer must conduct an EIA study of the proposed project to detail the project, its potential environmental impacts, and how significant impacts may be addressed. In conducting the EIA study, the developer may need to conduct a number of studies and surveys to obtain the necessary information about the project. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick.

9-NB-a.4 – Registration Document

The developer should submit a complete Registration Document to DELG. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 5(2). The Registration Document registers the developer proposed project with the DELG by reporting on the results of the EIA conducted by the developer and includes details on the proposed project, its potential environmental impacts, and how significant impacts may be addressed. The Registration Document should include, at minimum, the following:

  • The name of the proponent (developer);
  • Contact information of the developer;
  • Property ownership information;
  • A project description that must include:
    • the project name;
    • a project overview description;
    • a description of the project purpose, need;
    • a detailed description of the project location;
    • a discussion of the siting considerations that were taken into account in choosing the project location;
    • a description of the physical components and dimensions of the project;
    • a description of the project construction details;
    • a description of the operation and maintenance details of the project; and
    • identification of any future modifications, extensions, or abandonments.
  • Any documents related to the project, including copies of any reports describing environmental studies already completed related to the project, and relevant correspondence from local, provincial and federal government.
  • A description of the existing environment which must include all features that are either found at the proposed project site or are likely to be affected including:
    • a description of the physical and natural features of the existing environment;
    • a list of all federally, provincial or locally recognized cultural features; and
    • identification of existing and historic land uses.
  • Identification of environmental impacts for each stage of the project undertaking;
  • A summary of the proposed mitigation;
  • A description of public and First Nation consultation; and
  • A list of permits, licenses, approvals and other forms of authorizations required for the project.

For more guidance on drafting a Registration Document, see: A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick.

The developer must also submit, with the Registration Document, the appropriate fee as prescribed by New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 5.1(1). A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p.12.

9-NB-a.5 to 9-NB-a.7 – Review Registration Document for Completeness

A project manager with the Environmental Impact Assessment Branch of the DELG receives the Registration Document and materials for administrative and technical completeness. If additional information is required DELG notifies the developer of the deficiencies. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p.11.

9-NB-a.8 to 9-NB-a.9 – Provide Public Notice of Registration Document

DELG must provide public notice of the Registration Document by posting the document on the DELG EIA Webpage. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, pp. 2, 12. The notification must include:

  • A brief description of the proposed project;
  • Information on how to view the Registration Document;
  • A description of proposed location for development;
  • The status of the Provincial approval process;
  • A statement indicating that people can ask questions or raise concerns with the developer regarding the environmental impacts;
  • Developer contact information; and
  • The date by which must be received.

A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 37.

For more guidance on the public notice requirements, see: A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 37-38.

The public and First Nations may provide comments, ask questions or raise concerns about proposed project for a minimum of 30 days. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 5, 37.

9-NB-a.10 – Provide Copy of Registration Document

DELG provides a copy of the Registration Document and accompany documents to the Technical Review Committee (TRC) of the DELG. TRC is comprised of experts and specialists from federal, provincial, and local municipal government departments and agencies. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, pp. 2, 12.

9-NB-a.11 to 9-NB-a.13 – Review Registration Document

TRC reviews the Registration Document and provides comments on the proposed project and the supporting documentation. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 12. TRC may request additional information from the developer. Typically, the EIA project manager sends a letter requesting additional information to the developer within 30 days. The developer must provide the requested information in a timely manner, failure to do so may result in the DELG closing the EIA file. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 2.

9-NB-a.14 – Recommendation for the Minister

The EIA Branch prepares and submits recommendations on the project to the Minister of DELG. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 8.

9-NB-a.15 to 9-NB-a.16 – Review Registration Document

The Minister of DELG must review the Registration Document and make a determination within 30 days from the time sufficient information is obtain regarding the proposed project. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, ss. 6(3)-6(4). The Minister reviews the Registration Documentation in conjunction with responses to subsequent questions and information from TRC, and a satisfactory summary of engagement with First Nations, the public and potentially affected stakeholders includes responses to identified concerns. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 3; New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 6.

The Minister must decide whether to issue a Certificate of Determination, whether a comprehensive EIA is required, or whether to deny the project. If the Minister decides that significant project related negative impacts are unlikely or that potential negative impacts have been reduced or eliminated through changes made to the project or proposed mitigative measures, the Minister may issue a Certificate of Determination and permit the project to proceed subject to conditions. The Minister must post these conditions on the public registry. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, ss. 6(5)-6(7).

If the Minister decides that the project should not proceed, the Minister may deny the project with the assent of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council (i.e., the Provincial Cabinet). If the Minister determines that a comprehensive EIA is required to further assess the nature and significance of the potential impacts, written notice is provided to the developer to this effect and a public notice would subsequently be placed in the Royal Gazette. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 6(5); A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 3.

9-NB-a.17 to 9-NB-a.22 – Is a Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Required?

If a comprehensive EIA is required, the TRC, at the direction of the Minister must develop draft study guidelines for the comprehensive EIA within 60 days after the date on which the Minister made a determination. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 9(1). These guidelines identify the important environmental issues that must be considered in further assessing the impacts of the project. The guidelines also specify the general approach a developer must follow in conducting a comprehensive EIA, consistent with current and common EIA methodology. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 4.

The Minister must issue notice the draft guidelines for public comment within 60 days of announcing that a comprehensive EIA is required. The Minister must publish notice in the Royal Gazette and by such further means as appropriate. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 9(1)(b). The Minister then provides a period of 30 days for receipt of comments on the draft guidelines. Anyone may provide written comments to the Minister during the review period. Once these comments have been considered, the Minister issues final study guidelines to the developer within 60 days of releasing the draft guidelines. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 9(2); A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 4. The Minister must send copies of the final study guidelines to all interested parties and give public notice that the final guidelines have been issued by publishing notice in the Royal Gazette and by further means as appropriate. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 9(3).

If a comprehensive EIA is not required, go to: element 9.35 below regarding notice for public meetings.

9-NB-a.23 – Terms of Reference

The developer must provide the Minister with Terms of Reference, following the receipt of the final EIA guidelines. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, ss. 10(1)-(3). The Terms of Reference must describe, in detail, the approach that will be used by the developer’s study team in responding to the study guidelines and conducting their investigations. The Minister may require the developer to seek public input on the Term of Reference. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 4; New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 10(2).

9-NB-a.24 to 9-NB-a.25 – Conduct Comprehensive EIA

The developer must conduct a comprehensive EIA by gathering additional information about the project’s socio-economic, biological and physical setting, conducting field investigations as required, and further evaluating the potential interactions between the environment and activities associated with the undertaking (project). In addition to considering impacts and mitigative measures, the comprehensive EIA must include a detailed description of the undertaking (project), an evaluation of alternatives, as appropriate, and a description of methods for evaluating the accuracy of impact predictions. The comprehensive EIA is expected to identify methods of enhancing positive impacts and minimizing negative impacts resulting from the project. During the comprehensive EIA, the developer is also required to consult with First Nations, stakeholders and potentially affected members of the public in accordance with the consultation requirements set out in the final EIA Guidelines. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, ss. 11(1); A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 4.

9-NB-a.26 – EIA Report

The developer must compile and submit an EIA Report to the Minister of DELG. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, ss. 11(1). The EIA Report must contain, at minimum, information obtained through studies examining the predicted impacts of the project, their effect on the environment and the proposed mitigative measures. The time and effort required to produce this report varies vary depending on such factors as the complexity of the undertaking, the complexity of the biological, physical and socio-economic environment, the number of First Nations, stakeholders and public that must be meaningfully consulted during the study and the issues they raise, the extent of the required field investigations, and the nature of the scientific evaluations required to assess potential impacts. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 4.

9-NB-a.27 to 9-NB-a.31 – Review EIA Report

The Minister, in consultation with the TRC, must review the EIA Report. TRC's responsibility at this stage is to determine whether the document has adequately addressed the issues raised in the final EIA guidelines. After review TRC provides a recommendation to the Minister. The Minister then decides whether the EIA Report is adequate, on the advice of the TRC. If the Minister determines that the EIA Report does not adequately address the final EIA guidelines, the Minister advises the developer of the deficiencies that must be addressed. The developer must make the required revisions to the EIA Report, including any necessary supplemental field work or investigations. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, ss. 11(2)-(3); A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, pp. 4-5.

9-NB-a.32 to 9-NB-a.34 – Final EIA Report

Once the EIA Report is officially accepted by the Minister, the developer must provide 30 copies of the EIA Report to the Minister in both official languages. DELG then drafts a summary of the EIA Report and releases the EIA Report along with the summary for public review and comment within 30 days of receiving a final EIA Report from the developer. New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, ss. 12(1)-(2), 13; A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 5.

9-NB-a.35 to 9-NB-a.41 – Provide Public Notice of Public Meeting(s)

DELG must provide notice of a public meeting regarding the project. DELG must lead at least one (1) public meeting near the location of the proposed project. The purpose of the meeting is to provide all interested parties with an opportunity to make comments, raise concerns, or ask questions about the project or the EIA. The public has at minimum 30 days to provide comments on the EIA and the project. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 5; New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, s. 14.

After the last public meeting, DELG must provide an additional period of 15 days for members of the public, First Nations, stakeholders, or any interested party to submit further written comments regarding the proposed project. At the end of the 15-day public comment period, DELG must prepare a summary of the public participation based on the written briefs submitted to the Minister of the DELG, transcripts of public meetings, and any additional comments received following the final public meeting. DELG must provide a copy of the summary publicly and must send copies of the summary to every identified person who participated in the public meeting(s). At the same time, DELG forwards the full package of EIA documentation, including the public participation summary to the Minister for final consideration. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 5; New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, ss. 15(1)-(2).

9-NB-a.42– Review Project for Approval

After receiving all relevant information generated by the comprehensive EIA, the Minister makes a final determination on the proposed project. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 5.

9-NB-a.43 to 9-NB-a.46 – Report and Recommendation

The Minister must submit a Report and Recommendation regarding the proposed project to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council. At this point, it becomes the responsibility of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to consider the Report and Recommendation of the Minister, and either issue an approval or deny an approval for the undertaking (project). If the Lieutenant-Governor in Council approves the project a Certificate of Determination is granted, and the developer may continue with the project. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may approve the project with terms and conditions which the proponent (developer) must adhere to in implementing the undertaking (project). A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 6; New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, ss. 16(1)-(2).

Note: The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may subsequently suspend or revoke an approval if the developer violates the terms and conditions. Similarly, any approval previously given may be rescinded if the Lieutenant-Governor in Council has reason to believe the developer has failed to disclose relevant facts or submitted inaccurate information. An EIA approval does not mean that the undertaking (project) is exempt from other applicable statutory requirements applicable to the project. A Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment in New Brunswick, p. 6; New Brunswick Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, N.B. Reg. 87-83, ss. 16(1)-(2), 17(1)-(2).

9-NB-a.47 – Appeal Decision (Optional)

Any interested person may appeal the decision made under the Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6 within 15 days after being notified of the decision. Any interested person means a person owning all or part of any property which is subject to the decision, a person who is subject to the decision, an applicant for a license, permit, or approval whose application has been refused or has been granted subject to terms and conditions, a person who holds an approval that has been revoked and a person specifically authorized under the Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6. Clean Environment Act, Appeal Regulation, N.B. Reg. 84-179, ss. 3-4; Clean Environment Act, R.S.N.B. 1973, c. C-6, s.14;

For more information on the appeal process, see: Clean Environment Act, Appeal Regulation, N.B. Reg. 84-179.


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