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 Designated Office Environmental Evaluation (9-YK-b)

Information current as of 2018
In Yukon, the Designated Office for the appropriate assessment district of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board (YESAB) leads the environmental and socio-economic environmental evaluation of certain activities that require an authorization from a federal, territorial, or municipal government or First Nation in order to comply with the Yukon Environmental Assessment and Socio-economic Assessment Act, R.S.Y. 2003, c.7. Yukon Environmental Assessment and Socio-economic Assessment Act, R.S.Y. 2003, c.7, s. 47(2). Specifically, the Designated Office of the YESAB leads the environmental evaluation for all activities, other than those reviewed by the YESAB Executive Committee, that:
  • Require the “construction, installation, operation, modification, decommissioning or abandonment of, or other activity in relation to, a power line…” or
  • Are an activity that a federal agency, federal minister, territorial minister, or First Nation declares might have a significant adverse environmental or socio-economic effect in or outside Yukon or contribute significantly to cumulative adverse environmental or socio-economic effects…in or outside of Yukon; or
  • Are an activity that is “in an area that contains an area that contains a heritage resource…, is in a special management agreement...or is in an area that forms the habitat of any species of plant or wildlife that is determined to be rare, threatened, endangered or at risk by or under federal, territorial, or first nation law.”

R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 48(3). S.O.R./2005-379, Schedule 1, Part 4, Item 1; Yukon Environmental Assessment and Socio-economic Assessment Act, R.S.Y. 2003, c.7, s. 48(1)-(4). R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 50(1).

A Designated Office for the assessment district is named by the federal minister as an office to be maintained by the YESAB. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 22(1). A Designated Office conducts environmental evaluations pursuant to Yukon – Environmental Assessment and Socio-economic Assessment Act, R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board – Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices and Yukon – Assessable Activities, Exceptions, and Executive Committee Projects Regulations, S.O.R./2005-379.



Designated Office Environmental Evaluation Process

9-YK-b.1 – Notify Designated Office of Interest

Any government agency, independent regulatory agency, or First Nation should notify the Designated Office of its interest in the Project Proposal or of its interest in projects of that kind. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 55(4).

9-YK-b.2 – Project Proposal

The developer must submit a complete Project Proposal to the Designated Office for the assessment district of the YESAB. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 50(1)(b). Specifically, the developer must submit the Project Proposal to the Designated Office for the assessment district where the project will be located. In cases where the project spans multiple assessment districts the developer must submit the Project Proposal those Designated Offices. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 11(1)-(2).

The developer must submit the Project Proposal in the form prescribed by YESAB. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 10.

9-YK-b.3 to 9-YK-b.6 – Review Proposal Materials for Completeness

The Designated Office must review the Project Proposal materials for administrative and technical completeness within eight (8) days after the proposal is submitted. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 12(1). The Designated Office must determine whether the Project Proposal is adequate, or whether information is required from the proponent (developer) before commencing the evaluation. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 12(1).

The Designated Office must consider a Project Proposal as adequate/complete if, in the opinion of the Designated Office:

A Designated Office may, at any time in reviewing the adequacy of a proposal, establish working groups to provide the Designated Office with views and information respecting the adequacy of the information in the Project Proposal, and may determine the terms of reference and composition of such groups. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 19.

A Designated Office may extend the eight (8)-day period for determining whether a Project Proposal is adequate for a further period of up to 21 days. If a Designated Office extends the adequacy review period it must provide the developer with notice in writing and an explanation for the extension. In deciding whether to extend the adequacy review period the Designated Office must take into account:

  • The number and complexity of issues to be addressed in the assessment;
  • The relative size of the project, and nature of the activities to be undertaken; and
  • The location of the proposed project, including the sensitivity of the natural environment or socio-economic setting to project related activities.

Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 15(1)-(3).

If the Designated Office determines the Project Proposal is adequate, it must notify the proponent (developer) accordingly in writing and commence the environmental evaluation. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 12(2). If the Designated Office determines supplementary information is required from the proponent (developer) before commencing the evaluation, it must notify the developer accordingly in writing and specify in the notice what information is required. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 12(3).

9-YK-b.7 to 9-YK-b.15 – Is Supplementary Information Required?

The developer must submit any supplementary information required within 180 days to the Designated Office. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 18(1). If the developer does not submit supplementary information or advise the Designated Office in writing within the 180-day period that it will submit the information, the developer’s Project Proposal is deemed withdrawn and the Designated Office must notify the developer accordingly in writing and discontinue its consideration of the Project Proposal. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 18(2).

The Designated Office must review the supplemental information within six (6) days to determine if the information is adequate and commence the evaluation, or whether the supplemental information is deficient and notify the developer accordingly in writing. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 13(1). If the adequacy review period is extended the Designated Office must make a determination on the supplemental information within ten (10) days after receiving the supplemental information. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 13(2).

Unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the Designated Office and the developer, all supplementary information requested from a developer must be provided to the satisfaction of the Designated Office within two (2) years from the date the Project Proposal was first submitted. If at the expiry of the two (2)-year period or any extension of time agreed to under that subsection, the developer has not submitted the supplementary information requested by the Designated Office, the Project Proposal is deemed to have been withdrawn, and the Designated Office must notify the developer accordingly in writing and discontinue its consideration of the Project Proposal. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 18(3)-(4).

The Designated Office must provide written notice to the developer at least 45 days prior to a Project Proposal being deemed withdrawn. If a developer decides to proceed with a project that has been deemed withdrawn, they must do so by submitting a new Project Proposal in accordance with the Yukon – Environmental Assessment and Socio-economic Assessment Act, R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7 and the applicable rules. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, ss. 18(5)-(6).

9-YK-b.16 – Prepare Notification List

The Designated Office must prepare a notification list for each evaluation it is conducting that includes:

  • Any First Nation notified whose territory the project would be located, or in whose territory the project might have significant environmental or socio-economic effects;
  • Any government agency, independent regulatory agency or First Nation that has notified the Designated Office under R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 55(4); and
  • Any person who has requested the Designated Office in writing to be added to the notification list.

Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 31.

9-YK-b.17 – Provide Notice of Environmental Evaluation

When the Designated Office notifies the developer that their Project Proposal is adequate/complete and that the environmental evaluation is commencing, the Designated Office must also notify in writing:

  • Any Yukon First Nation in whose territory the project would be located, or in whose territory the project might have significant environmental or socioeconomic effects;
  • Any person on the notification list; and
  • The decision bodies for the project.

Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 25(1).

The notice must:

  • Describe how to view or obtain a copy of the Project Proposal and a description of the scope of the project; and
  • Invite views about the project, and information relevant to the evaluation, to be submitted to the Designated Office within the period specified in the notice, which must be at least 14 days and no more than 35 days.

Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 25(2).

In addition, the Designate Office must publicize the commencement of the environmental evaluation in a reasonable and effective way, which may include:

  • A notice placed at a prominent location within some or all of the communities in the assessment district where the project will be located, or within the area where the project might have significant environmental or socio-economic effects;
  • A periodical that, in its opinion, has a large circulation in Yukon; or
  • A periodical or radio broadcast that, in its opinion, is generally available in the assessment district where the project will be located, or within the area where the project might have significant environmental or socio-economic effects.

Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 26.

9-YK-b.18 to 9-YK-b.19 – Comment on Project Proposal

The Designated Office must provide a public comment period of at least 14 days for interested persons and members of the public can submit their views about the project and other information relevant to the evaluation of the project. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 25(2); R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 55(3)-(4);

The Designated Office may extend the time for interested persons and members of the public to submit their views about the project, and information relevant to the evaluation, for a further period of up to 35 days, and must notify the developer in writing of any such extension with an explanation and provide notice of the extended period to all persons on the notification list. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, ss. 25(2)-(4).

9-YK-b.20 to 9-YK-b.22 – Review Public Comments

The Designated Office must review the public comments and information submitted and within three (3) days after the comment period has ended must determine whether it:

  • Has sufficient information to conclude the evaluation and make a recommendation or referral on the Project Proposal;
  • Requires supplemental information from the developer to proceed with the evaluation; or
  • Should provide an additional period for public, interested persons and others to submit views and information regarding the Project Proposal.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board – Designated Office Evaluation Process Flowchart; R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 56(4); Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 27.

If the Designated Office decides supplementary information is required from the proponent (developer), it must notify the developer accordingly in writing and specify in the notice what information is required. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 36(1).

Before making a recommendation on the Project Proposal the Designated Office must take into consideration the views about the project, and information that it believes is relevant to the evaluation, from any First Nation consulted with, and from any government agency, independent regulatory agency or First Nation that has notified the Designated Office of its interest in the project or in the projects of that kind. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 56(4).

9-YK-b.23 to 9-YK-b.29 – Is Supplemental Information Required?

The developer must within 28 days from the date of the request, submit the information or advise the Designated Office in writing when they will be submitting the information. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 36(1).

If a developer does not submit their supplementary information or advise the Designated Office in writing within the 28-day period, the Project Proposal is deemed to have been withdrawn by the developer and the Designated Office must notify the developer accordingly in writing and discontinue the evaluation. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 36(2).

Within three (3) days after receiving supplementary information in writing the Designated Office must determine whether the information is satisfactory or deficient, and if the Designated Office determines the information is deficient, it must notify the developer accordingly in writing and specify the deficiency. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, ss. 28(1)-(2).

Unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the Designated Office and the developer, all supplementary information requested from the developer must be provided to the satisfaction of the Designated Office within one (1) year from the date the evaluation commenced. If at the expiry of the 1-year period or any extension of time agreed, the developer has not submitted the supplementary information requested by the Designated Office, the Project Proposal must be deemed to have been withdrawn, and the Designated Office must notify the developer in writing accordingly and discontinue the evaluation. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 36(3)-(4). The Designated Office must provide written notice to the developer at least 45 days prior to a Project Proposal being deemed withdrawn. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 36(5).

If the Designated Office determines the supplementary information is satisfactory it must determine whether it has sufficient information to conclude the evaluation and make a recommendation or referral under R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 56 or to provide an additional period for the public, interested persons and others to submit views and information regarding the Project Proposal. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 28(3).

9-YK-b.30 to 9-YK-b.33 – Is an Additional Public Comment Period Required?

In determining whether to provide an additional period for views and information to be submitted about a Project Proposal, a Designated Office must take into account:

  • Whether there have been material changes to the Project Proposal since the evaluation commenced;
  • Whether the developer submitted supplementary information after the evaluation commenced that, in the opinion of the Designated Office, the public, interested persons and others should have additional time to consider; and
  • Whether persons other than the developer submitted information or identified issues after the evaluation commenced that, in the opinion of the Designated Office, the public, interested persons and others should have additional time to consider.

Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 29(1).

If the Designated Office decides to provide an additional period for submitting views and information, it must notify the developer accordingly in writing with an explanation, and

  • Provide notice of the additional period to all persons on the notification list; and
  • Publicize notice of the additional period by such other method that, in the opinion of the Designated Office, is reasonable and effective.

Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 29(2).

Notice of the additional period must specify the period for submitting views and information to the Designated Office, which must be at least 10 days and no more than 35 days. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 29(3).

If the additional period specified by the Designated Office is less than 35 days, the Designated Office may, prior to the expiry of the specified period, extend the time for submitting views and information up to the maximum 35-day period. If the additional period specified by the Designated Office is more than 10 days, or if the period for submitting views and information is extended, the Designated Office must notify the proponent (developer) accordingly in writing with an explanation and provide notice of the extended period to all persons on the notification list. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, ss. 29(4)-(5). The Designated Office must review the public comments.

9-YK-b.34 – Determine Scope of Project

The Designated Office must determine the scope of the project prior to commencing an environmental evaluation. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 20. In accordance with R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 51, the Designated Office must include within the scope of the project:

  • Any activity identified in the Project Proposal; and
  • Any other activity that the Executive Committee considers likely to be undertaken in relation to an activity so identified and that it considers sufficiently related to it to be included in the project.

Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 21(1).

In determining whether another activity is likely to be undertaken and is sufficiently related to an activity identified in the Project Proposal, the Designated Office must take into consideration:

  • The spatial and temporal proximity of the activity identified in the Project Proposal to the other activity;
  • The likelihood that the activity identified in the Project Proposal would proceed without the other activity being undertaken; and
  • The likelihood that the other activity would proceed if the activity identified in the Project Proposal is undertaken.

Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 21(2).

The scope of a project described may be modified by a Designated Office in the course of an evaluation as a result of supplementary information provided by the developer, or other information obtained or received by the Designated Office relevant to the evaluation. A Designated Office must provide the developer, and any person on the notification list, with notice in writing of any material change to the scope of the project made by the Designated Office. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 22.

The Designated Office must conduct its evaluation of a project based on the scope of the project. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 23.

9-YK-b.35 to 9-YK-b.36 – Provide Notice of Public Meeting(s) (If Applicable)

The Designated Office must provide reasonable notice of a public meeting to the public, the developer, and any First Nation or other person on the notification list for the evaluation if they decide to hold a public meeting. The Designated Office may hold public meetings to seek view and information relevant to the evaluation. If a Designated Office holds a public meeting(s) it must invite the proponent (developer) to participate and prepare, or cause to be prepared, minutes or some other reasonable record of the meeting. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 33.

9-YK-b.37 to 9-YK-b.38 – Recommendation or Referral on the Project Proposal

At the conclusion of the its evaluation of the project, the Designated Office must:

  • Recommend to the decision bodies for the project that the project be allowed to proceed, if it determines that the project will not have significant adverse environmental or socio-economic effects in or outside Yukon;
  • Recommend to those decision bodies that the project be allowed to proceed, subject to specified terms and conditions, if it determines that the project will have, or is likely to have, significant adverse environmental or socio-economic effects in or outside Yukon that can be mitigated by those terms and conditions;
  • Recommend to those decision bodies that the project not be allowed to proceed, if it determines that the project will have, or is likely to have, significant adverse environmental or socio-economic effects in or outside Yukon that cannot be mitigated; or
  • Refer the project to the Executive Committee for a screening, if, after taking into account any mitigative measures included in the project proposal, it cannot determine whether the project will have, or is likely to have, significant adverse environmental or socio-economic effects.

R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 56(1).

The Designated Office must make its recommendation or referral within 14 days after determining that it has sufficient information to conclude its evaluation. A Designated Office may extend the period for makings its recommendation or referral up to an additional 21 days and must notify the developer accordingly in writing with an explanation for extension and provide notice of the extended period to all persons on the notification list. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 30(1).

The Designated Office must include in its written reasons provided a statement of its final determination of the scope of the project considered for the purposes of the evaluation. Rules for Evaluations Conducted by Designated Offices, s. 24.

9-YK-b.39 to 9-YK-b.40 – Is Project Referred to the Executive Committee?

If the Designated Office refers a project to the Executive Committee, it must provide the Executive Committee with copies of its documentation relating to the project. If the Designated Office refers a project to Executive Committee, see:

Executive Committee Environmental Screening:
9-YK-c

9-YK-b.41 – Consider Recommendation

The decision body must consider the recommendation of the Designated Office regarding the Project Proposal. The decision body must give full and fair consideration to scientific information, traditional knowledge and other information that is provided with the recommendation. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 74(1).

9-YK-b.42 – Consult First Nations (If Applicable)

The decision body must consult a First Nation for which no final agreement is in effect if the project is located wholly or partly or might have significant adverse environmental or socio-economic effects, in the First Nation’s territory. A final agreement is a final agreement within the meaning of the Yukon - First Nations Land Claims Settlement Act, S.C. 1994, c. 34. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 74(2).

9-YK-b.43 to 9-YK-b.46 – Decision Document

The decision body must issue a decision document accepting, rejecting, or varying the Designated Office’s recommendation. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 75. In implementing a decision document, a federal agency, First Nation, federal independent regulatory agency, or territorial minister that is a decision body for the project must not undertake a project, require that it be undertaken or take any action that would allow it to be undertaken unit it has issued a decision document. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, ss. 82(1), 84(1), 83(1), 87(1).

9-YK-b.47 to 9-YK-b.48 – Issue Authorization

A decision body (federal agency, First Nation, federal independent regulatory agency, the National Energy Board, or a territorial minister) must issue an authorization to enable the project to be undertaken. That authorization must specify the terms and conditions that will allow the project to mitigate the adverse environmental or socio-economic effects it may have in or outside the Yukon. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s.88.1.

For greater certainty, an independent regulatory agency, a government agency or a first nation may impose, to the extent of its jurisdiction and authority to do so, terms and conditions that are in addition to, or more stringent than, those referred to in the decision documents. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, ss. 87(2)-(3), 88(2), 84(2), 82(2), 83(2).

Following the issuance of a decision document allowing a project to be undertaken, every decision body (government agency, municipal government, independent regulatory agency and first nation) must notify the YESAB whenever it:

  • Issues any authorization required for the project to be undertaken, or amends or revokes that authorization;
  • Grants any interest in land required for the project to be undertaken, or modifies or withdraws that interest; or
  • Provides any financial assistance that enables the project to be undertaken or alters or cancels that assistance.

R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 89.

9-YK-b.49 – Appeal Decision (Optional)

Anyone directly affected by a matter in respect of which relief is sought may make an application to the Supreme Court of Yukon for any relief against the YESAB, a Designated Office, the Executive Committee, a panel of the YESAB, a joint panel, or a decision body, by way of an injunction or declaration or by way of an order in the nature of certiorari, mandamus, quo warrant, or prohibition. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 116.

The federal court has exclusive jurisdiction to issue an injunction, writ of certiorari, writ of prohibition, writ of mandamus or writ of quo warrant, or grant declaratory relief, against any federal board, commission or other tribunal and to hear and determine any application or other proceeding for relief in the nature of relief contemplated, including any proceeding brought against the Attorney General of Canada, to obtain relief against a federal board, commission or other tribunal. R.S.Y. 2003, c. 7, s. 116 and R.S.C. 1985, c. F-7, s. 18(1).


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