2018 Environmental Assessment Act, Regulations and Agreements

The Environmental Assessment Act, 2018 and associated regulations and agreements apply to projects that entered the environmental assessment process after December 16th, 2019. Some projects may have also transferred in from the 2002 Act. More details are available in the transition provisions FAQs.



  • Declaration Act Consent Decision-Making Agreement for Eskay Creek Project
  • Collaboration Agreement with Lake Babine Nation
  • Agreement with the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada


Responsible Minister Order

Under the Environmental Assessment Act (the Act), two ministers are responsible for making the decision on whether or not to issue an Environmental Assessment Certificate for a project undergoing an environmental assessment. The first is the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. The other is the "responsible minister", who is the minister, through their Cabinet position, with responsibility for activities in a sector.

An alternate responsible minister is designated for each of the categories for situations where the organization proposing to build a project is a government agency (for instance, a Crown corporation or a ministry) and the responsible minister is in charge of that government agency.

The following table lists the responsible ministers and alternative responsible ministers for each category of reviewable projects.

Responsible Ministries
Category of Reviewable Projects Responsible Minister Alternate Responsible Minister
Energy Projects Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation
Mine Projects Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation
Industrial Projects – forest products industries Forests Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation
Industrial Projects – industries other than forest products  Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation Forests
Tourist Destination Resort Projects Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Municipal Affairs
Waste Disposal Projects  Municipal Affairs Water, Land and Resource Stewardship
Water Management Projects Water, Land and Resource Stewardship Municipal Affairs
Transportation Projects Transportation and Infrastructure Municipal Affairs

Reviewable Projects Regulation

The Reviewable Projects Regulation (RPR) sets out the criteria for determining which projects should be required to undergo an environmental assessment (EA), by defining prescribed project categories and providing thresholds for each category that seek to indicate the potential for adverse effects for their specific project type. Projects that fall into a prescribed category and meet the thresholds specific to its category require an assessment under the RPR. These are called reviewable projects.

More information about the RPR, including an Intentions Paper and What We Heard Report is available in the Environmental Assessment Revitalization section.

The Interactive Interpretation Guide helps explain how to determine if a project is reviewable.



A PDF version of the interpretation guide is also available for accessibility (25MB).


Reviewable Projects Transition Regulation

This regulation sets out the conditions under which in-progress projects under the 2002 Act are sufficiently advanced in their permitting and/or construction to not be reviewable under the 2018 Act. 

Environmental Assessment Transition Regulation

This regulation sets out the conditions by which projects in the environmental assessment process under the 2002 Act will transition to the 2018 Act.

Environmental Assessment Fees Regulation

The Environmental Assessment Office charges fees for a range of services, from undertaking environmental assessments through to compliance inspections.

The fees provide partial recovery of the costs incurred by the Environmental Assessment Office in delivering high-quality and timely environmental assessments. Revenue from fees allows the organization to maintain appropriate staffing levels. The funding is also used to support other provincial agencies in their participation in the environmental assessment process. A table outlining the fees is available in the regulation on BC Laws.

Violation Ticket Administration and Fines Regulation

This regulation enables Environmental Assessment Office Compliance and Enforcement Officers to issue tickets with associated monetary penalties to proponents who are not in compliance with their certificate conditions, or exemption order conditions.

Conservation Officer Service Authority Regulation

This regulation enables Conservation Officers to conducts inspections under the Environmental Assessment Act, 2018.

Natural Resource Officer Authority Regulation

This regulation enables Natural Resource Officers to conduct inspections under the Environmental Assessment Act, 2018.

Protected Areas Regulation

This regulation identifies prescribed protected areas (as defined in other enactments) for the purposes of the reviewable projects regulation, which determines which projects must automatically undergo an environmental assessment. This regulation is also related to the Minister's authority to terminate a project from the environmental assessment process if it would have extraordinarily adverse effects on a listed protected area. A table outlining the prescribed protected areas is available in the regulation on BC Laws.

Administrative Penalties Regulation

Administrative penalties are financial penalties that can be issued for prescribed contraventions of the Act or failures to comply with the Act, including failing to comply with the requirements of an EA certificate or an exemption order made under the Act. Regulated parties will be given prior notice of the EAO’s intention to issue an administrative penalty and provided with an opportunity to respond before an administrative penalty is issued.

Regulations in development

A number of regulations are still in development as part of Environmental Assessment Revitalization. The EAO has prioritized the development of regulations needed for projects to begin entering the revitalized EA process under the 2018 Act. The following regulations are in development and being engaged on with Indigenous nations, stakeholders, the public and industry. 

  • Dispute Resolution Regulation
  • Capacity Funding Tariff
  • Regional/Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulation


Consent Decision-Making Agreements

In 2022 and 2023, Tahltan Central Government, the Province and the Environmental Assessment Office entered into the first two consent-based decision-making agreements under the 2018 Environmental Assessment Act and the 2019 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, related to the environmental assessments of two mining projects in Tahltan Territory.

Under the 2022 agreement, the Province and Tahltan Central Government will collaboratively carry out their own assessment process to inform their separate decision on whether the Eskay Creek Mine Revitalization project should proceed. A second consent agreement was signed in 2023 for the collaborative assessments on proposed major changes to the existing Red Chris Porphyry Copper-Gold Mine. Neither project can proceed without Tahltan consent.

The agreements honour Tahltan’s jurisdiction in land-management decisions in Tahltan Territory, in recognition of Tahltan’s title and rights, and represent a step forward in the co-governance relationship between the two governments. These agreements advance reconciliation, provide clarity and predictability in the environmental assessment process and establish innovative new ways for the EAO, Tahltan and proponents to work together.


Collaboration Agreement with Lake Babine Nation

The Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has a Collaboration Agreement with Lake Babine Nation (LBN), authorized under s. 41 of the Environmental Assessment Act. The Collaboration Agreement describes how the EAO and LBN will collaborate on future environmental assessments (EA) for projects in LBN’s territory. It highlights LBN’s assessment criteria for proposed projects, including the Nation’s Sustainability Framework and Socio‑Economic Impacts Framework, allowing proponents to understand what LBN expects of projects proposed for their territory. The agreement includes additional process steps for EAs that supplement the default process outlined in the EA Act, such as additional opportunities to seek to achieve consensus as required by the EA Act, and provides clear and united direction to proponents on how to work productively and respectfully with LBN.

This first of its kind agreement was signed on November 23rd, 2021.

Agreement with the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (formerly the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency) is the federal counterpart to British Columbia's Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). The EAO and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) maintain a strong relationship to ensure projects requiring both federal and provincial environmental assessments are conducted as efficiently as possible.

The Impact Assessment Cooperation Agreement is a consolidation and update of existing memoranda of understanding between the EAO and the Agency that have been in place in various forms since 2004 (under the Environmental Assessment Act, 2002). This agreement applies to all projects being assessed under the Environmental Assessment Act, 2018. 

When a project falls under both provincial and federal environmental assessment responsibility, the two governments will cooperate on the environmental assessment while retaining their respective decision-making powers. The cooperation options include:

  • Co-ordination, where jurisdictions co-ordinate activities and, where possible, harmonize timelines and documents.
  • Substitution, where the EAO conducts the environmental assessment process on behalf of the Agency, with each jurisdiction making its own decision based on a single assessment report.
  • Joint Review Panel, where jurisdictions jointly appoint panel members and agree on terms of reference for an independent panel to conduct the impact assessment.

Substituted Projects

The Federal Minister has approved seventeen environmental assessments to be conducted as substituted assessments:


Project Name

Category Status

Aley Mine

Mining Pre-Application 

Arctos Anthracite

Mining Pre-Application

Aurora LNG Digby Island

Energy Withdrawn

Aurora LNG Grassy Point

Energy Withdrawn

Carbon Creek Coal Mine

Mining Withdrawn

Cedar LNG



Delta Grinding Facility

Industrial Pre-Application

Echo Hill Coal

Mining Withdrawn

Grassy Point LNG

Energy Withdrawn

Kemess Underground

Mining Certificate Issued
Kitimat LNG Energy Amendment

LNG Canada Export Terminal

Energy Certificate Issued

Ruddock Creek Mine

Mining Pre-Application

Sukunka Coal Mine

Mining Application Review


Energy Withdrawn

WesPac Tilbury Marine Jetty

Transportation Application Review

Woodfibre LNG

Energy Certificate Issued