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.
- Responsible Minister Order
- Reviewable Projects Regulation
- Reviewable Projects Transition Regulation
- Environmental Assessment Transition Regulation
- Violation Ticket Administration and Fines Regulation
- Environmental Assessment Fees Regulation
- Conservation Officer Service Authority Regulation
- Natural Resource Officer Authority Regulation
- Protected Areas Regulation
- Administrative Penalties Regulation
- Regulations in development
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.
|Category of Reviewable Projects||Responsible Minister||Alternate Responsible Minister|
|Energy Projects||Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation||Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development|
|Mine Projects||Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation||Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development|
|Industrial Projects||Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development||Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation|
|Tourist Destination Resort Projects||Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development||Municipal Affairs|
|Waste Disposal Projects||Municipal Affairs||Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development|
|Water Management Projects||Municipal Affairs||Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development|
|Transportation Projects||Transportation and Infrastructure||Municipal Affairs|
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.
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).
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.
This regulation sets out the conditions by which projects in the environmental assessment process under the 2002 Act will transition to the 2018 Act
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.
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.
First EAO amendment – November 29, 2019
This regulation enables Conservation Officers to conducts inspections under the Environmental Assessment Act, 2018.
This regulation enables Natural Resource Officers to conduct inspections under the Environmental Assessment Act, 2018.
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 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 environmental assessment certificate or an 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.
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 Regulation
- Regional/Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulation
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 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 Impact Assessment Agency of Canada 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 Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, 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.
The Federal Minister has approved seventeen environmental assessments to be conducted as substituted assessments: