Section 10 of the Environmental Assessment Act (2018) requires proponents of projects in the prescribed categories of the Reviewable Project Regulation (RPR) to submit a notification to the EAO if they meet the notification thresholds set in section 5 of the RPR. Section 5 came into force on April 1, 2020.
As of April 1, 2020, proponents of projects that meet the notification thresholds are obligated to notify the EAO no later than 15 days after applying for the applicable approved listed in the table in the Reviewable Projects Transition Regulation.
If, before April 1, 2020, a proponent has made all applications for applicable approvals set out in the table of the transition regulation, but no approvals have been obtained as of April 1, 2020, the prescribed period is 90 days after the date section 5 comes into force (June 29, 2020). More information on the prescribed period can be found in the Project Notification Policy below.
Once the EAO receives a project notification, the Chief Executive Assessment Officer (CEAO) has 60 days to do one of the following:
- Refer the project notification to the Minister for consideration under section 11 (to designate the project as reviewable);
- Require further review of the notification, including any actions or consultation that must be carried out by the proponent before a decision can be made; or
- Determine that no further review of the project notification is required. The project may then proceed to permitting with other agencies.
If further review is required under section 10(4)(b), the CEAO would include directions for further procedures and consultations that must be carried out by the proponent and instructions for submitting a revised project notification after carrying out any required tasks.
The review of project notifications is not intended to be a complex or onerous process, but a check on whether projects that do not meet the thresholds in the RPR should nonetheless go through the EA process due to their potential to cause significant adverse effects. The decision on whether to refer a project to the Minister for decision is discretionary. Not every project will be so referred.
Project Notification Policy
The Project Notification Policy (V.1.1) provides guidance with respect to the application of section 10 of the Environmental Assessment Act (2018). The Policy provides guidance on the typical review process conducted by the EAO and the information required by the Chief Executive Assessment Officer (CEAO) under section 10(2)(b).
EAO Contact for Project Notifications
It is important to keep in mind that project proponents are responsible for making their own determinations as to whether or not their proposed project meets the criteria for reviewability or notification set out in the RPR. Proponents should direct inquiries about submitting a Project Notification to EAO.Notifications@gov.bc.ca.
Where to find Project Notifications?
Project Notifications and opportunities to submit public comments on project notifications can be found on the EAO Project Information Centre (EPIC).