Environmental Assessment Process

Projects 1 to 7 are subject to Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act and are being carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000).

Based on the initial scope of work identified for each contract, projects 1,3,4,5 and 6 are classified as a Group B undertaking according to MTO’s Class EA. Group B projects potentially have significant impacts on the environment and include major improvements to existing infrastructure. As part of a Group B project, a Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) is prepared summarizing the environmental impacts and mitigation measures that will be in place during construction. The TESR is made available for a required 30-day review period. If a member of the public or review agency believes the TESR does not fully outline the project impacts or provide appropriate mitigation measures, a request (known as a Part II Order Request) may be sent to the Minister of the Environment asking for the assessment to comply with Part II of the Environmental Assessment Act.

MTO’s Class EA allows a Group B project to be “stepped down” to a Group C project, if:

  • There are no significant environmental or property issues

  • No need to provide formal documentation of identified issues

  • Limited likelihood of a Part II Order request.

Based on public and agency input and the findings of the environmental assessment completed for each project, MTO will decide if it is appropriate for the project to be “stepped down”. A notice will be issued providing a 30-day public review period of MTO’s decision to “step down” the project.

Projects 2 and 7 are being completed as a Group C project under MTO's class EA. Group C projects have minimal and predictable environmental effects that are readily mitigated. This type of project does not require formal documentation and is approved under the EA Act, subject to “screening”. The screening process involves public and agency consultation and determines the impacts of the project, and measures and provisions required to prevent/mitigate adverse impacts, including monitoring, during and after construction. The process is documented in an environmental screening document (for MTO internal use).