Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Web Site
MCEA Session at the 2017 OGRA Conference
MEA sponsored a MCEA session during the 2017 OGRA Conference, which took place February 27 - March 1 at the Fairmont Royal York, Toronto. The session was titled "Debugging the MCEA: Saving Time & Money", and it included interesting and informative presentations from Trish Johnson (Lead, Better Best Practice Initiative, WaterTap Ontario), Frank Zechner (Lawyer, RCCAO), Reg Andres (Senior Infrastructure Specialist, R.V. Anderson), and our President, Paul Knowles. To view a video of the session containing slides from the presentations, please click here. To view pictures from the session, please click here.
RCCAO & MEA's 2017 EBR Application
For an overview of the 2017 EBR Application regarding the MCEA process, please click here.
MCEA Companion Guide
This document is a Companion Guide for the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Manual. It contains clarifications for the following sections of the manual:
A.3.7 First Nations
A.3.5.3 Public Notice
A.2.1.1 Level of Complexity
A.2.8 Responsibility of the Public
A.3.5.1 Consultation Plan
A.3.5.2 Method of Contact
The MCEA Companion Guide can be found here.
Municipal Class EA training
Registration is now open for 2 courses.
This is a very popular course and you are encouraged to register early.
Climate Change in Environmental Assessments
All Class EAs will need to be amended to include a climate change section. For a presentation on MOECC’s proposed Guide on Climate Change in Environmental Assessments, please click here.
Municipal Class EA Amendment: Auditor General's Report
The Auditor General’s Report, which was released on November 30th, 2016, includes Chapter 3 (3.06) which is 48 pages focused on Environment Assessments. MEA’s MCEA Committee supports many of the Auditor General’s recommendations and MOECC’s responses but highlights the following:
Recommendation 7 - “The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change should improve the timeliness of its process for reviewing bump-up requests to ensure that its review does not cause unnecessary delays to projects.”
The Auditor General does an excellent job portraying the serious problem with the delays associated with decisions on bump-up requests and confirms that senior level sign off causes significant delay (110 days) with no added value. For years MEA has been calling for improvements to the process and delegation to the Director. We are very disappointed with MOECC’s response which primarily blames others for the delays.
General – The Auditor General’s investigation focusses on comprehensive (individual EA) and streamlined (Class EAs) but does not seem to address pre-approved Schedule A and A+ projects.
MOECC’s new legal interpretation of the EA Act in 2011, created a loophole that allows for a bump-up request on a pre-approved (Schedule A and A+) project. This is not practical and needs to be addressed.
Paul Knowles has already provided this information in an interview with the Daily Commercial News which could be found here. Further efforts to encourage action are recommended including that the MEA relay concerns with the MCEA process to the provincial opposition parties.
Annual Monitoring of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment
Again this year, the Municipal Engineers Association is asking Municipalities, Government agencies and other stakeholders to provide
their input on the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process through a web based survey.
Recently there has been a number of significant issues raised related to the MCEA as summarized on the attached charts and, in October 2015,
the Minister approved an amendment to the MCEA. However, this recent amendment to the MCEA was restricted to specific topics (cycling
facilities, source water protection etc) and does not address these other issues. MEA has recorded the input on other issues and is planning a
further comprehensive amendment to the MCEA. During this process, all of the issues raised, including those identified in this earlier consultation,
will be examined.
As outlined in the attached letters the two most critical issues are;
1) the interpretation that permits Part II Order Requests on pre-approved projects
2) the timeframe for a decision on Part II Order Requests.
These items must be addressed in any comprehensive amendment to the MCEA but they require action by the Ministry.
In early 2015, the Minister announced a “Review of the entire EA Permitting System” would begin in the fall of 2015.
This review was to include the MCEA and consideration of these two critical issues. However, to date no review has proceeded.
Work on this comprehensive amendment has been delayed until the Ministry takes action on these critical issues.
Please follow the link below to provide your input on the MCEA prior to May 6, 2016.
Major Amendment Approved
On October 7, 2015, Minister Murray approved the ‘cycling’ amendment as attached. Although known as the ‘cycling’ amendment, the amendment actually includes:
An amendment to the Municipal Roads Projects table in Appendix 1 to include active transportation projects
An amendment to section A.1.5.2 Municipal Class EA Amending Procedure
An amendment to section A.2.8 Provision for Changing Project Status (Part II Order)
The addition of section A.2.10.6 The Clean Water Act to refer to Protection of Source Water for Municipal Water Systems
An amendment to Appendix 2 – Typical Mitigation Measures for Potential Environmental Effects to address climate change
An amendment to Appendix 6 – Sample Notices to update the notices
MCEA Position Paper
Earlier this year, Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment, said the he would be turning his attention to the administration of Environmental Assessment in Ontario and reviewing the “EA Permitting Process”, with an interest in looking for efficiencies. The Municipal Class EA is a large part of the current EA system in Ontario, and the Municipal Engineers Association, as custodian of the MCEA document, has a keen interest in the Ministry’s upcoming review. To prepare for this, MEA has prepared the the attached paper which outlines MEA’s proposed position and describes improvements which MEA recommends to the MCEA and the associated process. Serious problems persist with the Part II Order Request process and this paper explains MEA’s recommendation to address these problems.
The paper has now been submitted to MOECC and we are hopefull that these improvements will be implemented.
The Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) process exists because it was originally approved by the Minister of the Environment in 2000. Amendments to what was originally approved have occurred. The latest version - 2015 is now available. You can purchase a printed copy, or, if you are a Current Member, you can view a searchable version online. Non-members can purchase access to the searchable online manual.
Note: Please sign on as a member to get searchable web access and member rate on manual.
A free, non-searchable online version is available HERE
The Road Project Tables refer to a Cost Limit in millions of dollars for each schedule, that if not exceeded would categorize a project of that description as being a Schedule A, A+ or possibly a B. If the Capital cost of a project would exceed the Cost Limit, the project would require a designation as a Schedule B or C, depending on the project description.
For more information, please download the file listed below.
Note: The MTO have not been able to update this cost for 2013 and consequently continue to use 2012 costs.
New address for sending Part II orders:
The Ministry/Minister of Environment and Climate Change
77 Wellesley St West, 11th Floor
Toronto, ON, M7A 2T5
Fax 416 314 8452
Training & Events
MCEA offers Training Courses to suit your needs. To find out more, please Click Here
Access to the searchable online MCEA Manual for MEA members and paid subscribers
(Note you must be logged on to view this page and to purchase the manual at the Member discount rate)
To purchase the MCEA Manual
To Purchase an on line subscription Members or Non members click HERE
Access to the free non searchable version of the MCEA manual