Municipal Class Environmental Assessment
Part A - Class EA Planning Process


Phase 1

Piecemealing is prohibited.

Proponents are reminded that the activity with the highest schedule determines the EA requirements (i.e., if one component is listed under Schedule A, another under Schedule B and another under Schedule C, the entire project is subject to Schedule C).

Step 1 Identification and description of the problem or opportunity. Municipalities generally undertake projects in response to certain identified problems or deficiencies. On the other hand, there may be opportunities which need to be addressed. These problems or opportunities may or may not be obvious to the public but it is necessary to document factors which lead to the conclusion that an improvement or change is needed. Earlier studies or reviews undertaken by the proponent may be available to assist in defining the problem. This phase should therefore lead to the development of a clear statement of the problem or opportunity being addressed.

From the problem statement, a project will be developed. In assessing the magnitude and extent of a problem therefore the scope of the project, it is important that the projects, and not be broken down, or piecemealed, into component parts or phases, with each part being addressed as a separate project. If the component parts are dependent on each other, then all of the components must be combined and dealt with as a single project.

Step 2 Discretionary Public Consultation. For projects which are expected to generate considerable public interest or controversy, the proponent may find it advantageous to introduce a discretionary Step 2 and commence the public consultation process in order that the public may be involved at this stage in defining the problem and formulating the problem statement.
Optional Prior to commencing the study, or during the course of defining the problem or opportunity, it may become apparent that a Master Plan approach is appropriate, or co-ordination with the Planning Act is beneficial. These are discussed in Sections A.2.7 and A.2.9 respectively.