New regulations for environmental assessments
Project proponents and the public will have a better understanding of how the provincial government conducts environmental assessments.
Communities, Land and Environment Minister Richard Brown has introduced amendments to the Environmental Protection Act in the legislature that provide for regulations to formalize the environmental assessment process.
“Project proponents and the public will have a much clearer idea on which projects will be assessed, how long it will take and what is required in their submissions,” Minister Brown said. “The creation of the regulations will increase confidence in how the process is conducted. The regulations will also reflect the changing nature of development projects and public expectations.”
Currently, there is limited authority under the Act and the process is directed by guidelines which can be open to interpretation. Prince Edward Island is the only province in Canada which does not have regulations related to environmental assessments.
The public can now review documents of proposed projects undergoing assessment on the department’s website at princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/communities-land-and-environment/projects-under-environmental-review-undertakings. The proposed changes will provide for more public input into the assessment process.
Environmental assessment is a tool for predicting potential environmental consequences of proposed developments. It is a means to identify any environmental risks with the projects before they occur and determine measures to mitigate them.
The regulations are now being developed and public consultations will take place before they are implemented.