About Environmental Assessment
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) oversees between 25 and 35 Environmental Assessments (EAs) every year, most of which are screenings. With the growth of the nuclear sector, even more EAs are expected, especially for large-scale projects that will result in comprehensive studies and, possibly, review panels. The CNSC’s EA process is a bit different than EA processes at other federal departments and agencies, because our Commission Tribunal is responsible for making most EA decisions.
What is an Environmental Assessment?
An EA is a planning tool used by many federal authorities to help predict, evaluate, and manage the environmental effects of a proposed project.
EAs examine many elements, including:
- air quality
- human health
- Aboriginal interest, physical and cultural heritage
- use of land and resources
There are two types of EAs at the CNSC: screenings and comprehensive studies – both of which can be referred to a review panel, if the situation warrants. Mediators can also be engaged in the EA process to help resolve issues, but to date, no mediator has ever been retained in a federal EA in Canada.
For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions about EAs.