Projects requiring a comprehensive study are described in the Comprehensive Study List Regulations [PDF - 208 KB]. These tend to be large projects having the potential for significant adverse environmental effects. They may also generate public concerns.
On July 12, 2010 amendments to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act came into effect, which make the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) responsible for conducting comprehensive studies of projects, except those where the National Energy Board or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is a responsible authority. The Agency will perform this role from the time it becomes aware of a project that may require a comprehensive study until the comprehensive study report is submitted to the Minister of the Environment.
To ensure that comprehensive studies are conducted in a predictable manner, the Establishing Timelines for Comprehensive Studies Regulations [PDF - 169 KB], which sets mandatory timelines for the Agency, came into force on June 23, 2011.
Information on potential and current environmental assessments of projects proposed since the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 came into force on July 6, 2012 can be found in the Registry and is not included in the lists below.
Environmental assessments are defined as current when the process is underway and a course of action has not been taken by the responsible authority(ies). The course of action is the decision of the responsible authority(ies) concerning the environmental effects of the project.
* Further to amendments to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in July 2010, the Agency assumed responsibility for completion of this comprehensive study, which was ongoing at that time.
After an environmental assessment decision has been taken, the responsible authority(ies) must establish a follow-up program with a specified duration to verify the accuracy of the environmental assessment
An environmental assessment is defined as completed when a course of action has been taken by the responsible authority(ies) and, where there is a follow-up program, upon the completion of the follow-up program. The course of action is the decision of the responsible authority(ies) concerning the environmental effects of the project. Once the environmental assessment process is completed, only certain information is available online for reference purposes.
An environmental assessment may be terminated at any time when the responsible authority(ies) decide not to exercise any power or perform any duty or function for the purpose of enabling a project to be carried out in whole or in part. For example, the environmental assessment is terminated if the proponent withdraws the project application, or the nature of the project has changed and no longer triggers the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Once the environmental assessment process is terminated, only certain information is available online for reference purposes.