Class Environmental Assessment for Minor Transmission Facilities
A Class Environmental Assessment (EA) is an environmental planning process approved under Ontario's Environmental Assessment Act (EA Act) for certain classes of projects that have predictable and mitigable environmental effects. A proponent who receives approval for a class of undertakings does not need to obtain separate approval under the EA Act for each specific project, provided the class planning process is adhered to for the specific project.
The Class EA for Minor Transmission Facilities was originally developed by the former Ontario Hydro and approved under the EA Act by Order-in-Council in 1980. It has undergone several revisions since that time. The current version of the document, approved by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, is the Class EA for Minor Transmission Facilities (November 16, 2016).
The types of electricity infrastructure projects that may be planned according to the process set out in the Class EA for Minor Transmission Facilities are defined in the Guide to Environmental Assessment Requirements for Electricity Projects and in the following Ontario Regulations: Electricity Projects (O. Reg. 116/01), and
Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings (O. Reg. 281/08).
Class EA Amendment Process
On November 16, 2016, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change issued a decision on Hydro One's amended Class EA for Minor Transmission Facilities. Read the Minister's letter to Hydro One and the Minister's Notice of Approval, November 16, 2016.
Hydro One initiated the amendment process for the Class EA in 2012 with three main objectives in mind:
To ensure it is aligned with current regulatory requirements, including O. Reg. 116/01 and O. Reg. 281/08.
To ensure consistency with the
MOECC Code of Practice: Preparing, Reviewing and Using Class Environmental Assessments in Ontario, 2014.
To reflect new technologies and changes to technical information.
The amendment process was undertaken in accordance with the previously-approved Terms of Reference for amending the Class EA for Minor Transmission Facilities (Hydro One, 2003). The Terms of Reference set out how Hydro One, as the lead proponent (applicant), proposed to meet EA Act requirements for conducting the review of the latest version of the Class EA Document (Revision 6, April 1992). The amendment and consultation process with stakeholders is outlined in the appendices of the Class EA document. Going forward, a complete review of the Class EA will be completed every five years.
Monitoring the effectiveness of the class ea process
Hydro One is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the Class EA Process by ensuring that the document remains relevant and current. As noted in Section 5.5 of the Class EA Document, Hydro One will produce a consolidated annual monitoring report including information provided by all project proponents who use the Class EA in that calendar year. The report will be submitted each year in February to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
All project proponents are required to provide their information for the annual monitoring report to Hydro One by February 25 of each year using the required reporting format provided in Appendix H of the Class EA document. Project proponents may submit their information by email to: ClassEA.AnnualMonitoringReport@HydroOne.com.