Description & Guidance for the Project Description Form

Section Description and Guidance
Section A: Project Information This section includes the project title and proponent contact details. Identify the proposed start and expected completion date of the project, and describe all components of the project over the entire life cycle of the project, including site preparation, construction, operation, decommissioning, and site restoration or rehabilitation. Include any physical works or activities accessory to the principal project (for example if the project creates waste, include information on the proper disposal of that waste; or if certain utilities needed to be established or decommissioned for the project, include those ancillary works).

Identify all permits, licences or approvals (including any provincial or municipal requirements when applicable) that need to be obtained for the project and any other important characteristics of the regulatory environment. Please refer to maps of the area to be disturbed for the proposed project in relation to existing activities, topographic features, township grids, watercourses and water bodies. Copies of drawings, plans, maps showing the project location, and any key features referred to in the remainder of the document, etc. should be attached to the form.

Section B: Land Description Select all surface water bodies (lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, bogs etc) in or within 30 m of the study area. Identify any drinking water wells or aquifer recharge zone (i.e., a land area into which water can infiltrate into and replenish an aquifer relatively easily) and the depth to groundwater, if known.

Select the soil type and topography, slope and any special landforms within the specified project area. Describe the land use (e.g. zoning, current and past land uses and ownership) at the project site. Describe existing and planned resource use within the boundaries or surrounding areas of the site that may be affected by the proposed project (e.g. farming, forestry, mining, commercial fisheries, wildlife populations/distribution, trapping/hunting, forestry, location of traditional plants, water resources).

Section C: Flora and Fauna Identify any plant and animal species that are listed under the federal Species at Risk Act that have the potential to be present in the project area. The Environment Canada (EC) SARA registry provides information on listed species at risk and their habitat. Check with your province/territory, as they may have species at risk websites as well.

Identify if the project has the potential to impact migratory birds – as populations and as individuals – or their habitats, eggs and nests. Contact Environment Canada for guidance on appropriate mitigation measures, such as timing restrictions.

If the project involves in-water works or is sited near water, contact the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for advice on appropriate mitigation measures and/or Fisheries Act authorizations. Authorizations may also be required if your project involves blasting in or near water, killing fish by means other than fishing, or creating a barrier to fish migration. Environment Canada is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, which prohibit the deposit of deleterious (harmful) substances into water containing fish.

Describe the vegetation in the area, (such as forests, marshes, grass fields, cultivated fields) as well as in the adjacent areas. Describe animals in the area (aquatic species, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals) as well as in the adjacent areas. Identify any significant sensitive natural areas (e.g. wetlands, caribou fawning areas) in the project area.

Section D: Traditional/Cultural Uses Identify any traditional, historical, archaeological and/or cultural use areas in the project area. This information will help inform whether Aboriginal consultation by AANDC is warranted.
Section E: Consultation and Public Participation Indicate if the project has the potential to cause off-reserve impacts. This will assist AANDC in determining whether consultation with other Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal groups may be required prior to the project's authorization.
Section F: Comments and Other Information This section allows for the proponent to provide any additional information they feel pertinent for the reviewing officer to know about the project. For small projects, it is suggested that the proponent use this section to proactively identify any key best practices or mitigation measures they plan to implement during the project. This additional information may enable a speedier review of the PD form by AANDC, and in some cases, the AANDC environment officer may even be able to conclude that the proponent has addressed all the relevant risks and no further review is needed.

(Please note that for larger or more complex projects, it would not be appropriate to use Section F to identify all mitigation measures. For such projects, AANDC will likely require a separate, more thorough analysis of impacts and mitigation).

Section G: Contact Information This section involves identifying the First Nation (if not the proponent) and an alternative contact in case the primary contact (as identified in Section A) cannot be reached.
Section H: Determination, Sign-off and Approval This section is completed by AANDC. AANDC will use this section to identify the level of further review that the project should undergo, in order to make determination as to whether significant adverse environmental effects are likely. Other factors relating to areas of federal responsibility (Aboriginal consultation, input from other regulatory bodies, land tenure requirements) are identified here as well.