Risk Assessment

AANDC environment officers will review the completed Project Description and perform a risk analysis to identify whether there is a need for further environmental review. The risk assessment will include the following considerations:

  • potential for pollution of soil, air, surface or groundwater;
  • potential for impacts on species at risk or migratory birds;
  • potential for impacts on fish or fish habitat;
  • potential impacts on other valuable ecosystem components (i.e. an environmental component identified as having scientific, social, cultural, economic or aesthetic value);
  • potential impact on Aboriginal or treaty rights;
  • potential for public concern; and,
  • the ability of any identified risks to be managed via best practices, standard mitigation measures, or regulatory means.

Depending on the results of this analysis, AANDC officials will identify one of the following levels of review with respect to the project and its potential risk to the environment:

Levels of Risk and Environmental Review

Risk Level Level of Review Action Required
Negligible Minor No need for further environmental review past the Project Description.  Impacts can be managed through standard mitigation measures and/or best management practices.
Low Simple The Simple Environmental Review Report (or similar template) should be completed.  Mitigation measures must be identified for project components where potential environmental risk is identified.  Any additional recommendations (e.g., best practices, tank registration requirements) provided by the environment officer must be implemented.
Medium Detailed The project is large or complex and risk and potential impacts are not readily known. A detailed environmental review of potential environmental effects is required.  The Guide to Completing a Detailed Environmental Review Report will assist with the preparation of the assessment report.
High (and/or potential for public concern) Referral for Designation pursuant to s.14(2) of CEAA 2012 AANDC may request that the Minister of Environment designate the project. If the Minister of the Environment does not designate the project, the project will undergo a detailed environmental review in accordance with guidance provided.

Assuming typical circumstances in compliance with federal environmental legislation and appropriate distance from any water bodies, the following list demonstrates the level of review that proponents can expect for certain project types. The majority of projects that AANDC reviews are considered "minor".

Minor Project:

  • Construction of a single house
  • Installation of telecommunications and internet infrastructure (e.g. transmission towers)
  • Renovations of an existing structure (e.g. residence or community facility)
  • Upgrades to existing roads

Simple Environmental Review:

  • Construction of a wastewater treatment plant
  • Construction of a residential sub-division
  • Construction of a gas station

Read more information on Simple Environmental Review.

Detailed Environmental Review:

  • Construction and operation of a stone quarry or sand and gravel pit with a production capacity of less than 3,500,000 tons per year
  • Construction and operation of a waste incinerator
  • Construction and operation of an aquaculture operation
  • Construction of an all-season highway

Read more information on Detailed Environmental Review.