Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act (NuPPAA) - Highlights
Came into force July 9, 2015.
Establishes in legislation the continuation of the Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) and Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) and clearly defines their powers, duties and functions, including how their commissioners/board members are appointed. It also clearly defines the roles and authorities of Inuit, and the federal and territorial governments.
Creates a "single window" approach to the review process. All resource development projects will now start by submitting a project proposal to the Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC). All reviews, authorizations, permits and licences for the project will flow from this starting point. This approach applies to all regions of Nunavut, including those without a current land use plan.
Clearly defines how, and by whom, land use plans will be prepared, reviewed, approved and amended.
Establishes timelines for decision-making in the land use planning and environmental assessment processes, thereby creating a more efficient and predictable regulatory regime.
Updates the rules around appointments and term extensions for NPC Commissioners and NIRB members. It also allows the NIRB to create small working panels, which will help to speed up the review process by allowing the Board to consider several projects at the same time.
Refines the definition of a "project," reducing the administrative burden on all parties for activities with extremely limited adverse environmental effects. This includes certain municipal projects and emergencies.
Streamlines the impact assessment process, especially for smaller projects, and provides industry with clear, consistent and transparent guidelines, making investments in Nunavut more attractive and profitable.
Harmonizes the assessment process for transboundary projects by providing for review by joint panels and providing an opportunity for the NIRB to review and assess projects outside of the Nunavut Settlement Area which may have an adverse impact on the Nunavut Settlement Area.
Establishes effective enforcement tools to ensure terms and conditions from the plans and impact assessment process are followed. These new tools include prohibitions, offences, inspection and penalties (fines and/or jail time).
Preserves proponent’s rights if a new or amended land use plan should come into effect. In most scenarios, existing projects will be deemed to conform to new/amended land use plans that may be put into place (e.g. an existing mine located in a geographic area where a new land use plan prohibits mining will be allowed to stay). The project will, however have to meet applicable terms and conditions of the new land use plan in their licences/permits. This approach will help to keep the project in step with environmental best practices as they evolve.
Includes "grandfathering" provisions for existing projects. Any project that entered the land use planning and/ or environmental assessment process prior to NuPPAA coming into effect (July 9, 2015) will continue under the pre-NuPPAA process.