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MEA Provides Comments to ERO 019-7891: Proposed New Regulation to Replace Municipal Class EA Process

March 12, 2024

On February 16, 2024, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP) issued ERO 019-7891 that proposes to:

  1. Revoke the Municipal Class EA (MCEA) and the Private Sector Developers Regulation (O. Reg. 345/93)
  2. Enact a new regulation:  Municipal Project Assessment Process (MPAP) that would apply to 17 higher-risk municipal infrastructure projects.   

Currently, the MCEA process is used by municipalities to move a project from project identification to approval of conceptual design and Reg 345/93 is used to impose certain EA requirements on Developers.   

Revoking the MCEA, Reg 345/93 and enacting MPAP  would result in many complex infrastructure projects becoming exempt.  Examples of such projects include the constructing of a new arterial road, constructing a new bridge or replacing a heritage bridge, constructing a new water tower, constructing a new pumping station proposed by a municipality, constructing a new sewage treatment plant proposed by a developer.   Essentially, all projects currently listed as “Schedule B” in the MCEA would be exempt from the MPAP.

The MEA is generally supportive of the proposed MPAP regulation but is providing comments and seeking clarifications on the regulation.  You can view the MEA’s comments to ERO 109-7891 HERE.

Should MECP proceed with their proposed plans, this will mean the MEA’s current MCEA User Guide (September 2023) will become redundant.  MEA intends to replace this document with a new best practice document for municipalities to use as a template when undertaking municipal infrastructure projects that are currently addressed under the MCEA and but would not be covered by the MPAP.  This document would be a simpler version of the current user guide with improvements to focus on increasing efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and complete integration with Planning Act processes.

What should Municipalities do?

You are encouraged to support MEA’s comments and add any additional comments that are relevant. Municipalities’ can submit comments on MECP’s proposal prior to the March 17th deadline. CLICK HERE to access/comment on  ERO 019-7891.

Should Municipalities start MCEA projects or delay to wait for the new MPAP?

MEA suggests work on existing MCEA projects should just continue.  MECP’s proposed transition provisions include;

  • Projects that would be subject to MPAP would be able to complete the EA Act requirements either under the MCEA process or the MPAP.
  • Projects that would not be subject to MPAP would be able to complete the MCEA process or provide notice and withdraw from the process.

MPAP Training and the new MEA Best Practice Document?

The MEA will be providing training on the new MPAP after it is approved – please check our website for updates.

It may take the MEA several months before its new Best Practice Document is ready.  Anyone who purchased a copy of the MCEA User Guide (September 2023) will receive a complimentary copy of the new document.

Any specific questions with regards to the MEA’s comments to ERO 019-7891, or any questions about the proposed MPAP regulation, should be directed to the MEA’s MCEA Advisor, Paul Knowles.