The EA process is used to determine if a project can proceed, and the conditions under which it can proceed, with no significant adverse effects to the environment.
If the project receives approval, it proceeds to the regulatory phase, in which the EA predictions and mitigations are translated into specific conditions and limits under which the project will operate, with regulatory limits applied to discharges to the aquatic environment. The regulatory phase also includes a process for monitoring and adaptive management.
Our review roles focus on the aquatic and marine environments to address water quality and aquatic biology. These disciplines also include the need to understand and synthesize materials on permafrost, hydrogeology, hydrology, geochemistry, climate change and water quality predictive and assimilation models. This necessary work informs our own discipline reviews and aids in facilitating and managing hearings or technical sessions. We work with and represent regulatory bodies and Inuit organizations.
These projects generally include the following steps:
- Call up and establish familiarity with the project. This involves the review and comprehension of substantial amounts of technical information. We conduct site visits for select projects to gather appropriate context for the technical assessment of the proposal.
- Preparing proponent information requests to make sure that all required information is available to inform timely review.
- Providing detailed technical review, and questions and technical comments to the proponent.
- Reviewing proponent responses and preparing technical interventions for the hearings. This may involve teleconferences or in-person meetings with the proponent and their technical experts to resolve potentially outstanding issues prior to the hearings.
- Preparing both plain language and technical summaries, and a discussion of technical responses with the client.
- Attending technical sessions to present and investigate key technical concerns.
- Preparing formal interventions to the Review Board and presenting at formal hearings.
- Following up post-hearing to resolve remaining technical questions and prepare a formal position.
- Should the proponent be successful, reviewing the project certificate to ensure accurate incorporation of all technical resolutions as confirmed throughout the technical review.
Since 1998, HESL scientists have provided a major role in the review and development of the Report on the Environmental Assessment for the Diavik and Snap Lake projects in the NWT, worked with the Mackenzie Valley Review Board on the EA review for the Jay Diamond Project in the NWT and completed a confidential investor’s level review of the Gahcho Kue diamond project for DeBeers Canada.
The project team has also provided review of the following projects in Nunavut on behalf of Inuit organizations:
- Meliadine gold – Environmental Impact Statement, Water Licence, project certificate, ongoing environmental effects monitoring results, water compensation agreement
- Meadowbank gold – Environmental Impact Statement for expansions, project certificate, Water Licence, ongoing environmental effects monitoring results, water compensation agreement
- Whale Tail gold – Environmental Impact Statement, Water Licence, ongoing environmental effects monitoring results, water compensation agreement, site-specific water quality objectives
- Kiggavik uranium – Environmental Impact Statement
- Back River gold Environmental Impact Statement, Water Licence, site-specific water quality objectives
- Hope Bay – Environmental Impact Statement, Water Licence, ongoing environmental effects monitoring results
The team has also provided reviews for many gold and base metal projects in Ontario.
- Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board
- Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada (now INAC)
- Government of Northwest Territories
- Kivalliq Inuit Association
- Kitikmeot Inuit Association
- DeBeers Canada
- MMG Minerals
Location: Northern Canada
- First Nations
Date of Project: 2009 – Ongoing