Class EA

Ontario's Environmental Assessment Act (EA Act) was adopted in order to ensure that all reasonable alternative solutions, environmental impacts and community input are considered when public projects are undertaken.

In order to streamline the EA process, the Act allows a group of similar projects to be undertaken following the process identified in a Class EA. Due to the similarity and frequency of municipal infrastructure projects, the Municipal Engineers Association (MEA) developed and received approval for the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) process.

The Municipal Class EA is applicable to most municipal projects involving roads, water and wastewater which are commonly recurring, similar in nature, limited in scale, and have a predictable range of impacts.

Municipal Class EA Schedules

Schedule A

Projects that include normal or emergency operational and maintenance activities. These projects are limited in scale and have minimal adverse environmental effects which are predictable and easily mitigated. These projects are pre-approved and may proceed to implementation without following the full Class EA planning process.

Schedule A+

Projects that are pre-approved under the Municipal Class EA, but allow for some form of public consultation prior to project implementation. The purpose of Schedule A+ is to ensure that the public is in some way informed of municipal infrastructure project(s) being constructed or implemented in their area, giving them the opportunity to comment. Given that these projects are pre-approved, there is no appeal to the Ministry of the Environment (MOECC) on these projects.

Schedule B

Projects generally including improvements to existing facilities with the potential for some adverse environmental effects. These projects must include completion of a screening process including consultation with stakeholders.

Schedule C

Projects generally including the construction of new facilities or significant modifications to existing facilities. The full process outlined by the Class EA document must be carried out.

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