The purpose of an evaluation of environmental effects (EEE) is to identify potential environmental impacts and, more importantly, feasible mitigation measures to manage these potential impacts. An EEE is a prevention tool that can be used to take a project’s environmental conditions into account at the design stage, before the work is started.
This planning tool thus considers, analyzes and interprets all factors that affect ecosystems, resources and the quality of life of people and communities.
The QPA’s Environmental Citizen Participation Process (ECPP)
Under the powers conferred on them and their related responsibilities, federal authorities must determine the probability that a project carried out on federal land will have significant negative environmental impacts. This obligation applies to the Québec Port Authority (QPA).
In addition, the QPA has clearly expressed its desire for transparency and collaboration with the community, including via its sustainable development action plan.
Accordingly, the QPA has adopted an Environmental Citizen Participation Process (ECPP) tailored to its port environment and the community. This program takes a risk management approach based on project size and potential impacts on the environment and the community.
To prevent bias and improve analysis, this program specifies that evaluation of environmental effects (EEE) must be carried out by an independent and qualified third party. This obligation stems from a voluntary decision by the QPA.
Making a decision
Based on the EEE and comments from the public, the QPA makes a decision regarding a project’s environmental acceptability. The QPA has voluntarily taken on the task of consulting and considering comments from the public on any project subject to an EEE.
Once the project is authorized to proceed, its proponent must comply with the conditions set out in the certificate of determination from the QPA, the mitigation measures prescribed through the Program for Environmental Citizen Participation Process (ECPP), and the QPA’s reference documents.
At a minimum, an EIA takes into account:
- Environmental impacts, including the environmental impacts caused by accidents or malfunctions
- The significance of these environmental impacts
- Potential impacts on citizens (nuisance, eyesores, etc.)
- Comments from the public
- The mitigation measures and requirements of the follow-up program, if applicable
- Changes to the project due to environmental considerations