Types of Impact Assessments

There are two key types of impact assessments for projects: those done by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency), and those done by a review panel. There are differences between impact assessments conducted by the Agency and those conducted by a review panel:

Select each heading for more information.

Impact Assessment by Agency

The Agency leads the assessment and engagement process, working collaboratively with other jurisdictions and federal authorities to carry out the impact assessment, and leads Crown consultations. The Agency works with other jurisdictions via:

  • Cooperation
  • Delegation
  • Substitution
Impact Assessment by Review Panel

The Minister may refer the impact assessment to a review panel, if they are of the opinion that it is in the public interest to do so. The Minister must refer the impact assessment to a review panel if the project includes physical activities regulated under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CERA), the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act or the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act.

To make this determination, the Minister must consider the extent to which effects in areas of federal jurisdiction or direct and incidental effects may be adverse, public concerns related to those effects, opportunities for cooperation and any adverse impacts on the rights of Indigenous peoples.

A review panel leads the assessment and engagement process during the Impact Assessment phase and holds public hearings to allow the public, the proponent, Indigenous groups, federal authorities, and all other interested participants to provide their views and ask questions about the information on the record. The review panel cooperates with other jurisdictions via:

  • joint review panel with other jurisdiction(s); or
  • integrated review panel with a lifecycle regulator (Canada Energy Regulator (CER), Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) or Offshore Petroleum Boards)