OWA Class Environmental Assessment

OWA Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower Projects

The Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower Projects (Class EA) was approved in October 2008 as a planning process that allows proponents to assess the potential effects to the environment using best available information in order to make an informed decision about how or whether a project should proceed. The Class EA applies to all waterpower projects to which Ontario Regulation 116/01 – Electricity Projects (2001) under the EA Act currently or as amended applies. The Class EA was amended on October 8, 2015.

The sixth edition of the Class EA for Waterpower Projects was published on November 9, 2015 and included all up-to-date amendments incorporated in a single accessible document available here. If you are interested in ordering a printed version of the Class EA please contact Stephanie Landers slanders@owa.ca

The purpose of the Class EA Roles Fact Sheet (MOECC OWA MNRF)  is to outline the different roles and responsibilities of the Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA), Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) during the Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower Projects.

Major Amendment

The OWA has submitted a proposed major amendment to the Class EA for Waterpower Projects to the ministry for review and decision. The OWA is following the environmental planning and approvals process in accordance with the approved Class EA (2008), which allows for amendments. Section 8.2 of the Class EA allows a person to apply to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (Minister) to consider approving a major amendment to the Class EA. The proposed amendment is to create a streamlined process for small waterpower projects that have a nameplate capacity of 500 kW or under and that are associated with existing water management infrastructure, and projects that only involve increasing the efficiency of existing facilities. Projects would involve the use, retrofitting, redeveloping, upgrading or like-for-like replacement of existing infrastructure. Thus, these projects are expected to involve very minimal, short term and localized environmental effects. Proposed Amendments to the Class EA 2016