• Public Work Class EA Backgrounder

    The Environmental Assessment Act provides for the protection, conservation and sound management of Ontario’s environment.

    The Ministry of Infrastructure Public Work Class Environmental Assessment (PW Class EA) is a planning tool that consists of procedures that allow the Ministry of Infrastructure to comply with requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act.  These procedures are designed to ensure that the Ministry of Infrastructure takes into account the potential effects of its projects on the environment (i.e., completes an environmental assessment) before deciding whether to proceed with these projects.  

    The PW Class EA describes a variety of Ministry of Infrastructure projects in each of three groups or categories (A, B, and C).  Projects carried out under Categories A and B are generally small in scale, and the potential environmental effects are usually predictable or well understood.  For example, routine building maintenance, repair and similar types of projects that are minor in scale and have no or minimal environmental effects are categorized as “A”, while building demolition and alteration that have some potential for adverse environmental effects are categorized as “B”.

    Streamlined procedures for these categories of projects vary from requiring no assessment or documentation for Category A projects, to rigorous evaluation of environmental effects and a detailed Environmental Study Reports for Category C projects.

    Public consultation is an essential element when planning Category B and C projects.  Consulted parties normally include government ministries and agencies, parties that may be affected by a project (e.g., owners of adjacent properties) and others who may be interested in a project (e.g., community members).  These parties are contacted during the planning process for a project, and after an environmental assessment report has been completed for a project.