Halton’s planning vision includes a natural heritage system that is integrated with communities and the rural countryside to preserve and enhance the natural environment.
Building, development and site alteration in or near Halton’s Natural Heritage System can impact the environment. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) may be required to demonstrate that there will be no negative impacts to the environment resulting from these activities. An EIA is a study prepared by a qualified professional to determine if proposed development or site alteration will have negative impact on the features and function of Halton’s Natural Heritage System.
Halton’s current EIA Guideline (PDF file) was last updated in 2014. The Guideline provides more detail on the requirements for undertaking an EIA in accordance with Regional Official Plan policies.
EIA Guideline Update
The EIA Guideline is being updated at this time to address recommendations from the Halton Development Planning and Engineering Service Review, endorsed by Regional Council in 2017. The updated Guideline will also reflect new provincial requirements; including:
- The Provincial Policy Statement, 2014
- The Greenbelt Plan, 2017
- The Niagara Escarpment Plan, 2017
- The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2019
The updated Guideline will build upon the strong history of environmental protection in Halton and address some of the implementation challenges identified through the ongoing use of the current Guideline.
To obtain feedback on the updated Guideline, Halton Region will be engaging stakeholders, residents and businesses in conversations about the updated Guidelines. The intent of the consultation program is to ensure that the new document serves its purpose:
- to minimize development impacts on the environment in accordance with the Region’s Official Plan; while balancing the rights of private property owners and
- to ensure that they are straightforward and easy-to-use.
Halton Region is engaging with stakeholders, residents and businesses in a variety of ways:
Meetings with municipal staff and relevant agencies including conservation authorities, the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Interviews with EIA practitioners (e.g., ecologists, biologists, hydrologists, environmental planners, etc.) involved in preparation of EIAs within Halton.
Workshops with Regional Advisory Committees including the Natural Heritage Advisory Committee and the Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee.
Public Information Centre
Halton Region hosted a Public Information Centre (PIC) on October 3, 2019, and presented Halton’s draft Updated Environmental Impact Assessment Guideline (PDF file), including:
- Presentation slides (PDF file) - which discussed the proposed updates to the existing Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines (PDF file) including an overall description of the project, policy and technical updates, document organization, study process and tools; and
- Information boards (PDF file) - that were displayed for attendees to review. The information boards highlighted in greater detail parts of the draft Updated Environmental Impact Assessment Guideline including the process steps, waving criteria, roles and responsibilities, and process tools and templates.
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