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Framework for Analysis of the Quality of Screening Reports

1 Introduction

In his fall 2009 report, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) questioned the quality of documentation of many screenings, which made it unclear whether all requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act) were being met. He made the following recommendation: “The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency should conduct an evaluation of the quality of environmental assessments, in particularly for screenings conducted under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, including assessing their effectiveness in protecting the environment.”

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) agreed with the above recommendation and responded that it would develop a framework for the analysis of screening reports. It further indicated that the framework would encompass indicators of the key aspects of the environmental assessment, including the proposed mitigation measures; that screening reports would be analyzed against the framework on an ongoing basis; and that the analysis would be provided to responsible authorities to enable continuous improvement. It concluded with a commitment to publicly report the results of the analysis on an annual basis.

This report describes the Agency’s work to develop the above-described framework and to test it on a sample of screening reports drawn from its existing library. The Agency is satisfied that its testing has confirmed the framework’s suitability for its intended purpose.