Search Tips

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet site contains a number of tools to help you find up-to-date information about environmental assessments of projects proposed since the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) came into force on July 6, 2012. It also contains information about environment assessments started under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act that continue under the transition provisions of CEAA 2012.

Please note that information about environmental assessments that were completed or terminated under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act can be found by searching the Canadian Environmental Assessment Archives. Most of the time, you'll find exactly what you're looking for with just a basic query. However, the following tips can help you make the most of your searches.


Advanced Project Search

This section of the Search Tips will give you guidance on the different fields that are available when conducting an advanced search on the Registry Internet site. Note that by default, all dropdown options display "All", which is equivalent to no filter. You can choose to identify additional criteria to give you more specific results. Results can be displayed as a list or on a mapping interface.

Keyword / Reference Number

In this box, type one or more words that best describe the information you are looking for. Typically, you would enter the name of a location or the project title in this field. If known, you can also enter the Reference number of a project.

When using a search engine, ask yourself if your search terms are specific enough. The more terms entered, the more precise the results. Alternatively, you may wish to broaden your search terms to increase the number of results.

Each word entered in the keyword field is matched against the following information for a particular project:

  • Project title
  • Reference number
  • Summary description of the project
  • Geographic location

Refer to the Technical Tips section for additional guidance.

Proponent

The proponent is the person or organization that proposes to undertake a project as defined under Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Enter one or more words that correspond to the name of the proponent.

Province / Territory

From the dropdown list, select the location associated with the proposed project.

Status

The status refers to the current stage of the federal environmental assessment process of a project in accordance with Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. If known, select an option from the list provided. The selection includes:

  • Active: Encompasses Project under consideration, Pre-environmental assessment phase, Environmental assessment required and Environmental Assessment in progress.
  • Project under consideration: The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is reviewing a project description of a project to determine whether an environmental assessment is required.
  • Pre-environmental assessment phase: A project description or application has been submitted to the National Energy Board and is being reviewed prior to formally commencing an environmental assessment.
  • Regional assessment in progress: Regional assessments are defined as "in progress" when the process is underway and the report has not been provided to the Minister.
  • Regional assessment completed: A regional assessment is defined as completed when the report is submitted to the Minister.
  • Regional assessment terminated: A regional assessment may be terminated at any time.
  • Environmental assessment required: Following the review of a project description of a project, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency determined that an environmental assessment of the project is required.
  • Environmental assessment not required: Following the review of the project description, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency determined that an environmental assessment is not required.
  • Environmental assessment in progress: Environmental assessments are defined as "in progress" when the process is underway and an environmental assessment decision has not been taken.
  • Environmental assessment completed: An environmental assessment is defined as completed when an environmental assessment decision has been taken. Where applicable, the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures and a follow-up program occur after the environmental assessment decision.
  • Environmental assessment terminated: An environmental assessment may be terminated at any time, such as when the proponent withdraws the project application, or the project has changed and is no longer required to undergo an environmental assessment.

Assessment Type

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 sets out procedures for carrying out the federal environmental assessment process of projects and describes different types of environmental assessments that may be required. If known, select the environmental assessment type from the list provided. The selection includes:

  • Environmental Assessment to be determined: The project description or application of a project is being reviewed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to determine whether an environmental assessment is required or by the National Energy Board prior to formally commencing an environmental assessment.
  • Environmental Assessment by Responsible Authority: An assessment of the environmental effects of a project that is conducted by a federal responsible authority in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
  • Environmental Assessment Substituted: The environmental assessment process has been substituted by that of the government of another jurisdiction.
  • Environmental Assessment by Review Panel: An assessment by an independent review panel referred by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change of the environmental effects of a project.
  • Regional Assessment: A regional assessment of the effects of existing or future physical activities carried out in a particular region.
  • Transitional Screening: Screening-type environmental assessments commenced under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act which were designated by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in order to continue under Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
  • Transitional Comprehensive Study: A comprehensive study type of environmental assessment that commenced under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and that was ongoing at the time the provisions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 came into force.
  • Transitional Panel Substitution: An assessment by review panel that was substituted under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and that was ongoing at the time the provisions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 came into force.

Department / Organization

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 sets out the responsibilities for carrying out the federal environmental assessment of projects. If known, select the department or organization that is responsible for conducting the environmental assessment of the project you are looking for.

Nature of Project

The nature of the project refers to the categories of projects designated under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. If known, choose an option from the list provided.

Other Jurisdiction

A project that is subject to an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 may also be subject to an environmental assessment by another jurisdiction, such as a provincial, territorial or foreign government, or an Aboriginal self-governing body. If the environmental assessment is subject to an environmental assessment by another jurisdiction, the environmental assessment process may be delegated to that jurisdiction by formal agreement. If either case is known, select the appropriate option from the list provided. If choosing the Delegated to or Assessed by option, an additional list will be generated from which an option must be chosen.

Date Posted

The date fields allow you to search for projects based on a specified date range. If applicable, you can enter a start or end date using the calendar provided. The date format is always YYYY-MM-DD (four-digit year, two-digit month, two-digit day).

Map of Canada Search

Search results can be displayed on a mapping interface. The map displays the approximate location for the center of the project area based on information provided by proponents. In the case of linear projects, beginning, middle and end points may be provided. Selecting a marker on the map will highlight the project, allowing users to navigate to a specific project location to view the surrounding geographical area or to access additional information about the environmental assessment of the proposed project.

Document Search

Here are the available search fields to find documents:

Title

The document title usually describes the nature and subject of the document and may contain the name of the author or recipient of a particular document. Enter one or more words that correspond to the title of the document you are looking for. The search engine will find documents where the title contains all of the words entered in no specific order.

Number

To facilitate reference and retrieval, a reference number is automatically assigned to each document. If known, enter the document reference number in this field.

Category

To facilitate access to typical documents that may be available online, documents are organized by document type.

You may choose from one of the following document types:

  • For Public Participation: Contains documents related to public participation opportunities. It may include notices requesting public input and documents prepared for public review and comment.
  • News Releases: Contains news releases that have been issued in relation to the federal environmental assessment process. This groups all major milestones in the environmental assessment process under one category.
  • Comments Received/Responses: Contains comments received by the public or other parties in relation to the project or the environmental assessment and, when applicable, responses to comments received.
  • Panel Records: Applies to environmental assessments conducted by a review panel only and contains documents produced by the review panel or its secretariat, except those produced during the public hearing.
  • Hearing Documents: Applies to environmental assessments conducted by a review panel only and contains documents related to the public hearing process.
  • Additional Information: Contains other records related to the project or the environmental assessment that are available online.

Document Date

The date fields allow you to search for documents within a date range based on the document date. If applicable, you can enter a start or end date using the calendar provided or by entering a date according to the format YYYY-MM-DD.

Technical Tips

The tips in this section will help you get the best search results possible and help you use the tool to its fullest potential. Select one of the following topics for addition information:

Wildcards

The search engine will find projects that contain all of the words, or parts thereof, entered in no specific order on a wildcard basis by default. For example:

  • A search for [wind power] will find projects containing the words [wind] and [power].
  • A search for the word [fish] will find projects containing the word [fish] within a word, such as [finfish] or [shellfish].

Consequently, do NOT enter any symbols (*) to find variants of words as it may restrict your results.

Exact words

Double quotes can be used to search for sequential text. By adding quotation marks (“ ”) around a set of words, the search engine will find projects with those words in that exact order.

Capitalization

The search engine is NOT case sensitive. If you search for a word in lower case or containing a capital letter, the results will include projects containing this word regardless of any capitalization in its spelling. For example:

  • A search on the term [Highway] finds [Highway], [highway], [HIGHWAY], [HighWay], etc.

Special Characters

Following the same principle as case sensitivity, searching for a word without specifying any accents or special characters will find projects containing words with or without accents. This is particularly useful when searching for projects that contain words in another language. For example:

  • A search on the term [Édifice] finds all [Édifice], [édifice], [Edifice], [edifice].
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