The Class Environmental Assessment Process

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000) provides a decision-making process to make sure that all relevant engineering and environmental factors are considered in the planning and design of transportation facilities.

This study will update engineering and environmental work completed in the initial preliminary design study, including the identification of alternatives to replace the Highway 400 North Canal Bridges. It is a "Group B" Class Environmental Assessment (EA), which includes major improvements to existing facilities. Upon completion of the study, a Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) Addendum will be prepared to document the following:

  • the major features of the proposed work
  • updated existing conditions in the study area
  • a full description of the project’s consultation program
  • identification of all project approvals, licenses, and permits that have been, or must be obtained
  • environmental impacts and mitigation
  • considerations for construction staging and traffic management

The TESR Addendum will be publicly available for 30 calendar days to provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the document. During the 30-day public review period of the TESR Addendum, the public will have the opportunity to submit their comments directly to the project team.

At that time, interested persons will be encouraged to review the document and provide comments to MTO by a specified date. If, after consulting with MTO staff, the individual has outstanding environmental issues not addressed through the Class EA process, they can request the Minister of the Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP) to issue a Part II Order (i.e. “bump up”) for this project. Any Part II Order request must be submitted to MECP by a specified date, using the standardized form developed by the MECP. A copy of the completed form and any supporting information must also be forwarded to MTO. If no Part II Order requests are received by the specified date, the project will be considered to have met the requirements of MTO’s Class EA and may proceed. Only the changes to the original TESR identified in the TESR Addendum are eligible for “bump-up.” In the event that a “bump-up” request is granted, MTO may also consider withdrawing the Addendum and implementing the project as documented in the original TESR. For further detail, visit MTO Class EA and Ontario EA Act.

Class EA Diagram

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this study?

The purpose of the study is to identify a recommended plan for the complete replacement of the northbound and southbound Highway 400 Bridges over the North Canal of the Holland Marsh, and Canal Road. The proposed improvements will take into consideration the future 10-laning of Highway 400 with high-occupancy (HOV) lanes and the realignment of the North Canal.

What type of work is planned as part of this study?

Factor-specific environmental specialist work will include: fish and fish habitat; terrestrial resources including species-at-risk; groundwater, land use, landscape, contaminated property and waste management (including an Excess Materials Management Plan), archaeology, and drainage / surface water. In general, this work is required to update existing conditions, confirm impacts associated with the updated improvements, and to identify changes to statutory requirements since the original study.

Who are stakeholders?

Stakeholders are broadly defined as any individual or group that is affected by, or is interested in the project. MTO is committed to an extensive consultation program that actively engages and involves members of the public, non-government organizations (NGOs), municipalities, Emergency Service providers, First Nations, regulatory agencies, business, and industry.