Environmental Assessment Studies
An important component of the Vaughan Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is fulfilling the requirements of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process to comply with the Environmental Assessment Act, a provincially legislated document governing all public undertakings that have the potential to affect the environment.
The Municipal Class EA master planning process recognizes a framework for planning associated with Master Plans that integrate infrastructure requirements for existing and future land use with environmental assessment planning principles.
The Municipal Class EA process consists of five general phases, depending on the complexities of the undertaking. These phases include:
- Phase 1 – Problem or Opportunity: Identify the problem, deficiency or opportunity and develop a clear statement of the issues that are to be addressed;
- Phase 2 – Alternative Solutions: Identify the reasonable alternative solutions that could be implemented to address the issues. Establish the preferred solution based on an assessment of the environmental impact, including consideration of stakeholder input;
- Phase 3 – Alternative Design Concepts for the Preferred Solution: Identify alternative designs for the preferred solution and their potential effects on the environment, evaluate the alternative designs and select and confirm a preferred solution;
- Phase 4 – Environmental Study Report (ESR): Complete the ESR which documents the study process; and,
- Phase 5 – Implementation: Complete the contract drawings, proceed to construction and operation and monitor for environmental provisions and commitments.
EA Studies are prepared for large-scale, and complex public projects To improve connections to local and Regional infrastructure, improve access to future residential developments, support transit-oriented nodes and corridors, and enhance transit ridership, cycling and walking. EA Studies also promote good environmental planning by balancing economic, social, cultural and natural environmental needs. Overall EAs review and determine the potential effects of a project prior to implementation