Environmental assessment and duplication: “Don’t we have a photocopier?”

Environmental assessment and duplication:
“Don’t we have a photocopier?”


There is significant rhetoric around how the federal and provincial governments have duplicative and therefore inefficient environmental assessment processes. The federal government has fully bought in on it and has indicated its intent to remove itself from many environmental assessments.


I for one find the duplication argument, while having some truth to it, to be quite misleading as to the underlying concerns with federal environmental assessments.  Rather than being truly frustrated with duplication I see proponents simply frustrated with the scope and rigour with which federal environmental assessments are conducted.  It seems to me that the federal system has, on occasion, more review and analysis of proponent environmental impact assessment than the provincial processes.  Admittedly this is anecdotal opinion on my part, garnered through exposure to both federal environmental assessment (comprehensive studies and joint panel reviews) and the Alberta assessment approach.


Read “Environmental assessment and duplication” on the ELC blog.




The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.


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