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 ensure that all relevant engineering and environmental factors are considered in the planning and design of transportation facilities. The Group Work Projects (GWPs) included in the assignment are subject to Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act and are being carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Class EA for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000). GWPs in this assignment are categorized as either Group ‘B’ or Group ‘C’ under MTO’s Class EA.
Four of the GWPs (GWP 3024-18-00, GWP 3025-18-00, GWP 3078-18-00, and GWP 3079-18-00) will be initiated as Group ‘B’ assignments. Group ‘B’ projects include major improvements to existing infrastructure. A review of the previous Transportation Environmental Study Reports (TESR) will be completed and if there are significant changes to design standards, existing conditions, or applicable legislation since the previous TESRs were issued, then TESR Addendums will be completed to address the applicable changes, for each GWP. If TESR Addendums are required for the Group ‘B’ projects, they will be made available for a 30-day public review period at the completion of the GWPs. Notification will be provided to advise the public of consultation opportunities.
Two of the GWPs (GWP 3038-19-00 and GWP 3073-17-00) will be initiated as Group ‘C’ assignments. Group ‘C’ projects include minor improvements to existing infrastructure. They do not require public documentation and are approved under the EA Act, subject to “screening”. The screening process includes public and agency consultation and determines the impacts of the project, and provisions required to prevent/mitigate adverse impacts, including monitoring requirements during and after construction, and the required approvals. A separate Environmental Screening Document (ESD) will be prepared for each GWP for MTO internal use.
The study will also include a review of requirement and location for a new patrol yard within the Highway 401 corridor between Tilbury and London. Additional information regarding the new patrol yard will be posted on the project website.
More detailed information about the EA process can be found at Ministry of Transportation – Class Environmental Assessment for Transportation Facilities.
MTO completed Preliminary Design Studies within this study area, as outlined in Highway 401 from 0.9 km East of Essex Road 42 to Elgin County Boundary, Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR, 2008) (GWP 80-00-00) and Highway 401 Improvements Planning and Preliminary Design Study from 1.0 km West of Highway 4 (Col. Talbot Road) Easterly to 1.0 km East of Highbury Avenue, GWP 476 89-00 (TESR, 2008). These Preliminary Design studies will be reviewed and utilized in the development of design alternatives and undertaking of this project.