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What is the Transit Project Assessment (TPA) Process?
The environmental impact of this transit project is being reviewed through the Ontario government's transit project assessment (TPA) Regulation (O. Reg.) 231/08, Transit Projects and Metrolinx Undertakings.
It is a streamlined process under the Environmental Assessment Act. It can be completed in less than six months because each step in the process has a defined time limit. The Transit Project Assessment Process focuses on issues of provincial importance.
The TPA Process has three main components:
120-Day Period - Preparation of the Environmental Project Report: The first phase is currently underway and starts with the Notice of Commencement. After the Notice of Commencement is issued, the Region has a maximum of 120 days to prepare, consult on, and file the Environmental Project Report (EPR). The 120-Day period concludes when the Region publishes the Notice of Completion of the Environmental Project Report.
30-Day Period - Public Review of the EPR: The second phase starts when the Region publishes final EPR. This kicks off the 30-day review by the public, agencies, indigenous communities and others.
35-Day Period - The Minister's Review: The third and final phase is the Minister's 35-day review period, during which the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks may give notice as to whether the project may proceed.
Projects following the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPA) Process are required to thoroughly document the project and the process in a report. For transit projects the report is called an Environmental Project Report, or EPR.
The EPR is intended to provide enough information to understand what the project is and how it will affect the natural, social, cultural, transportation and economic environments. It is what regulatory agencies use to evaluate the project's potential environmental impacts. The EPR also demonstrates that the project has met its requirements for consultation by documenting when and how various parties have been notified, what comments were received, and how the project team responded.
The EPR contains recommendations to reduce environmental impacts and commitments to undertake additional work in the future. These become requirements that the project must follow in the future as a condition of approval.