How can I get involved?
The EMRIRB operates under the principle that public participation is an important element of an open, honest, and balanced impact assessment process. Effective public participation strengthens the quality of the screening and review processes and helps to avoid potential misunderstandings and conflict. By promoting public participation, the EMRIRB helps to ensure that affected communities are aware of projects and their potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.
Public participation is the most effective way the EMRIRB can become aware of the values affected by a proposed project. The EMRIRB greatly values public input into its assessments. Effective participation allows for an open and balanced process that strengthens the quality of an impact assessment and informs decision-making, resulting in better decisions and better projects. In screening a project proposal to determine whether it requires a full environmental review, the EMRIRB must also determine whether the project will cause significant public concern. This is determined in part by the feedback received during the screening process.
The EMRIRB considers the potential eco-systemic impacts (e.g., land, air, water, fish and wildlife) and socio-economic impacts (e.g., health and well-being of people and communities) of proposed projects to determine whether a project has the potential to significantly adversely affect the environment. In order for your comments to be most useful to the EMRIRB, you will need to outline all the eco-systemic and socio-economic values you deem important and explain how these values may be affected by a proposed project.
How are comments considered in an assessment?
Any information shared by interested persons and the public will be given full and fair consideration in an assessment conducted by the EMRIRB. This means it will be added to, and compared with, all other views and information received during the assessment. The EMRIRB uses a variety of tools in considering the relevance, weight, and significance of information provided. Information collected during an assessment can influence where the assessment is focused and the outcome of the determination and associated recommendations issued at the conclusion of the assessment.
The EMRIRB's comment form draws from the Nunavut Impact Review Board and Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board guidance on developing clear comment submissions for assessments to the EMR, asking the following questions:
Values may include specific wildlife species/populations, environmental elements (land, air, water), aesthetics, social/cultural values (trapping, way of life), etc. How do you use or interact with the area?
Explain how you think these values would be affected if the project goes ahead. How would this be different from the way it is now?
Include any measures you believe may lessen project effects and why you think these measures would be successful.
This will help assessors consider your information and allow them to follow up with questions, if necessary.
How can I submit comments?
Every EMRIRB screening has a public comment period of 21 days. When a screening is initiated, a public notice is issued to an email distribution list consisting of potentially affected communities, government officials, and other interested parties. Parties are invited to submit their comments regarding the proposed project and its potential effects to the EMRIRB for consideration. All comments made during an assessment are posted to the EMRIRB Public Registry and can be viewed by the public.
There are three ways to submit comments to the EMRIRB:
- Fill out a comment form on the Public Registry (see guide below for more information)
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments
- Call the EMRIRB at: 819-895-2202
How to submit a comment on the EMRIRB Public Registry
Before you can comment on a project currently undergoing Screening or Review, you need to register for an account on the EMRIRB Public Registry. Go to www.emrirb.ca/registry and create an account by clicking on Register an account. You will be asked to provide your contact information and will need to select “I will be commenting on projects” as your account Status.
Once your request is submitted, you will receive an email with a verification link. Please check your email and click on the link to verify. If you do not receive the activation email, please check your spam or bulk email folder. Once you verify your email, your request for an account will then be sent to the EMRIRB staff for approval and you will be notified by email when your account is active.
If you already have an account on the EMRIRB Public Registry, proceed to Step 2.
Once your account has been approved by staff at the EMRIRB, you will be able to log in by clicking the “Login” button in the box at the top of the main Public Registry page. This will bring you to a login form where you can log in using your email and the password you created when you registered.
- Once logged in, all projects that are currently open for commenting will be listed in your account dashboard.
- Click on the project you would like to comment on, which will bring you to the Project Details page.
The Project Dashboard page will show you all the project details, such as the complete project application, maps, additional documents, and what phase of assessment the project is currently undergoing. On the far right, click on the “Comments” tab.
- The comment form will load, which you are asked to fill out.
- You may also upload a document to support your comments or provide additional information.
In addition to the opportunity to submit written comments to the EMRIRB for consideration, EMRIRB reviews offer many opportunities for in-person participation through public meetings, information sessions, community roundtables, workshops, and public hearings. The EMRIRB will host such events in communities that are potentially affected by a proposed project and will encourage the public to attend and participate. All EMRIRB meetings will be advertised well in advance and provide for simultaneous interpretation to ensure everyone can be heard and understood.