Environmental Assessment Act

The Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) forms the basis and foundation for environmental assessments (EA) undertaken within the province. The EAA requires projects to follow a planning and decision-making process that considers the potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures to help avoid or reduce adverse impacts to the environment. More information on environmental assessments is available on the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks website.

Highway 401 Expansion Project EA Process

The Highway 401 Expansion Project (the Project) is following the approved planning process for a Group ‘B’ project under the MTO Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000).

The Preliminary Design was previously documented in two Transportation Environmental Study Reports (TESRs):

In 2015, the Detail Design and Class EA was advanced for three of the structures from the Highway 401 Improvements from Trafalgar Road to Regional Road 25 (March 2013) TESR. This was documented in a Design and Construction Report (DCR) for which construction has now been completed:

The recommendations from the TESRs will be built upon as part of the Detail Design of the Highway 401 Expansion Project. If you have any accessibility requirements in order to review any documents on this page, please contact the Project Team through the Contact Us page. French content for the above documents can be provided upon request and any questions answered in French by calling 1-888-619-1665. Des renseignements sont disponibles en français en composant 1-888-619-1665.

This Project is being completed through a Design-Build project delivery model. Under this model, Detail Design and construction can occur simultaneously as components of the Project advance and environmental clearances are issued. A summary of the EA Process for the Detail Design and Construction of the Highway 401 Expansion is below.



Highway 401 Expansion Project Environmental Assessment Process for Detail Design and Construction: Preliminary Design was completed in 2013. Detail design commenced in Spring 2019. Key steps in the detail design process include the review of Secondary Source Information, conducting field investigations and commencing the detail design and the Notice of Study Commencement and Design and Construction Report (published in August 2019). Multiple Design and Construction Reports will be available for a 30-day stakeholder review and after the review, the design and environmental protection measures are finalized, environmental approvals are obtained, and Environmental Clearance is issued. Construction can then start on the works in that specific DCR, while other detail design continues. A Public Information Centre will also be held. Consultation will be ongoing throughout the entire detail design phase. Throughout construction there will be construction and environmental monitoring.

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Consultation as part of the EA process

Consultation is an important component of the Environmental Assessment process. Throughout the Project, input will be sought from members of the public, external agencies, Indigenous communities, and potentially interested stakeholders. An Online Public Information Centre (PIC) was held during the detail design process to allow the public an opportunity to review and comment on project details.

Design and Construction Reports (DCRs) were prepared to document the project process, design details, environmental impacts and mitigation measures, and a summary of consultation. The DCRs were each made available for a 30-day public and agency review period and is available for download on this website. Interested stakeholders can review the proposed works and provide comments for consideration. Following the DCR review period, and subject to obtaining required permits, approvals, and authorizations, Environmental Clearance has been issued to allow WCC to proceed to construction of the works covered in the DCR, as appropriate.

Notices for the PIC and the DCRs were published in local newspapers, on the Project website and distributed to those on the Project contact list. If you wish to be added to the Project contact list or submit comments or questions, please visit the Contact Us section of this website.

Information collected will be used in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record.

If you have any accessibility requirements in order to participate in this Project, please contact the Project Team through the Contact Us page. Des renseignements sont disponibles en français en composant 1-888-619-1665).

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