Monitoring, Follow-Up, Adaptive Management, and Compliance in the Post-decision Phase

AuthorMartin Olszynski
 16
Monitoring, Follow-Up, Adaptive
Management, and Compliance in the
Post-decision Phase
Martin Olszynski
This chapter considers the critical and yet oen overlooked “post-de-
cision phase” of impact assessment,1 following planning, assessment,
and decision making.2 Section B briey explains monitoring, follow-up,
adaptive management, and compliance in the impact assessment con-
text and sets out the manner in which these are treated under the Impact
Assessment Act (IAA).3 Where useful for comparison, this section also
considers how they were treated under Canada’s previous assessment
1 See, for example, Carol A Hunsberger, Robert B Gibson & Susan K Wismer, “Citizen
Involvement in Sustainability-Centred Environmental Assessment Follow-Up” (2005)
25:6 Environmental Impact Assessment Review 609 at 610: “In Canada, . . . follow-up mon-
itoring has been well recognized as a crucial component of environmental assessment
but, at least until recently, seldom required or allocated potentially sucient resources.
2 Alana Westwood et al, “The Role of Science in Contemporary Canadian Environmental
Decision Making: The Example of Environmental Assessment” (2019) 52:1 UBC Law
Review 243 at 249 (describing the post-decision phase as the fourth and nal phase in
impact assessment). For its part, the Canadian Impact Assessment Agency has taken to
describing this as the h phase, adding a proponent-led “impact statement” phase
between planning and assessment; see Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, “Impact
Assessment Process Overview,” online: Government of Canada
3 SC 2019, c 28, s 1.
Monitoring, Follow-Up, Adaptive Management, and Compliance in the Post-decision Phase | 347
regimes, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA 1995)4 and the
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).5 Section C then
considers the federal government’s track record with respect to these
matters, including the ndings and recommendations of the Expert
Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes (Expert
Panel).6 Although much was said during the IAA’s development about
increasing the quality, transparency, and accessibility of monitoring and
follow-up results, as well as addressing the misuse of adaptive manage-
ment, the Act itself is only marginally distinguishable from CEAA 1995
and CEAA 2012 with respect to most of these issues. The one exception
appears to be with respect to adaptive management, which has been
reintroduced following its deletion from CEAA 2012. SectionD considers
some of the steps that could be taken to bolster the implementation of
the post-decision phase under the IAA to bring it closer to best practice.
1) Monitoring
In the impact assessment context, there are at least three kinds of mon-
itoring that we are concerned with, all of which can and do overlap:
(1) traditional compliance monitoring, for example, to determine
whether a given condition is being met; (2) monitoring for the purposes
of conrming predicted eects (as part of a follow-up program or adapt-
ive management plan), contributing to project management or broader
learning;7 and (3) ambient environmental monitoring, including col-
laboration in the context of regional eorts.8 Ambient environmental
monitoring is “the monitoring of . . . the state of the environment at the
4 SC 1992, c 37. The entry into force of the Act was delayed until 1995 to allow for key
regulations to be developed and passed.
5 SC 2012, c 19, s 52.
6 Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes, Building Common
Ground: A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada (Ottawa: Canadian Environ-
mental Assessment Agency, 2017), online (pdf): Government of Canada
common-ground/building-common-ground.pdf [Building Common Ground].
7 See also Chapter 22.
8 See also Bram F Noble, Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment: A Guide to
Principles and Practice, 2d ed (Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2010), describing

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