Environmental Assessment FAQ

Subgrade Inspection

What are the benefits of an environmental assessment?

The objective of an environmental assessment is to find ways and means to complete projects, developments, or resources while reducing the adverse impact on the environment. The benefits of an environmental assessment include the following:

  • Reducing costs and time to design and implement the project
  • Avoiding costly treatment or clean-ups
  • Adhering to laws and regulations to avoid fines or project shut-downs
  • Factoring in the consequence or change to the environment at an early state in project planning and design
  • Ensuring that stakeholders have the predictions and options to make better decisions

Who is involved in an environmental assessment?

Our team of experienced engineers and technicians are there to support your decisionmakers and stakeholders at every stage of the environmental assessment process. At the end of the process, we provide a report called the Environmental Impact Statement that predicts and identifies the likely environmental impacts and provide alternative courses of action.

Depending on local regulations, you may need to have the project reviewed publicly and by various environmental agencies before proceeding.

What is examined during an environmental assessment?

PRI Engineering uses local regulatory permitting requirements and assessment acts to guide the process such as the Canadian Environment Assessment Act (CEAA) and in the United States, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

While the environmental assessment process is flexible, it must include a review of relevant documentation and records, an assessment of the site, and testing as determined necessary by the history and use of the site.

What are the methods for environmental assessments?

The main methods or techniques used in environmental assessments are particular to each stage of the process from screening, scoping, prediction and mitigation, management and monitoring, and the audit.

Knowledge of environmental engineering and project management is necessary for every stage of the process and includes techniques such as mathematical modeling, networks diagrams, graphical comparisons to facilitate assessment and comparison of options.

What are the types of environmental assessments?

The required scope or type of environmental assessment depends on the specifics of your project and the local regulations. For most construction projects, you will be required to complement an environmental assessment before proceeding and this may include:

  • Detailed site investigations
  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Contaminant Remediation
  • Biophysical Environmental Assessments
  • Erosion Sediment Control Engineering
  • Permits Approvals
  • Storm Water Engineering
  • Wastewater Engineering

What is the difference between an Environmental Impact Statement and an Environmental Impact Assessment?

The Environmental Impact Assessment is the process of assessing the environment and is completed in several stages. The Environmental Impact Statement is the general report that results from the assessment and outlines the impact on the surrounding environment.

When is an environmental assessment required?

If and when you will need to complete an environmental assessment for your project depends on the local regulations. Generally, you will need to complete an assessment on new construction, expansion, and renovation projects that will impact the environment. We can help you determine whether you will need an environmental assessment on your project if you are unsure.

What is the cost of an environmental assessment?

The cost of an environmental assessment depends on a variety of factors. The location, the site’s size, the previous use of the site, and the potential for a complex history will impact the site assessment in Phase 1 and 2, and therefore, the cost. Generally, the more remote, the larger the site and the complexity of the site, the more work is involved in the Environmental Site Assessment.

What are the timelines of an environmental assessment?

The process of an environmental assessment should be initiated as early in the proposed project development as possible. Depending on the complexity of the project and the jurisdiction, the Environmental Impact Assessment can take anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months or more.

What are environment assessment regulations?

The United States and Canada each have environmental assessment regulations that stretch back decades and are in place to support the evaluation of the environmental impact of the proposed project and the related economic and social impacts.

PRI Engineering complies with all local permitting regulations in addition to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in the United States and the Canadian Environment Assessment Act (CEAA).

What is the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012?

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act regulates how and when contractors and developers need to assess a proposed project at the federal level. The purpose of the CEAA is to support better decision-making that will protect the environment from adverse impacts and other related social and economic impacts.

How does PRI Engineering ensure compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012?

PRI’s engineers and technicians have full knowledge of the regulations and are trained to comply with all regulations. We use proven project management and methods to evaluate the sites.


Arash Yazdani, P. Eng.
Director of Engineering Services
T: (705) 340-8242
E: arash.yazdani@priengineering.com



Latest Articles

March 28, 2024 in Articles, Laboratory Testing

How to Conduct Comprehensive Soil Testing: A Step-by-Step Guide

Soil testing is a foundational aspect of geotechnical engineering, critical for assessing the suitability of the subsurface conditions for proposed developments, construction methodology selection, and environmental assessments.   PRI Engineering…
Read More
January 26, 2024 in Articles, Our Team, Uncategorized, Videos

Sitting Down with PRI Engineering Intern Ryan Boljkovac

At PRI Engineering we pride ourselves on our company culture and opportunities for growth. Our internship program gives current engineering students the ability to learn from expert engineers and get…
Read More

How do I request an environmental assessment?

Contact us today to request an environmental assessment of your project. Experienced engineers are on hand to support your project development.

Fill out the short form below and we’ll get back to you within one to two business days.