Southwest Environmental Limited
Suite 2201, 250 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario , Canada M5B 2L7

Phone: 647 794 0233             Email:

Environmental Consultancy Services to Industry, Business and Individuals

Environmental Assessment

Quite often not all of the below elements are required for a project. You may need Visual and Noise Impact Assessments for a wind turbine for example, and not much else, these reports can typically be produced in 3 weeks. But for larger projects such as manufacturing centers or large roads, the majority of the below elements will be required and it is not uncommon for the process to take a minimum of 3 months. Environmental Assessment legislative driver in Canada is Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

Environmental Assessment - Elements

Noise Environmental Assessment   Visual and Landscape Environmental Assessment   Transport Environmental  Assessment
Air Quality and Climate Environmental Assessment   Soils, Geology and Geomorphology Environmental Assessment   Water Environmental Assessment
Costal Ecology and Geomorphology Environmental Assessment   Odour Assessment    

Noise Environmental Assessment  

Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Health Canada provides guidance on the potential health impacts of noise from a number of different projects.  The guideline are the following levels (shown below for rural areas).

Time Period Noise Level
Day 35
Night 25
Day-Night 35

These reflect the WHO levels for night time noise. We use the "Guidance for Evaluating Human Health Impacts in Environmental Assessment Guide", published by Health Canada in in 2009. British Standard BS5228 is also utilised in Environmental Assessment of Noise.

Visual and Landscape Environmental Assessment  

 We have written a specific page for this type of report. Visual Impact Assessment.

Transport Environmental Assessment        

Transport Canada identify that "Canada’s economy and way of life are directly tied to its national transportation infrastructure system. The size of the landmass that is occupied by Canada makes transportation issues complex, differing greatly across the country. Transportation infrastructure programs must take into account everything from issues specific to urban areas to the needs of remote communities, calling for a wide range of transportation infrastructure solutions. "

Impacts to the transport network from developments should therefore be considered as part of an Environmental Assessment.

Ecology Environmental Assessment  


Socio Economic Environmental  Assessment  


Heritage Environmental  Assessment        


Air Quality and Climate Environmental  Assessment  


Soils, Geology and Geomorphology Environmental  Assessment  


Water Environmental Assessment          


Costal Ecology and Geomorphology Environmental Assessment  

Coastlines are very heavily utilized in the Australia. They are a pleasant place to live, work and holiday. You only have to take a look at the satellite image to the right to see that costal regions are disproportionately developed.

There are a number of factors that affect costal regions:

- Rising Sea Levels
- Loss of Semi Natural Habitats (Salt Marsh)

An environmental Impact Assessment of  Geomorphology aims to highlight areas where there could potential be impacts such as:

- Erosion Regimes
- Depositional Environs
- Sand dunes
- Cliffs and Slopes

Costal Ecology can also be affected.

Odour Environmental Assessment  

Odour is a contaminant, as defined in the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), and as such, is regulated under the EPA and Ontario Regulation 419/05, administered by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). It should be noted that Ontario Regulation 419/05 came into effect on November 30, 2005. This new regulation requires the use of approved U.S. EPA air dispersion models, beginning November 2013, using updated point of impingement limits. The new regulation is not expected to impact the design basis for the Stage 3 expansion. However, the MOE is developing an odour policy framework and this may have some impact on how odours are regulated in future.

Specifically with respect to odour, Section 14 of the EPA states that “no person shall discharge a contaminant or cause or permit the discharge of a contaminant into the natural environment that causes or is likely to cause an adverse effect”. Contaminant and adverse effect are defined in the EPA: “Contaminant” means any solid, liquid, gas, odour, heat, sound, vibration, radiation or combination of any of them resulting directly or indirectly from human activities that may cause an adverse effect “Adverse effect” means one or more of,

The odour benchmark for an operational facility is whether emission of odour is ‘offensive’ (scheduled activities), or is being prevented or minimised using best management practices and best available technology (scheduled as well as non-scheduled activities). New or modified activities must also incorporate all best practicable means to prevent or minimise odour.

Example Ontario

Ontario Regulation 419/05, Air Pollution – Local Air Quality requires that “a person shall not, …, discharge or cause or permit the discharge of a contaminant listed in Schedule ... into the air if a standard is set out in that Schedule for the contaminant for a specified averaging period and the discharge results in the concentration of the contaminant at a point of impingement exceeding the standard”. The point of impingement concentration is determined by air dispersion modelling.