An assessment under YESAA is required when a project activity is listed in the regulations and requires a permit or authorization, a transfer of land, or utilizes federal funding (Do you require an assessment?). The assessment process is initiated when an individual or organization submits a project proposal to YESAB. Once the proposal is received, YESAB ensures that the proposal contains the information necessary to commence an assessment.
Assessors consider the potential environmental and socio-economic effects of proposed activities by gathering and analyzing relevant information from various sources (federal, territorial and First Nation governments, experts in the field, and the public) and by conducting research to allow for a complete and thorough assessment.
Once the appropriate information has been collected and considered, the assessor recommends whether the project should proceed, proceed with terms and conditions or not proceed. Alternatively, a Designated Office may refer a project under evaluation to an Executive Committee screening or the Executive Committee may refer a project under screening to a review by a panel of the Board.
When an assessment is complete, the recommendation is sent to the relevant Decision Body(s), which can be federal, territorial and/or First Nation governments. The Decision Body(s) will then decide whether to accept, reject or vary the recommendation of YESAB and issue a Decision Document. These documents are placed on the YESAB Online Registry and available to the public.
Depending on the proposed project activities an assessment can take place at three different levels.
Designated Office evaluation
The majority of assessments are conducted in the six community-based Designated Offices located in Dawson City, Haines Junction, Mayo, Teslin, Watson Lake and Whitehorse.
Executive Committee screening
The Executive Committee of the Board will assess larger projects that are submitted to it directly or are referred by a Designated Office.
Panel of the Board review
A Panel of the Board may be established to assess projects which have potential significant adverse effects, are likely to cause significant public concern, or involve the use of controversial technology.