Upon receipt of a project proposal, the NMRIRB screens the proposal to determine whether it has significant impact potential, and therefore whether it requires a review under part 5 (NMRIRB review) or Part 6 (Federal Assessment Panel).
When screening proposals, the NMRIRB is guided by the following principles:
a) NMRIRB generally shall determine that such a review is required when, in its judgement,
i) The project may have significant adverse effects on the ecosystem, wildlife habitat or Nunavik Inuit harvesting activities;
ii) The project may have significant adverse socio-economic effects on Northerners;
iii) The project will cause significant public concern; or
iv) The project involves technological innovations for which the effects are unknown.
b) NMRIRB generally shall determine that such a review is not required when, in its judgement, the project is unlikely to arouse significant public concern and,
i) The adverse ecosystemic and socio-economic effects are not likely to be significant; or
ii) The project is of a type where the potential adverse effects are highly predicable and mitigable with known technology.
Screening assessments are carried out by the NMRIRB within 45 days of receipt all required information. Pursuant to the NILCA, the NMRIRB has 4 options available when submitting its screening decision report to the responsible Minister:
- The proposal may be processed without a review under Part 5 or 6; NMRIRB may recommend specific terms and conditions to be attached to any approval that reflect the Boards primary objectives;
- The proposal requires a review under Part 5 or 6; NMRIRB shall identify particular issues or concerns that should be considered in such a review;
- The proposal is insufficiently developed to permit proper screening, and should be returned to the proponent for clarification; or
- The potential adverse impacts of the proposal are so unacceptable that it should be modified or abandoned.
Reviews are more comprehensive assessments that are generally reserved for major development projects or projects that cause significant public concern. When the NMRIRB indicates to the responsible Minister that a proposal requires a review, the Minister can refer the proposal to a Part 5 review that is conducted by the NMRIRB or refer the project to a Part 6 review that is conducted by a Federal Environmental Assessment Panel.
The terms and conditions contained in:
- an NMRIRB Project Certificate;
- an NMRIRB Screening Decision; or
- any approvals issued by the Nunavut Water Board;
may provide for the establishment of a monitoring program for a project which may specify responsibilities for the proponent, NMRIRB or Government.
The purpose of a monitoring program is:
- To measure the relevant effects of projects on the ecosystemic and socio-economic environments of the NMR;
- To determine whether and to what extent the land or resource use in question is carried out within the predetermined terms and conditions;
- To provide the information base necessary for agencies to enforce terms and conditions of land and resource use approvals; and
- To assess the accuracy of the predictions contained in the project impact statements.