Project Requiring Assessment
Proponents of projects in the NMR must submit a project proposal to the Nunavik Marine Region Planning Commission (NMRPC) to determine whether the project conforms to the requirements of any approved land use plans, and if so, whether the project type is exempt from the requirement for screening by the NMRIRB. The NMRPC has specific time requirements to complete its consideration of a project proposal. The NMRPC can be contacted through their website at www.nmrpc.ca where proponents can learn more about submission requirements and applicable land use plans.
The NILCA does provide for exempting certain projects from NMRIRB screening. In the case of an exempt project, the NMRPC does not forward the project proposal to the NMRIRB unless the NMPRC has concerns respecting the cumulative impacts of that project proposal in relation to other development activities in a planning region. Similarly, the NMRIRB will not screen projects that are not in conformity with existing land use plans unless an exemption has been received or a variance has been approved.
Projects exempt from NMRIRB screening include:
1. Land use activities not requiring a permit or authorization from the Government of Canada or Territorial Government;
2. Land use activities requiring only a Class B permit under the Territorial land Use Regulations (SOR/77-210 4 March 1977);
3. All construction, operation and maintenance of all buildings and services within an established municipality, except for bulk storage of fuel, power generation with nuclear fuels, or hydro power and any industry activity;
4. All hotels, motels or tourism facilities of twenty (20) beds or fewer outside the boundaries of a municipality;
5. Water uses that do not required a public hearing under section 13.7.3 of NILCA;
6. Prospecting, staking or locating a mineral claim unless it requires more than a Class B permit mentioned in item 2;
7. Such other categories of activities and projects as may be agreed upon by NMRIRB and the appropriate Minister.
Screening by the NMRIRB is designed to determine whether proposed projects require an environmental review or whether they can proceed and receive the required permits, licences and approvals without further assessment.
The NMRIRB screening decision reports are issued directly to the government ministers responsible for authorizing a proposed project and include a detailed assessment of the project proposal and its potential to cause ecosystemic and socio-economic impacts in the NMR. Should screening by the NMRIRB be required, authorizing agencies are prohibited from issuing licences, permits and approvals for a project until the NMRIRB’s screening is complete.
As of 2020, proponents must provide the appropriate information packages for the NMRIRB to screen the proposed project. The Board is expecting that as of the end of March 2022, proponents will be required to register for an online account and complete an online application form through the NMRIRB online public registry. The NMRIRB screening process may take up to 45 days to complete and includes a public commenting opportunity. There are no fees associated with the NMRIRB screening process but proponents are responsible for ensuring that all required information has been provided including appropriate translations in Inuktitut.