Environmental Impact Assessments
Environmental Impact Assessments are studies which evaluate how ecological features and functions may be impacted as a result of potential development and identify how anticipated impacts may be compensated for or avoided. Studies range in scale from severance or development approval for a single landowner to assisting municipalities in their secondary planning or Conservation Authorities in their watershed planning. Environmental impact studies may include detailed assessments of wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitat, and other natural heritage features.
D&A staff complete high quality environmental impact studies that consistently gain agency approvals. The expertise that we draw upon to complete these studies includes:
- In-depth understanding of relevant environmental policy,
- Extensive knowledge of the flora, fauna, and ecological systems of south and central Ontario,
- In-house assessment methods that have been refined over the life of the company,
- Efficient research and report writing abilities,
- Understanding of planning & development processes,
- Experience using standard environmental monitoring protocols & creating custom protocols,
- Effective communication skills and good relationships with agency staff.
ArcGIS and AutoCAD software allow us to produce mapping products that provide comprehensive and defensible environmental impact assessment reports. We use a high accuracy Trimble GPS unit to collect data points with sub-meter accuracy.
D&A’s approach to environmental impact assessments typically includes working with all project stakeholders (i.e. client, agency staff, Planners, Engineers) throughout the duration of the project. Required components of any environmental impact assessment are site-specific and determined through development of a Terms of Reference (TOR) at the outset of a project. A formal EIS may be comprehensive or scoped depending on agency requirements.
D&A staff begin working with clients early in the development planning process in order to provide preliminary insights on any notable environmental constraints and how these may inform development plans. Field investigations are then conducted to determine existing site conditions and may include Species-at-Risk (SAR) screening, vegetation and wildlife surveys, and/or boundary delineation of wetlands and woodlands. These conditions are analyzed within the context of existing policy and any proposed development. Impact analysis and recommendations are based on current standards and practices in the ecological sciences and are in accordance with established protocols.
Upon completion of an EIS, in-house expertise allows the project to be taken from the permit approval stage to implementation of recommendations, including design, oversight, and finally monitoring.
Examples of our Work