TORONTO, Ont. — Government officials recently announced they will accelerate their long-term planning study aimed at improving traffic flow at the border of Southwest Ontario and Southeast Michigan.
Formal environmental processes will now begin under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act and the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act. This environmental assessment will also meet the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
The four governments are working together closely as the Canada-U.S.- Ontario-Michigan Border Partnership. The partners came together to streamline and accelerate the planning and environmental processes through the creation of a single, integrated process that will meet the legislative requirements of both countries.
“The potential effects of improving traffic flow at the border on trade, our economies, national security and quality of life are complex and significant,” said Transport Minister David Collenette. “We must work as quickly as possible while ensuring that meaningful consultations are part of the process as we address these important issues.”
A Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement has already been published in the Federal Register in the U.S. The initial stages of the environmental assessment, the scoping and terms of reference studies, will be initiated while work on the current planning/needs and feasibility study proceeds. Consultation on the major findings of the study is currently underway. These findings will serve as the foundation for the next steps in the formal processes.
The study will now enter the second of a six-stage integrated planning and environmental process. The team will continue to invite key stakeholders and the public to provide input and advice through consultation groups and public information open houses.
For more information on the Bi-National Partnership, its studies and the schedule of upcoming Public Information Open Houses, visit www.PartnershipBorderStudy.com
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