The Navigable Waters Protection Act ("NWPA"), which governs construction in navigable waterways (e.g. bridges, pipelines and dams), has been amended to enable the Minister of Transport or Cabinet to exempt certain types of projects from the approval process under the Act.
Because approval under the NWPA is a "trigger" for an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, one result of the amendments will be to exclude the exempted project from having to undergo a federal environmental assessment.
The amendments were made by way of the Budget Implementation Act, 2009, which was tabled in February and passed in March 2009.
For further information, please see: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Sites/LOP/LEGISINFO/index.asp?Language=E&Chamber=N&StartList=A&EndList=Z&Session=22 &Type=0&Scope=I&query=5697&List=toc-1.