The Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) is a dynamic workplace with a talented, team-oriented staff and a mandate that includes working on some of the largest resource development projects in Canada. The EAO is a stand-alone, neutrally administered regulator that undertakes rigorous, thorough reviews of major projects in British Columbia. These reviews require active engagement by EAO staff with Indigenous groups, government agencies and the public to administer environmental assessments (EA). The work of the EAO is central to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, promotion of sustainability and the fostering of a sound economy by ensuring environmental, economic, social, health, and cultural effects from proposed major projects are understood and managed in the regulatory process. The EAO maintains a comprehensive compliance and enforcement program and coordinates compliance management with other government agencies to ensure projects are built and operating as required. The EAO also has in-house policy and information technology professionals to support administration of regulatory and compliance management activities. The EAO values teamwork and collaboration and works hard to support staff growth and development.
The role of the Project Assessment Officer (PAO) is to support EA reviews of major projects in BC, including Industrial, Mine, Energy, Water Management, Waste Disposal, Transportation and Tourist Destination Resort projects. This includes, organizing and leading work with advisory committees with participants involved in EAs (e.g., Indigenous nations, local governments, government agencies, the public); supporting briefings for senior government officials; providing analysis, review and drafting of key EA documents (including technical materials). Working with the Project Assessment Director, the PAO plays an essential role coordinating and administering the EA process.
Manages the EA process in support of the Project Assessment Director (PAD) and/or the Executive Project Director (EPD), and oversees negotiations issues by:
Working collaboratively with Indigenous nations participating in the EA process, including building and maintaining relationships.
Reviewing and advising on the adequacy and effectiveness of the proponent's consultation with the public, Indigenous nations and government agency staff recommending changes as appropriate, in proponent or EAO consultation programs to the assigned PAD and/or EPD.
Ensuring that the proponent and other participants have access to all relevant background information, data and reports for the project and all relevant guidelines, standards and policies, as well as providing clarification where necessary.
Providing updates to key government agencies on progress of the EA and identifying related issues and resource constraints for further action by the Ministries, as appropriate.
Identifying, notifying and involving federal, provincial and local government representatives, Indigenous nations, the public and the media (where applicable) who may have an interest in the project.
Negotiating agreements with Indigenous nations.
Organizing and managing an advisory committee and/or other type of working group formed during an EA process and ensuring that relevant technical documents and reports are made available to involved parties.
Working with the proponent and government agencies, identifying technical and policy issues in the early engagement stage and managing the resolution of these issues; through negotiation with agency staff, project proponents, and where required, other EA participants.
Advising and consulting with proponents, stakeholders, officials from federal, provincial and local governments, Indigenous nations and the general public on the EA process.
Preparing briefing notes and/or summaries of advisory committee/working group meetings information and decisions in accordance with EAO guidelines and policies.
Chairing meetings as assigned, and facilitating constructive discussion and resolution of outstanding issues related to environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects, and.
Following up with committee/working group members to ensure that documents and EA steps are completed within legislated timelines. Manages the preparation of EA process documentation, such as tracking documents, official correspondence and assessment reports, by:
Ensuring the effective tracking of issues raised during the EA process and overseeing the synthesis of all related documentation into reports in accordance with operational guidelines for distribution to proponents, government agencies and other EA participants.
Drafting or editing complex study terms of reference, assessment reports and terms and conditions for EA certificates, for review by the PAD, the EPD and any relevant advisory committees (e.g., technical or community advisory committees); and
Overseeing the timely preparation of official correspondence for the signature of the Associate Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister, EPD or PAD.
Undertakes research, analysis and evaluation related to EAs by:
Assessing EA proposals and advising whether they require review under the Environmental Assessment Act.
Reviewing EA proposals to anticipate and arrange necessary and timely participation of key agencies in screening of applications.
Identifying application deficiencies and providing advice and guidance to proponents and the PAD or EPD for the upgrading and resubmission of EA applications.
Identifying Indigenous nations whose interests may be affected by proposed projects and assessing and advising on consultation requirements and participation opportunities.
Maintaining contact with staff from other provincial agencies, federal and local governments, and industry to gather information, assess trends and keeping abreast of government initiatives/policies/laws as they impact current or proposed projects.
Analyzing proponent submissions and policy or technical submissions from government agencies to identify substantive issues requiring mitigation or further study.
Scanning written or oral comments received from Indigenous nations and the public to identify substantive issues requiring attention during the EA process.
Researching federal, provincial, and local government legislation and policies on assigned issues, and providing advice to the PAD and/or the EPD on strategies and options for resolving particular issues of conflict; and
Preparing and/or modifying guidelines and standards for EA technical information requirements and resource objectives in consultation with government agencies.
Assists the PAD and/or the EPD with post-EA follow up by:
Coordinating, facilitating or tracking permitting activity.
Tracking ongoing compliance with EA Certificate requirements to ensure that the EAO receives EA reports, environmental management plans and other required deliverables; and
Contributing to EA certification audits as required.
Bachelor’s degree related to the Natural Resource and/or the Environmental Sector, Business Administration, Public Administration, or Law plus two (2) years related experience. An equivalent combination of education and related experience may be considered.
Related experience must include:
Experience in the identification and evaluation of information required to support decision-making processes on major projects, programs, or other high-profile initiatives.
Experience with presenting results of assessments, options and impact analysis to senior staff or executive and other parties (i.e., local, provincial or federal government, industry, proponents, and Indigenous nations).
Experience in coordinating multiparty stakeholder engagement and managing disparate opinions.
Experience managing multiple work priorities under pressure and within timeline constraints.
Experience in planning and coordinating projects using project management principles and tools.
Preference may be given to applicants with one or more of the following:
Experience working with Indigenous communities and/or organizations. This experience may have been gained in a professional, community or volunteer setting.
Experience building partnerships and relationships with Indigenous nations.
Experience working in natural resource management.
Experience conducting or participating in environmental assessment processes.
Applicants who self-identify as black or a person of colour (BIPOC), LGBTQ2S+ and/or people with disabilities.
Travel is required.
Must be willing to meet the transportation arrangements required by the ministry (i.e., travel in small aircraft, helicopter, driving on natural resource roads, etc.).
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Knowledge of Indigenous nations concerns, and interests related to Environmental Assessments, for example potential impacts to section 35 rights.
Strong written and verbal communication skills.
Ability to research, analyze and summarize a variety of technical and conceptual information.
The Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) is dynamic workplace with a talented, team-oriented staff and a mandate that includes working on some of the largest resource development projects in Canada. The EAO is a stand-alone, neutrally administered regulator that undertakes rigorous, thorough reviews of major projects in British Columbia. These reviews require active engagement by EAO staff with Indigenous groups, government agencies and the public to administer environmental assessments (EA). The work of the EAO is central to Indigenous reconciliation, sustainability and the economy by ensuring environmental, economic, social, health, and cultural effects from proposed major projects are understood and managed in the regulatory process. The EAO maintains a comprehensive compliance and enforcement program and coordinates compliance management with other government agencies to ensure projects are built and operating as required. The EAO also has in-house policy and information technology professionals to support administration of the regulatory and compliance management activities. The EAO values teamwork and collaboration, and works hard to support staff growth and development.