What EACs can do
The framework that guides an EACs activities is usually a Council-approved document called the terms of reference. This outlines the philosophy or goal that directs the EAC, what skills or backgrounds members should have, how many members there are, the types of activities the committee is involved in, and the administrative arrangements that keep the EAC functioning.
Here are examples of matters on which an EAC can provide input to Council:
- Advice on environmental policies for the Official Plan
- Advice on new candidates for environmentally significant areas (ESAs) or other natural areas to be recognized in the Official Plan
- Comments or advice on particular development proposals that may have environmental impacts (e.g., developments adjacent to designated natural areas, water bodies, etc.)
- Obtaining the advice of developers, consultants, agency staff, interest groups and the public
- Visiting sites to improve advice to Council on site-specific matters
- Public education on local environmental concerns
- Assistance to municipal staff reporting on the state of the environment
- Environmental quality monitoring (e.g., breeding bird survey, amphibian monitoring) in conjunction with schools and community groups
On matters to be considered by Council, remember that EACs only provide advice. It is still up to Council to make their decisions.