Preliminary screening in the Mackenzie Valley

What is a preliminary screening?

A preliminary screening is conducted to determine if a proposed project might be cause for public concern or might have a significant adverse impact on the environment. The preliminary screening will determine whether the project should proceed without environmental assessment or if it will be referred to environmental assessment.

What is an environmental assessment?

An environmental assessment is a planning tool that helps decision-makers carefully consider the impacts of proposed projects on the environment, as well as understanding the social, economic, and cultural aspects of a project. More information on project assessment is available here.

Who conducts the preliminary screening?

If a land use permit or a water licence is required for the project, the preliminary screening is conducted by the applicable land and water board. In cases where the project does not require a land use permit or water licence, but requires another kind of permit or licence, the preliminary screening is conducted by the appropriate federal, territorial government or board, agency  or regulator.

The Department of Environment and Climate Change (ECC) conducts a preliminary screening for permits and licences issued under the following territorial legislation:

  • Environmental Protection Act
  • Forest Management Act
  • Forest Protection Act
  • Pesticide Act
  • Species at Risk (NWT) Act
  • Wildlife Act

In certain cases, ECC is also responsible for conducting a preliminary screening of a project it proposes that does not require a licence, permit or other authorization. For instance, the proposed establishment of any protected area under the Protected Areas Act requires a preliminary screening.

What projects are currently being screened by ECC? 

The list below shows ECC’s current preliminary screening projects. Should you have a question about a current preliminary screening, please contact

Visit the Mackenzie Valley Review Board website for information related to preliminary screenings at: