Project and Environmental Review

New: Online application portal launched

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is working to improve the Project and Environmental Review process for applicants.

We have released a major improvement to the application process: an online application portal. The portal replaces the previous PDF forms used for application with a website allowing applicants to register and complete all application and document information online. If you have questions, please contact our planning and development department by email or phone at 604.665.9047. Or send us a message via our contact us form.

> Read more for further details, including frequently asked questions

Under the Canada Marine Act, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is responsible for the administration, management and control of land and water within its jurisdiction. To effectively manage these responsibilities, the port authority administers several permitting processes to ensure all developments and activities meet applicable standards and minimize environmental and community impacts.

The Project and Environmental Review Process applies to all proposed physical works and activities on federal lands and waters partially or wholly within the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s jurisdiction.

Proposed works and activities within or partially within the port authority’s jurisdiction are required to obtain a Project and Environmental Review Project Permit, and in some cases also a Building Permit, in order to proceed.

Are you a member of the public?

If you are a member of the public and want to learn more about a project or our Project and Environmental Review Process, please explore our project categories, Project and Environmental Process Review Steps, Status of Project Permit Applications, read about project applications and permit approvals, sign up for our Project Permit Updates newsletter, or contact us for more information.

Are you an applicant?

If you are a potential applicant and want to learn more about our Project and Environmental Review Process, please review:

Project categories

The Project and Environmental Review Process is divided into four project categories of review: A, B, C and D. The lettered categories range in complexity with Category A being the least complex and D being the most complex. For full details of the project categories, please consult the guidelines.

Review process

There are three main phases and generally six process steps in the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Project and Environmental Review Process. Applicable process steps will differ by project category:

Project Category A Process Steps
Project Category B Process Steps
Project Category C Process Steps
Project Category D Process Steps

For full details of the review process steps, please consult the guidelines.


Applicants are required to review the application guide and technical guidelines when preparing their applications and determining the scope of required studies. Learn more about our guidelines.

Project Permit application

Before submitting an application, it is recommended to review the application guide, project categories list, works and activities exclusion list, and guiding principles documents available on the guidelines page.

A preliminary project review is required for Category C or D projects. Applicants may also request a preliminary review of a Category B project. Preliminary reviews are not required for Category A projects. Learn more about a preliminary project enquiry and project permit application.

Amendments and extensions

Proposed substantial changes to a project’s design or scope, including changes to construction methods and practices reviewed as part of the Project and Environmental Review and permit validity dates, must be submitted to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for consideration. Learn more about amendments and extensions.


Depending on the category of review, the applicant may be required to submit an application fee, documentation deposit and incur other expenses as part of the Project and Environmental Review process, including costs associated with technical reports and studies, and undertaking consultation activities and reporting. Learn more about fees.

Status of Project Permit applications

Review the current Project Permits that are in the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Project and Environmental Review Process, and information on Project Permits recently issued. Learn more about the status of Project Permit applications.

More information

The review process was renewed in 2015, following stakeholder feedback and evaluation by an independent consultant. For more information, read the 2014 Project Review Evaluation Report [PDF]
or the project applications and permit approvals summary .

For regular updates on permitting and status of project applications, please sign up for our Project Permit Updates newsletter.

If you have questions, please email our Planning and Development department or call 604.665.9047.