December 1, 2003

GSX pipeline project EA concludes with federal response to joint panel report

OTTAWA , ONT-The federal government last week released its official response to accept the Joint Review Panel's conclusion that the Canadian portion of the Georgia Strait Crossing (GSX) pipeline project is unlikely to cause significant environmental effects, provided specific actions are taken to protect areas that could be affected. The proposed international pipeline is intended to provide natural gas from Sumas, Washington, to Vancouver Island for the generation of electricity, but would also be available for meeting future residential, commercial and industrial gas demand on Vancouver Island. The response marks the completion of the environmental assessment of the GSX Canada pipeline project by the Joint Review Panel under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The project will now proceed to the next stage of approvals to be carried out by various federal departments and the NEB. The Panel will then decide whether to issue a certificate under the National Energy Board Act to the project proponent, which will be subject to approval by the Governor in Council. The Joint Review Panel was appointed in September 2001. Following public consultation sessions in January 2002 and public hearings in 2003, the Joint Review Panel issued its final report in July, recommending that the project be allowed to proceed to federal regulatory and departmental decision making, as long as the panel's 26 recommendations were made part of the requirements of any approval by the National Energy Board (NEB). The federal response may be viewed on-line at www2.nrcan.gc.ca/es/es/publication_2003_10_e.cfm
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