January 16, 2006

EA processes move to next stage for two gas projects

The proposed Keltic liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Nova Scotia will undergo a comprehensive study by the two responsible authorities, Transport Canada (TC) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The comprehensive study process was deemed by federal Environment Minister Stéphane Dion to be the most appropriate level of environmental assessment for the project, based on a report and recommendations from the two authorities.

Keltic Petrochemicals is proposing to construct and operate a petrochemical complex and LNG importing and vapourization facility in Goldboro, Nova Scotia. The development proposal includes petrochemical plants, a marginal wharf, an LNG terminal, LNG storage and regasification facilities, and an electrical cogeneration facility, plus construction of a highway between the development site and Antigonish.

The report by TC and DFO contains information on the scope of the proposed elements of the project; the factors to be considered in each department's environmental assessment; public concerns submitted to authorities; the potential of the project to cause adverse environmental effects; and the ability of the comprehensive study process to address issues relating to the elements of the project to be studied by each department.

TC and DFO will proceed to complete two separate comprehensive studies in a single co-operative process, co-ordinated by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. The scope of TC's environmental assessment (EA) will be the construction, operation, maintenance, modification and decommissioning of the LNG terminal, marine transfer pipelines, LNG storage tanks, marginal wharf and the re-gasification plant. It will also include any temporary marine facilities and structures and equipment that are connected with the movement of goods between ships and shore and shipping within 25 km of Country Island.

DFO's EA will focus on the construction and operation of the marginal wharf. Operation of the marginal wharf does not include shipping, but does include docking and de-berthing of vessels.

Both reports will be submitted to the Environment Minister. At that time, the public will have an opportunity to provide comments on the findings and recommendations of each report before the Minister makes a final decision.

More information on this project is available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca, reference number 05-03-10471.

In other EA activities, the Agency, together with the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board have awarded a total of $1.67 million to 35 applicants to assist their participation in the Mackenzie Gas Project environmental assessment by Joint Review Panel.

This marks the third and final phase of the participant funding program, and will support the recipients' participation in the public hearings to be held by the Joint Review Panel. A schedule of dates, locations and topics for the public hearings is available on the Panel's Web site, www.jointreviewpanel.ca.

The recipients of participant funding are: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation; Joint Secretariat; Fisheries Joint Management Committee; Randal Boogie Pokiak; Gwich'in Tribal Council; Gwich'in Renewable Resource Board; Nihtat Gwich'in Council / Inuvik Native Band; Ayoni Keh Land Corporation; K'ahsho Got'ine District Land Corporation; Tulita Yamouria Community Secretariat; Deline Land Corporation; Dene Tha' First Nation; North Slave Métis Alliance; West Point First Nation; Acho Dene Koe; Pehdzeh Ki First Nation; Deh Gah Gotie Dene Council; Liidlii Kue First Nation; Fort Simpson Métis Nation; K'atlodeeche First Nation; Sambaa K'e Dene Band; Fort Providence Métis Council; Town of Inuvik; Town of Hay River; City of Yellowknife; Village of Fort Simpson; Enterprise Settlement Corporation; Hamlet of Fort McPherson; Canadian Arctic Resources Committee; NGO Coordinating Committee; Arctic Indigenous Youth Alliance; Alternatives North Coalition; Nature Canada; World Wildlife Fund and Sierra Club of Canada.

The federal government of Canada has made available up to $2.19 million in participant funding to support public participation in the Joint Review Panel process for the proposed project. More information on the Mackenzie Gas project review is available on the Web sites of the Review Board, www.mveirb.nt.ca, or of the Northern Gas project secretariat, www.ngps.nt.ca.

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