February 13, 2006

Tar Ponds panel issues operational procedures for public hearings

SYDNEY, NS-The joint review panel for the Sydney Tar Ponds and coke ovens sites remediation project has released public hearings operational procedures. Designed to familiarize participants with the hearing process, the document sets out the guiding principles for the hearings and specifies details such as time allowances for presentations, the information exchange during proceedings, plus a general outline of the hearing schedule. The panel is currently reviewing the environmental impact statement (EIS) and public comments to determine if the EIS is adequate. This will continue until the February 16th close of the comment period. Once the panel decides that it has gathered all of the necessary information, a notice will be issued 21 days before the start of hearings. This is in keeping with the joint panel agreement signed by federal and provincial environment ministers in August 2005. Details on the operational procedures are available on the panel's Web site, www.stpco-review.ca.

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