July 9, 2007

Shell receives approval for Sarnia project EA terms of reference

SARNIA, ONT-Shell Canada will proceed with an environmental assessment (EA) of its proposed new refinery near Sarnia, having received approval of its EA terms of reference from Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten. The terms of reference outline the steps and studies Shell will undertake to determine the project's environmental and cumulative effects and describes the methods that will be used for assessing the effects. Components of the proposed project are expected to include new pipeline infrastructure, a co-generation electricity unit, a dock on the St Clair River and storage facilities for crude oil, as well as highway/railway improvements. Shell's studies will include modeling of groundwater conditions, aquatic and terrestrial environments, air quality and noise. The proposed project will also be subject to the federal EA process, which will be co-ordinated with Ontario's process and with other federal and provincial environmental laws, including the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Water Resources Act. Shell developed the EA terms of reference in consultation with the local community and First Nations and will continue to seek their input into the EA. "The terms of reference is just the first step in the environmental assessment process, which Shell has volunteered to undertake," said Broten, adding, "An EA will inform us if the refinery can be designed and constructed in a manner that respects the environment."

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