September 17, 2007

EA decisions announced for water supply, LNG projects in Atlantic Canada

A water supply upgrade project proposed for construction on Prince Edward Island's Lennox Island has been referred back to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC, the responsible authority) for appropriate action by federal Environment Minister John Baird, who said the project is unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. The Minister's environmental assessment (EA) decision was based on the comprehensive study report prepared by INAC, including conclusions and recommendations, together with the results of a 35-day public comment period and the implementation of mitigation measures and a follow-up program. The Lennox Island First Nations is proposing to update the current drinking water supply, delivery, treatment and to provide additional flow and volume of water required for fire protection. The design of the water supply system includes several new water wells, connection of the new wells with the distribution system, a new pump control building with standby chlorination and a potable water storage reservoir. A copy of the Minister's environmental assessment decision statement can be found on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry, reference No 06-03-17002.

Baird has also determined that the proposed Grassy Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) project proposed for development at Placentia Bay in Newfoundland will continue as a comprehensive study. The Minister's decision was based on a report and recommendation submitted by Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the responsible authorities for the project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada will now continue their respective comprehensive studies and submit a final report to the Environment Minister. At that time, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the findings and recommendations of the report before Baird makes a final decision on the proposal.

The proposal by Newfoundland LNG calls for the construction, operation and eventual decommissioning of an LNG transshipment and storage terminal at Grassy Point, at the head of Placentia Bay. Project components include a marine terminal with three jetties, a tug berth and eight LNG storage tanks, plus supporting infrastructure including an access road, office facilities, security fencing, and utilities such as water and power. The proposed facility will provide LNG to markets in the northeastern United States and Canada. More information, including the preliminary report, is available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry, reference No 07-03-26546.

In other EA decisions, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has awarded a total of $100,000 to support public participation in the EA process for two projects.

Six applicants will share $50,000 from the Agency to assist their involvement in the joint panel review of Ontario Power Generation (OPG)'s proposal to build and operate a deep geologic repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive wastes in Tiverton, Ontario, east of Lake Huron.

The funding recipients are: Northwatch Coalition for Environment Protection, Citizens for Renewable Energy (CRE), Greenpeace Canada, Saugeen Ojibway Nation, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination and the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

Northwatch, CRE, Greenpeace and the Saugeen Nation have also been awarded $50,000 to support their participation in the joint panel EA for Bruce Power's proposed new build and operation project, also in Tiverton.

The funding will help the groups review and comment on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) guidelines to be prepared by the project proponents, OPG and Bruce Power, respectively. It will also support their participation in future public information meetings, whose dates and locations will be announced later. Also to be announced will be a second round of funding to enable applicants review the EIS documents and/or prepare for and participate in public hearings. Participant funding awards are based on a review of applications and recommendations by an independent committee set up by the Agency.

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