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Archived - Woodfibre LNG Project - Public Comments Invited

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Ottawa, December 17, 2013 - As part of the strengthened and modernized Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) put in place to support the government's Responsible Resource Development Initiative, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency must decide whether a federal environmental assessment is required for the proposed Woodfibre LNG Project located in British Columbia. To assist in making its decision, the Agency is seeking comments from the public on the project and its potential effects on the environment.

Woodfibre Natural Gas Limited is proposing to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas facility (LNG) located seven kilometres southwest of Squamish, British Columbia, on the northwestern shoreline of Howe Sound. The proposed project includes the development of a natural gas liquefaction facility and an LNG transfer facility to enable the export of the LNG product to global markets via marine vessels.  It is expected to operate for approximately 25 years and to produce between 1.5 and 2.1 million tonnes of LNG per year.

Substitution Request

The Government of B.C. has requested the substitution of the B.C. environmental assessment process for the CEAA 2012 process if it is determined that an environmental assessment is required. The Agency is also seeking comments on this request.

The Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, must approve the substitution request if she is satisfied that the conditions for substitution under CEAA 2012 are met and if she is of the opinion that the B.C. process would be an appropriate substitute for an environmental assessment for this project by the Agency.

At the conclusion of a substituted environmental assessment process, the federal Minister of the Environment will make an environmental assessment decision under CEAA 2012. Environmental protection will be maintained throughout this process. Projects will only be allowed to proceed if they meet Canada's rigorous environmental protection laws. Where a federal decision on a project may adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights, Canada will ensure potentially affected Aboriginal groups are adequately consulted.

B.C.'s request is in accordance with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Agency and the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office to enable efficient and timely use of the CEAA 2012 substitution provisions. The MOU addresses the processes leading to substitution, the conduct of the substituted environmental assessment and associated Aboriginal consultation and the coordination of decision-making, monitoring and follow-up after the environmental assessment. The MOU and a Backgrounder on substitution under CEAA 2012 are available on the Agency's website.

Public Comments

Written comments on the need for a federal environmental assessment and on the substitution request must be submitted by January 6, 2014 to:

Woodfibre LNG Project
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
410-701 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1C6
Telephone: 604-666-2431
Fax: 604-666-6990

To view a summary of the project description or for more information on the project, the substitution request and the environmental assessment process, visit the Agency's website (registry reference number 80060). All comments received will be considered public.

Next Steps

The Agency will post its decision on whether a federal environmental assessment is required on its website. A notice of the Minister's decision on the substitution request will also be posted on the Agency's website if it is determined that a federal environmental assessment is required.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of sustainable development.

For more information, media may contact:

Karen Fish
Communications Advisor
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Telephone: 613-957-0278

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