Friday, February 12, 2016

Tsimshian Leaders will review CEAA Findings to provide further input

With the delivery of the CEAA Draft Report into the Pacific NorthWest LNG project of earlier this week, the clock is now counting for one final period of consultation with the public.

Those interested in making one final contribution to the process, will be working towards a March 11th deadline before the Final Draft is handed over to the Federal Cabinet and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna.

The 243 page CEAA report outlined caution in two areas, noting that while there were potential areas of concern when it comes to potential impact on harbour porpoises around the Lelu Island area and issues related to Green House Gas emissions from the project.

However, on the controversial aspect of potential impact on fish and fish habitat, the report concluded that the project would not lead to any significant adverse effects on the Skeena salmon fishery.

With the review work completed and the findings now presented, this final consultation period is one which the leadership of the Tsimshian First Nations plan to make good use of.

With next phase of the process now to look over the report and prepare to offer further input as to what, if any additional conditions should be considered for the Terminal development proposed for Lelu Island.

The Tsimshian First Nation along with other interested parties can submit their comments and offer further background to shape the Final document through the CEAA website here.

In a media release issued this afternoon, the four Tsimshian Leaders; Chief Harold Leighton, Chief Cliff White, Chief Don Roberts and Chief Joe Bevan, outlined their initial take from the Draft Review, offering their observations on their participation with the CEAA on the issues related to the proposed LNG terminal development.

Making note of the work of the Tsimshian environmental teams as part of the review process and the level of community engagement that Tsimshian took part in as part of the lengthy project overview.

As well, the group outlined the confidence that they have in the work that they contributed to the process and their anticipation that they will have a place in the monitoring of all aspects of the project.

"We strongly advocated for additional research, particularly 3-D modeling, to understand the impacts of Pacific Northwest LNG's project on Flora Bank. This work has been completed, independently reviewed by our environmental teams and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). We will review CEAA's scientific findings and develop our conditions that give us full confidence that salmon fishery is protected." -- Chief Harold Leighton, Metlakatla,  speaking to the release of the CEAA Draft Report on the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal.

The CEAA Draft Report followed close to three years of consultation and study on the proposed Terminal Project, with the proponent Pacific NorthWest LNG now awaiting the final stages of the process and the decision of the Federal cabinet on whether to approve the proposed development.

Should there be a positive decision from the Federal government, it's anticipated that Pacific NorthWest LNG would outline its timeline towards a Final Investment Decision on the much discussed development for the Northwest.

A review of our archive of items related to the long journey to this point of the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal can be found here.

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