Saturday, March 19, 2016

Three month delay ahead before final consideration on Pacific NorthWest LNG project

The weekend brings another surprising turn of events for the path towards a final decision on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change now extending the time limit for the environmental decision on the project by three months.

The Notice of extension was posted to the CEAA information site on Saturday.

The extension is at the request of the CEAA which received new information from Pacific NorthWest LNG on March 4th that outlined additional details about the project and changes to its construction schedule and methods, with the CEAA now noting that this information has to be reviewed.

As well, the CEAA has requested additional information from Pacific NorthWest LNG when it comes to four areas of uncertainty that the Agency has identified, they include:

Effects of marine construction activities on fish and fish habitat and marine animals

Effects of marine structures on fish habitat including Flora Bank

Effects of construction noise and light on human health

Effects on current Aboriginal use of lands and resources for traditional purposes

Catherine McKenna, the Federal Minister of
Environment and Climate Change has
put a  three month hold on any final decision
for the  Pacific NorthWest LNG project 
The full correspondence to Pacific Northwest LNG, dated March 18th, outlines much of the background to the decision to extend the process by three more months, as well as to what the CEAA expects in the way of information from the company in response to their questions.

Those details can be reviewed here.

Prior to this weekend's developments, it had been anticipated that the Federal Cabinet was set to review the CEAA information this month and provide for its final environmental decision on the project.

With the extension, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna has put that process on hold for three months, while the CEAA and Pacific NorthWest LNG exchange information and complete the requirements on the outstanding issues.

That would mean that it will not be until at least June before residents of the North Coast gain some indication as to the fate of the much discussed and at times controversial industrial project.

To this point there has been no reaction from either Pacific NorthWest LNG officials or those of the parent Company Petronas of Malaysia related to the latest delay in the approval process for the proposed terminal at Lelu Island.

More background on the proposed development can be found on our Archive page here.

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