May 19, 2017
• Chinese owned Nexen proposed LNG plant on Digby Island (Aurora) , a stone-throw away from Prince Rupert, is the biggest LNG plant proposal on the BC Coast, bigger than the approved and controversial Petronas plant on Lelu Island
• in 2014, the BC Minister of Environment signed a Substitution Agreement with Environment Canada to transfer the assessment of the Aurora gas plant proposal from the Canada Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) to the BC Environmental Assessment Office(EAO).
• BC EAO suspended the review on March 20, 2017 and Nexen agreed to set up working group meetings and provide more documentation by May 15, 2017
• One of the conditions of the Substitution Agreement is to give the public an opportunity to participate in the environmental assessment process and provide access to records in relation to the assessment, to enable the meaningful participation of the public.
• In her letter of May 18, 2017 to Kevin Jardine, ADM, Ministry of Environment, EAO, Josette Wier who in partnership presented detailed comments on the deficiencies of the assessment of the human health effects, contends that EAO is not complying with its obligations under the Substitution Agreement.
• The suspension of the review was poorly announced in a one line RSS feed which referred to 2 letters to be found in 2 separate folders in the website
• The website is very difficult to navigate
• The 500 or so detailed public comments are being lumped in a more than 500 pages document to be scrolled down, with no search, copy and paste function
• Since the suspension, Nexen released documents to some working tables which are not available to the public
This is far from meaningful public participation. “Simply put, it conveys a lack of respect as well as any hope that those comments will be given any weight. This is in sharp contrast with my experience as an intervenor in the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal and with providing comments to the Roberts Bank Terminal under CEAA. With Northern Gateway, as a registered intervenor, I was allowed to make written information requests to which Enbridge had to respond. I recall 3 rounds of such. For the Roberts Terminal assessment, my comments allowed me to be on a mailing list for CEAA to keep me informed of the evolution of the application” writes Wier in her letter.
In contrast, the public and the commenting public in particular is kept at arms length from the process. EAO has not posted any information on the deadline of May 15 for Nexen’s non released promised “engagements and documents”. The BC EAO process is a lame, underfunded process which is in breach of its substitution requirements.
CONTACT: Josette Wier email@example.com 250 8478743