Canada's Environment Minister establishes federal panel to review proposed Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine project

    OTTAWA, Jan. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice
announced today that the Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine project in British
Columbia will undergo an environmental assessment by a federal review panel.
The Minister's decision follows a request from the Minister of Fisheries and
Oceans under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
    "I am confident that the review panel will fully consider the
environmental issues related to the proposed project and make sound
recommendations to the federal government," said Minister Prentice. "A review
panel will provide opportunities for First Nations and the public to
participate in the assessment of the project."
    The Minister established the panel and has appointed Robert Connelly as
panel chair along with Nalaine Morin and Bill Klassen as panel members.
Biographical information on the chair and the members is available in the
accompanying backgrounder.
    The federal environmental assessment process will be coordinated to the
extent possible with the provincial environmental assessment process to
minimize duplication and increase efficiency and effectiveness.
    The federal Terms of Reference to establish the review panel and the
federal-provincial Guidelines for the preparation of the environmental impact
statement are being issued. The documents were finalized following recent
consultations with First Nations and the public.
    The federal Terms of Reference provide information on the process for
conducting the review as well as further details on the scope of the
environmental assessment. Under the Terms of Reference, the federal panel

    - conduct an examination of the environmental effects of the proposed
      project and the significance of those effects;
    - consider measures that are technically and economically feasible to
      mitigate any adverse environmental effects and the need for, and the
      requirements of, any follow-up program with respect to the project; and
    - consider comments from the public and First Nations that are received
      during the review.

    The federal-provincial Guidelines provide direction to the proponent and
identify the information that will be required in the statement of the
anticipated effects of the project on the environment.
    The Agency has made available funding to assist First Nations and the
public to participate in the environmental assessment process. The participant
funding recipients will be announced at a later date.
    To obtain more information on this project, including the Guidelines and
the panel Terms of Reference, consult the Canadian Environmental Assessment
Registry at , reference number 09-05-44811.

    Taseko Mines Ltd. proposes the development of a high volume open pit
gold-copper mine to be located 125 km southwest of Williams Lake, BC. In
addition to the mine and associated tailings and waste rock areas, the project
includes an onsite mill, an approximately 125 km long power transmission line
corridor and an access road.

    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.



    Robert (Bob) Connelly

    Mr. Connelly is a consultant who has worked in the field of environmental
assessment for much of his career. He graduated from the University of
Waterloo in 1970 as a civil engineer.
    Mr. Connelly has devoted most of his career to public service and has
wide-ranging experience with environmental assessment. He worked for the
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and its predecessor, the Federal
Environmental Assessment Review Office, for 27 years. He was appointed as
Acting President of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and served in
this capacity for 17 months before his retirement in 2005. Prior to this, Mr.
Connelly served as Vice-President, Policy Development for ten years and was
responsible for policy and regulation development under the Canadian
Environmental Assessment Act, research and development, inter-governmental
affairs, relations with Aboriginal organizations, as well as international
programs. In 2006, the International Association of Impact Assessment
presented him with the Rose-Hulman Award in recognition of his contribution
and leadership in the field of environmental assessment.
    Mr. Connelly has extensive experience chairing federal and joint
environmental assessment review panels across Canada. He chaired federal
review panels examining issues related to the problem of diseased bison in
Wood Buffalo National Park, and the twin tracking program for a CN Rail
corridor in British Columbia.
    Mr. Connelly co-chaired the joint federal-provincial panel reviewing the
construction of a second nuclear reactor at Point LePreau, New Brunswick and
is currently chairing the joint review panel reviewing the natural gas
drilling project proposed in the Canadian Forces Base Suffield National
Wildlife Area in Alberta.

    Bill Klassen

    Mr. Klassen is a senior consultant with AECOM with extensive experience in
natural resource management and environmental assessment in northern Canada.
He has a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management from the University of
Alaska, Fairbanks and obtained a Master of Forestry degree from the Yale
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He resides in Whitehorse.
    Mr. Klassen has lived and worked in the Yukon, Northwest Territories,
Nunavut and Alaska for the past 40 years and has held senior administrative
positions in the Yukon Government. He has served as both Deputy Minister of
Renewable Resources and Deputy Minister of Health and Human Resources for the
Yukon Government. He worked as a consultant for government, First Nations and
the private sector on a wide range of projects and has facilitated the
engagement of Aboriginal communities in resource development projects. He was
the federal member on the Environmental Fund Board for the Anvil Range Mine
for ten years.
    Mr. Klassen has broad experience with environmental assessment in northern
Canada. He represented the Yukon Government in negotiations related to the
drafting of the Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment Act. He was
appointed by federal Order-in-Council to chair the Environmental Impact
Screening Committee, the committee that screens all development projects, for
the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the western Arctic. He served as Yukon
member of the Environmental Impact Review Board for the Inuvialuit Final

    Nalaine Morin

    Ms. Morin has worked for a number of years as a metallurgist and
environmental supervisor in mining and resource development in Manitoba and
British Columbia. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the
University of British Columbia, a Mechanical Engineering Technology Diploma
from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and is currently working on
a Masters of Applied Science degree from the University of British Columbia.
She resides in Sparwood, British Columbia.
    Ms. Morin has lived and worked in Manitoba and British Columbia and she is
currently the manager of the Tahltan Heritage Resources Environmental
Assessment Team where she has developed processes for the inclusion of Tahltan
knowledge in the environmental assessment and permitting processes for
resource development projects in Tahltan territory.
    During her time at Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting in Flin Flon, Manitoba,
Ms. Morin was successful in gaining experience both as a metallurgist in
milling, smelting and hydrometallurgical operations and as a supervisor where
she was responsible for the environmental water and air monitoring programs.

For further information:

For further information: Media: Lucille Jamault, Senior Communications
Advisor, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, (613) 957-0434

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