OTTAWA, Dec. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Environment Minister, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, today issued a Decision Statement under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) for the Jackpine Mine Expansion Project.
The Jackpine Mine Expansion Project has undergone a rigorous review by a federal-provincial Panel. The federal Minister of the Environment has concluded that the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects as defined in CEAA 2012 and the Governor in Council has determined that those effects are justified in the circumstances. Therefore, the project may proceed in accordance with conditions set out in the Decision Statement issued by the Minister.
The Minister's Decision Statement includes: the Minister's decision that the Project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects; the Governor in Council's decision that those effects are justified in the circumstances; and mitigation measures and follow-up program requirements that must be implemented by the proponent, Shell Canada.
Through the Government's Responsible Resource Development initiative, compliance and enforcement powers, including financial penalties, were included in CEAA 2012. Under this reinforced environmental assessment regime, proponents of projects that are granted approval to proceed are legally obligated to comply with conditions set out in decision statements issued by the Minister of the Environment. Proponents who do not comply will face compliance and enforcement action, including tough financial penalties of up to $400,000 per day in the case of a conviction for a continuing offence.
In addition to the recommendations that could be addressed through conditions included in the Decision Statement, the Panel directed a number of recommendations to the Government of Canada, either alone or in conjunction with the Government of Alberta. Canada has considered these recommendations which address broader issues associated with oil sands development, with a view to strengthening environmental protection in the oil sands region and promoting positive and long-term relationships with Aboriginal communities. Canada's Response to Panel Recommendations is available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Web site at ceaa.gc.ca.
Projects subject to CEAA 2012 are assessed using a science-based approach. If a project is permitted to proceed, it continues to be subject to Canada's strong environmental laws, including having to meet the conditions set out in the Decision Statement.
About the Proposal
Shell Canada proposed to expand the Jackpine Mine project. The expansion would include additional mining areas and associated processing facilities, utilities and infrastructure. The project would be located about 70 km north of Fort McMurray on the east side of the Athabasca River. The expansion project would increase bitumen production by 100,000 barrels per day.
SOURCE: Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
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