OTTAWA, May 9, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Peter Kent, federal Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) announced today the establishment of a three-member review panel for the federal environmental assessment of the proposed New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project in British Columbia.
The Minister has appointed Bill Ross as the Panel chair, as well as George Kupfer and Ron Smyth as Panel members. Biographical information on the Panel chair and members is available in the accompanying backgrounder.
The Minister is also releasing today the Panel Terms of Reference for conducting the environmental assessment. The Terms of Reference establish the mandate and authority of the Review Panel, as well as the procedures and timelines for the review.
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Guidelines for the project were issued by the Minister on March 16, 2012. The Guidelines provide direction to the proponent, Taseko Mines Ltd., and identify the information that is required in the EIS. The EIS, to be submitted by the proponent, provides a detailed analysis of the potential effects of the proposed project on the environment.
The Panel Terms of Reference and EIS Guidelines were finalized following consideration of comments received from Aboriginal groups, the public, government authorities, the proponent, and other interested parties.
The Terms of Reference, the Guidelines, as well as additional information on the project, are available in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry on the Agency website at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca , under reference # 11-05-63928.
To be added to the distribution list and be kept informed of activities relating to the panel review process, contact:
Livain Michaud, Panel Manager
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor, Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
Tel.: 613-948-1359 / 1-866-582-1884 / Fax: 613-957-0941
Taseko Mines Ltd. proposes the construction and operation of a large open pit gold-copper mine development, approximately 125 km southwest of Williams Lake, B.C.
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.
PROPOSED NEW PROSPERITY GOLD-COPPER MINE PROJECT
REVIEW PANEL - BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
Bill Ross (Chair)
Bill Ross is a professor emeritus at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Environmental Design. He has focused most of his research on the professional practice of environmental assessment and has extensive expertise on cumulative effects assessment. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Manitoba and a Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University.
Dr. Ross has developed training, taught and advised on many aspects of environmental assessment in Canada and internationally. In addition to teaching postgraduate students, he has delivered training courses to further the practice of environmental assessment in many countries. In 1994, he headed the Canadian Mission to the Middle East to determine environmental assessment capabilities and needs as part of the Multilateral Peace Process. He is the founding president of the Western and Northern Canada Affiliate of the International Association for Impact Assessment. He has chaired the Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency for the Ekati Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories for five years and has worked with the four Aboriginal groups involved for a decade. In 2009, Dr. Ross was the winner of the Rose-Hulman Award from the International Association for Impact assessment.
Dr. Ross has considerable experience as a member of environmental assessment review panels in Alberta and British Columbia. He chaired the federal review panel for the Oldman River Dam and he served on the joint review panels for the EnCana Shallow Gas Infill Development Project and the Joslyn North Mine Project. He participated on the federal panels reviewing the twinning of the Trans Canada Highway in Banff National Park and the CP Rail Rogers Pass Project and was a member of the joint federal-provincial review panel established for the Alberta-Pacific Pulp Mill. He was an advisor on cumulative environmental effects to the Cheviot Coal Mine Review Panel in Alberta.
George Kupfer (member)
George Kupfer is a consultant focusing on community consultation, conflict resolution and mediation related to social and environmental issues and industrial development. He has a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University, as well as a Master's and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington. He taught at the University of Alberta for 15 years, before establishing his own company, Fresh Start Limited. Dr. Kupfer primarily works in western Canada and lives in Sidney, British Columbia.
Dr. Kupfer has facilitated many community consultation and stakeholder engagement initiatives related to industrial projects and their impacts. He has led multi-stakeholder consultations on drilling applications, gas pipeline developments, sour gas issues, transmission line route selection, on the relationship of the environment and the economy, and forest conservation strategies. He facilitated a multi-stakeholder review of the Alberta environmental impact assessment process and on developing agreements between First Nations, Métis and the government in the Wood Buffalo Region.
For a short time he was the public consultation advisor to the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board and afterwards assisted in a number of Board consultation and mediation projects. He has facilitated Crown consultation processes with First Nations for the federal and Alberta governments and advised the National Energy Board on the development of an internal Aboriginal consultation process and on dealing with pipeline emergencies. He has worked with First Nations and Métis, industry, individuals, communities and government departments in Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.
Dr. Kupfer has served on numerous environmental assessment panels, specifically related to water management issues. He was recently a member of the joint federal-provincial panel reviewing a run-of-the-river hydroelectric project on the Peace River near Dunvegan, Alberta. He was also a member of panels reviewing water management projects for the Pine Coulee and Little Bow/Highwood projects in Alberta, and for reviews of the Jackpine and Horizon oil sand developments in northern Alberta. He managed the review panel of the Alberta-Pacific Pulp Mill and served as social impacts advisor to the Oldman River Dam Panel. Until recently he was a member of the Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project Review Panel until the project was withdrawn.
Ron Smyth (member)
Ron Smyth is a professional geologist and independent consultant. He holds a Ph.D. in Geology from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He spent most of his career in government geological survey organizations; first with the Newfoundland Geological Survey where he held senior positions in geological mapping and mineral resource assessments from 1972 to 1982. He joined the British Columbia Geological Survey in 1982 as a mineral land use specialist and prepared regional assessments of mineral and coal potential for land and resource management planning processes.
Dr. Smyth was Director and Chief Geologist of the British Columbia Geological Survey from 1984-2002 and was the principal advisor to the B.C. Government on geological matters relating to minerals and coal. He has broad experience in the application of geology in the assessment of proposed new mines. He was a scientific advisor to the B.C. Mine Development Review Process in the 1980s and was responsible for a team of geological experts that provided scientific input to assessments of proposed new metal and coal mines. He also held the position of Chief Science Officer for the Offshore Oil and Gas Team, B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources from 2002 to 2008. In this position he was the government's expert on the geology and resource potential of the Pacific offshore basins and was the Ministry's chief advisor on science issues related to offshore energy development. He interacted with a range of stakeholders, including First Nations, non-governmental organizations, industry, academia, and the public.
Dr. Smyth was an adjunct professor, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria and was co-chair of the University of Victoria-Ministry of Energy and Mines Research Partnership Committee from 2004 to 2008. He has been a member of numerous scientific advisory boards. He resides in Victoria, British Columbia.
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