Archived - Government of Canada’s Response to the Report of the Joint Review Panel on the Proposed Development of the Cacouna Energy LNG Terminal Project

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Circumstances

The project to establish a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal was proposed by Petro-Canada and TransCanada Pipelines. The purpose of the project is to import LNG by ship in order to help meet long-term energy demand in Quebec, Ontario and the north-eastern United States.

Until now, Canada has managed to meet natural gas needs from its own resources. However, it does not have its own facilities for importing LNG, even though it is a net exporter of natural gas to the United States, whence the importance of considering the need to establish such facilities.

Project

The project submitted by the proponent is for the establishment of an LNG terminal at the Port of Gros-Cacouna, which is federally owned industrial land in the municipality of Cacouna, approximately 15 kilometres northeast of downtown Rivière-du-Loup.

The project includes the maritime transportation in the St-Lawrence Estuary, establishment of marine facilities for berthing LNG carriers, including equipment for the unloading of LNG. The on-land facilities will include two storage tanks, buildings for service, technical support and storage, regasification facilities, a unit for adding nitrogen, an access road and a parking area. The cost of the project has been estimated at $686 million for the construction phase and $25.2 million per year of operation. The proponent expects to start construction in the fall of 2007, and it is projected that the terminal will go into operation in 2010.

Environmental assessment process

On August 19, 2005, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Transport (TC) referred the project to the Minister of the Environment for panel review in accordance with sections 21.1(1)(b) and 29(1)(a) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). DFO and TC are the responsible authorities for the project under the terms of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA): DFO because of its regulatory role in authorizing the alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat under section 35(2) of the Fisheries Act; and TC because of the approval required under section 5(1) of the Navigable Waters Protection Act and in its capacity as representative of the lessor of the land involved in the project. The Minister of the Environment in turn referred the environmental assessment of the project to a panel, in accordance with section 29(1)(a) of the CEAA.

On April 10, 2006, the Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks and the federal Minister of the Environment agreed to put in place a joint panel to conduct a public review of the project, in accordance with the usual procedures for public hearings conducted by the Bureau des audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE). The federal and Quebec environment ministers agreed that the public hearings would be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the CEAA and the Quebec Environment Quality Act.

The joint review panel held its first round of public hearings in Rivière-du-Loup during the week of May 8, 2006. These hearings were an opportunity for members of the public to obtain all of the information available on the project and gain an understanding of the project’s impact.

The second round of public hearings was held in Cacouna, starting on June 12, 2006. At these hearings, briefs were presented by private individuals, municipal governments, organizations and groups who wished to express their opinions to the panel; suggestions and opinions were also voiced by members of the public.

Report of the joint review panel and response of TC and DFO

The panel submitted its report to the government authorities in November 2006. The Ministers of TC and DFO made the report public the 12th of December 2006. The following key environmental aspects were reviewed: (i) the project rationale; (ii) the selection of the proposed site; (iii) the integration of the project into human and natural environments, its impact on public health and navigation, and its impact in terms of atmospheric emissions and noise; (iv) fish habitat, protected wildlife habitats and visual impact; and (v) technological risks, including emergency response plans and cumulative effects.

In accordance with section 37(1.1)(a) of the CEAA, DFO and TC, as the responsible authorities, are required, with the approval of the Governor in Council, to respond to the report of the joint panel.

The joint panel has found that it is possible to reduce the environmental effects of the project to an acceptable level insofar as the mitigation measures identified are put in place and their effectiveness is monitored by means of surveillance and follow-up programs.

TC and DFO accept the panel’s recommendations except recommendations 12, 13 and 27. The related answers includes justification to support the federal government position. The present response specifies whether the recommendations fall under federal, provincial or shared jurisdiction.

Project justification and supply of liquefied natural gas

The panel understands that the purpose of establishing the Cacouna Energy LNG terminal is to meet a portion of the anticipated demand for natural gas in Quebec, Ontario and the US northeast. However, the panel mentions that LNG supplies have not been determined.

The panel has reiterated a position put forward by other BAPE panels, specifically that an essential component such as the gas pipeline must be reviewed at the same time as the main object of the project. Accordingly, the panel believes that the government approvals to start work on the project should be contingent on a public environmental review of and a favourable government decision on the gas pipeline project.

Technological risk and seismic activity

The panel recommends that the proponent update its technological risk assessment and submit it to TC the Quebec Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks within the context of the present environmental assessment.

Owing to the degree of risk stemming from the proximity of the Charlevoix region, which is known to be a centre of seismic activity, the panel recommends that a government authority be appointed at the environmental assessment stage to ensure that this risk is taken into account in the design of and building requirements for the LNG terminal.

Emergency response plan

The panel believes the emergency response plan should ensure that all individuals who could potentially be affected by an emergency are notified of the measures that must be applied and the risks to which they are exposed.

The panel notes that a liquefied natural gas spill would have an impact on nearby wildlife unless specific mitigation measures can be applied.

Navigation

The panel recommends that TC, in its analysis of the risks to navigation safety created by LNG carriers, take into account all of the impacts of LNG carrier traffic before deciding whether LNG carriers should use the northern or southern route to navigate around Île Rouge.

Aboriginal people

TC conducted consultations’ initiatives with the Malecite First Nation of Viger (MFNV) and Gaspesia’s Mig’mak communities. During public hearings of the joint review panel, the MFNV exposed its concerns relating to the Cacouna Energy project. However, Mig’mak communities did not demonstrate concerns regarding the project.

The conclusion of the joint review panel’s report recommends that TC to pursue initiatives with the MFNV in order to take into account the concerns of this First Nation. TC intend to pursue, with the MFNV, initiatives started since the project began, and will ensure a follow-up regarding the concerns of this First Nation.

In November 2006, the proponent and the MFNV entered into a provisional principle agreement in order to establish a long term partnership that would allow the MFNV to benefit from the project’s economic spinoffs.

Fish and fish habitat

DFO will apply appropriate mitigation measures that are technically and economically feasible to prevent or reduce the impacts on fish larvae and juvenile fish during hydrostatic testing, construction of the LNG terminal, and LNG tanker ballast pumping operations. DFO will also require habitat compensation for impacts to fish habitat as a requirement for any harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat pursuant to the Fisheries Act.

Protected wildlife habitats and species at risk

The Cacouna marsh, located near the site proposed by the proponent, is recognized for its biodiversity. To protect this habitat, the panel recommends that no facilities or activities related to the construction site and the operation of the LNG terminal be authorized near the site entrance.

To protect bird life in the area, the panel recommends that blasting be performed only outside the nesting period, along the timeline specified by Environment Canada and the Quebec Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife, i.e. from October to February.

Public health

Given that noises and the atmospheric emissions linked to the project combine with noises and the atmospheric emissions of existing activities, the panel reviewed this issue from the standpoint of cumulative effects. It identified the atmospheric emissions produced in the construction and operation phases of the project as well as the ambient noise produced during the construction period as the two main elements likely to have substantial cumulative effects and impacts on wildlife and humans.

Regulation process and administrative arrangement

Following approval of this response, DFO and TC will be able to exercise their respective responsibilities. DFO will move forward with the regulation process pursuant to the Fisheries Act. TC will do the same pursuant to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, and will also be able, as representative of Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada, to issue a long-term lease on the use of federal lands required for the establishment of the LNG terminal.

DFO and TC will continue discussion with the proponent to ensure that the necessary mitigation and follow-up measures required during the construction and operation of LNG facilities satisfy federal regulatory authorization, approval and the long term lease agreement.

Recommendation 1

The Panel recommends that the proponent demonstrate that its LNG terminal project constitutes the only feasible solution from a technical and economic standpoint to increase natural gas supplies in North America.

Response

The Government of Canada agrees with this recommendation. It will require, at the regulatory stage, that the proponent obtain a licence to import liquefied natural gas and provide a rationale for the natural gas market and procurement.

Recommendation 2

The Panel recommends that Transport Canada require the proponent to provide a surface water management plan, including management of the water from hydrostatic tests, right from the start of the site preparation period. It also recommends that the proponent monitor the waste that ends up in the St. Lawrence estuary.

Response

The Government of Canada agrees with this recommendation. TC – via the surveillance and monitoring program required of the proponent in the long-term lease and in cooperation with Government of Quebec officials – will monitor water quality in light of their respective applicable regulations.

Recommendation 3

The Panel recommends that the proponent monitor freeze-up conditions along the shore south of the entry to the Gros-Cacouna harbour to determine the impact generated by tugboats repeatedly passing through this area. In the event of an impact on shore freeze-up, Transport Canada should consider measures restricting the travelling speed of tugs in this area.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. In accordance with the Canada Marine Act and the Public Ports and Public Port Facilities Regulations, TC can require the proponent to conform to its directives concerning navigation within port boundaries.

Recommendation 4

The Panel recommends that the proponent demonstrate in advance the effectiveness of the planned mitigation measures in preventing larvae and juvenile fish from being pumped out during hydrostatic tests, construction of the LNG terminal and ballast water pumping by LNG carriers, to the satisfaction of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Quebec Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in cooperation with the provincial authorities and the proponent, will ensure that any technically and financially feasible mitigation measure to prevent or reduce this impact will be implemented and monitored. After the response by the Government of Canada, TC and DFO will continue their discussions with the proponent to ensure that the measures to be identified will be complied with pursuant to the acts and regulations necessary for obtaining federal licenses.

Recommendation 5

The Panel recommends that the solution chosen by the federal and Quebec departments for managing the dredged materials does not cause pollution or additional safety problems for the surrounding population.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. To complete the environmental assessment underway, the proponent must submit its complete impact analysis, as well as the appropriate mitigation measures concerning the dredging and disposition of the dredged spoils, to TC, DFO, Environment Canada and the provincial authorities. Surveillance and monitoring programs will also be put in place.

Recommendation 6

The Panel recommends that the proponent provide information on the construction, operation and dismantling of the temporary wharf planned for the construction of the LNG terminal to Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Quebec Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks as part of the present environmental assessment. The proponent should determine the impact of this work on the natural environment and harbour operations, as well as the size of any habitats to be compensated.

Response

The new marine terminal construction concept does not require a temporary wharf.

Recommendation 7

The Panel recommends that the proponent’s compensation project for loss or disruption of fish habitats be submitted to Fisheries and Oceans Canada as part of the present environmental assessment.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation. DFO will require the proponent to develop and implement an adequate compensation program for harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat caused by the project. DFO will work in cooperation with the provincial authorities to ensure that the compensation project meets the requirements.

Recommendation 8

The Panel recommends that, if Fisheries and Oceans Canada authorizes the marine environment work for construction of the LNG terminal’s marine facilities, this department should ensure the effectiveness of the mitigation measures required of the proponent or propose others.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. Fisheries and Oceans Canada will impose mitigation measures and ask the proponent to monitor the effects of the project on marine mammals during construction of the LNG terminal to ensure that marine mammals are protected, and will require any additional mitigation measures that prove necessary. To do so, DFO will work in cooperation with the provincial authorities.

Recommendation 9

The Panel recommends that the proponent complete its analysis of the cumulative effects on loss of fish habitat related to the marine facilities as part of the present environmental assessment.

Response

The Government of Canada considers that implementation of a compensation program for harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat caused by the project will help satisfy the principle of no net loss of fish habitat and, accordingly, that the habitat’s overall production capacity will be maintained. In addition, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in cooperation with the proponent and the provincial authorities, will identify a habitat loss compensation project, with particular emphasis on increasing the production capacity of fish species already subjected to environmental stress. Implementing and monitoring the success of the compensation project will be a condition for authorization to issue under the Fisheries Act.

Recommendation 10

The Panel recommends that the proponent, as part of the present environmental assessment, propose mitigation and monitoring measures to ensure sustainable use of the nesting territory of the peregrine falcon, in accordance with the species recovery action plan.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. The proponent must comply with federal and provincial legislation on wildlife species protection. The peregrine falcon is a species under provincial jurisdiction; federally, it is listed under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. TC, in cooperation with Environment Canada and the provincial authorities, will ensure that the mitigation measures and monitoring program are in line with the species recovery plan.

Recommendation 11

The Panel recommends that no facility or activity relating to the site or operation of the methane terminal be authorized between the current access road and the Cacouna Marsh, near the entry to the site. It also recommends that such measures as construction of a noise barrier during the site preparation be taken by the proponent to screen the marsh from noise during the construction and operation of the methane terminal.

Response

TC, Environment Canada and the provincial authorities will ensure that the proponent puts in place the mitigation measures required to limit the disruption of wildlife species present in the sector affected by this recommendation. Surveillance and monitoring programs will also be required.

Recommendation 12

The Panel recommends that cliff blasting be limited to removing irregular rock in order to level the ground. This is aimed at protecting bird life and neighbouring wildlife habitats. In addition, blasting should be authorized only outside the nesting period, during the interval determined by Environment Canada and the Quebec Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife, i.e. from October to February.

Response

The mitigation measures proposed by the proponent are sufficient to protect birds as well as nearby habitats and the disruption to wildlife species present in the area. For that reason, the Government of Canada can not support the part of this recommendation related to limitations for blasting, but supports the part of this recommendation concerning the blasting period. TC, Environment Canada and the provincial authorities will require that the proponent provide adequate mitigation measures, and will ensure that the proponent puts in place the necessary mitigation measures and submits the findings of the surveillance and monitoring program to the appropriate officials.

Recommendation 13

The Panel recommends that the proponent provide Transport Canada and Environment Canada with the layout options on Transport Canada’s port property, along with a pipeline impact assessment including cumulative effects, as part of the present environmental assessment.

Response

The Government of Canada appreciate the intent of this recommendation and respects the importance of cumulative effects being examined in the context of an environmental assessment. However, the Government can not supports this recommendation because the LNG terminal project and the future pipeline project are two separate projects, and the federal authorities will also assume their statutory role at the time of the potential tabling of the pipeline project. This future project will be subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and assessed in light of the layout options and cumulative effects. In addition, it will be subject to the NEB process.

Recommendation 14

On account of the work period, which at three years cannot be considered to be short, the Panel recommends that noisy work be permitted only during daytime. Some of the work could be permitted during the evening and night, so long as the proponent demonstrates to the Quebec Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks that noise levels, including peak noise, would be below the department’s criterion and pledges to continually monitor these levels during the night and correct the situation if need be.

Response

The Government of Canada points out that noise monitoring comes under provincial jurisdiction. TC will collaborate with the provincial authorities as representative of Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada that owns the land to be leased.

Recommendation 15

Because of the proximity of the Cacouna village core, the Panel recommends that no source of major noise, such as crushers, be located on the site currently being operated by the Gros-Cacouna harbour.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. TC, in cooperation with the provincial authorities, will require the proponent to ensure that during construction, no source of significantly loud noise above the noise levels produced by routine harbour activities emanate from the site currently being operated by the Gros-Cacouna harbour.

Recommendation 16

The Panel recommends that the ambient noise level during construction of the LNG terminal be continually monitored at sensitive locations determined by the proponent and used to characterize the current ambient noise level. In the event that the criteria defined in the guidelines of the Quebec Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks are exceeded on a recurring basis, the proponent should take measures to reduce noise emissions.

Response

The Government of Canada points out that noise monitoring comes under provincial jurisdiction. TC will collaborate with the provincial authorities as representative of Her Majesty The Queen in Riht of Canada that owns the land to be leased.

Recommendation 17

The Panel recommends that atmospheric emissions produced by the construction of the LNG terminal be continually monitored so that any exceeding of the air quality criteria can be quickly corrected.

Response

The Government of Canada points out that air quality monitoring comes under provincial jurisdiction. TC will collaborate with the provincial authorities as representative of Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada that owns the land to be leased.

Recommendation 18

The Panel recommends that the proponent build and operate a sampling station to monitor the main compounds that could exceed standards during operations (ozone, NO2, particulate matter), as well as fugitive emissions. This station should be installed when work begins.

Response

The Government of Canada points out that air quality monitoring comes under provincial jurisdiction. TC will collaborate with the provincial authorities as representative of Her Majesty The Queen in Riht of Canada that owns the land to be leased.

Recommendation 19

The Panel recommends that the proponent, in cooperation with the municipal authorities and heritage protection associations, review the visual integration of its project in the community with a view to harmonizing it with the surrounding landscape.

Response

The Government of Canada points out that the project’s visual integration comes under provincial jurisdiction.

Recommendation 20

The Panel recommends that the pipeline measuring station be taken into account in the architectural integration plan for the LNG terminal.

Response

The Government of Canada points out that the project’s visual integration comes under provincial jurisdiction.

Recommendation 21

If Environment Canada authenticates the rock paintings in the cave located on Gros-Cacouna Peninsula, the Panel recommends that to protect the cave, the Department should supervise the blasting done by the proponent.

Response

The Government of Canada supports the part of the recommendation related to the protection of the cave during the blasting. However, since Environment Canada lacks the expertise required to supervise the blasting, the proponent will need to hire a firm that specializes in this field. Supervision will include a surveillance and monitoring program specific to the cave.

Recommendation 22

The Panel recommends that Transport Canada provide an area in Gros-Cacouna harbour to continue offering boaters safe shelter accessible at all times in case of unforeseen events. The potential costs of this measure should be borne by the proponent.

Response

In case of unforeseen events, TC will allow pleasure craft to dock within the harbour, in accordance with the regulations pertaining to public ports.

Recommendation 23

The Panel recommends that the proponent provide the Comité de santé de l’île Verte with the means to bypass the berthing place for the LNG terminal so that it does not impede vessels evacuating people in emergencies.

Response

The Government of Canada points out that the scope of this recommendation comes under provincial jurisdiction.

Recommendation 24

The Panel recommends that project’s water supply sources be defined and authorized as part of the present environmental assessment.

Response

The Government of Canada points out that the project’s water supply comes under provincial jurisdiction.

Recommendation 25

The Panel recommends that the proponent submit a residual materials management plan to the Quebec Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks as part of the present environmental assessment.

Response

The Government of Canada points out that the scope of a residual materials management plan comes under provincial jurisdiction.

Recommendation 26

The Panel recommends that discussions be held between the Quebec Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks and Transport Canada to determine, at the stage of the present environmental assessment, which government authority would ensure that the seismic hazard is correctly taken into account for the design of the LNG terminal.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. TC will work in cooperation with the provincial authorities and with Natural Resources Canada to ensure that the seismic hazard is adequately taken into account in the design of the LNG terminal. In addition, TC as representative of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, will include provisions in the lease to ensure that the proponent submit the opinion of an independent expert demonstrating that the design and construction of the facilities take into account the seismic hazard.

Recommendation 27

The Panel recommends that the Quebec Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks and Transport Canada ask the proponent to conduct, as part of the present environmental assessment, an analysis of the risks associated with the pipeline’s presence in the study area for the LNG terminal project; this analysis would consider potential cumulative effects.

Response

The Government of Canada appreciates the intent of this recommendation and respects the importance of cumulative effects being examined in the context of an environmental assessment. However, the Government can not supports this recommendation because the LNG terminal project and the future pipeline project are two separate projects, and the federal authorities will also assume their statutory role at the time of the potential tabling of the pipeline project. The technological risk analysis will be carried out at a later date. It will need to take into account such things as the cumulative effects of the pipeline and LNG terminal. TC will work in cooperation with the provincial authorities and Natural Resources Canada.

Recommendation 28

The Panel recommends that the proponent update its technological risk assessment for the proposed LNG terminal and submit it to Transport Canada and the Quebec Department of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks as part of the present environmental assessment. This update should take into account the technical review of the project by the proponent and the various recommendations by the Panel.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. TC will work in cooperation with the provincial authorities and require that the proponent review its technological risk analysis in light of the changes arising in the project. Natural Resources Canada will assist in implementing this recommendation.

Recommendation 29

The Panel recommends that before deciding on an approach route for the liquefied natural gas carriers toward the LNG terminal to the south or north of l’île Rouge, Transport Canada take into account the environmental impacts in addition to the safety aspect.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation and takes account of the findings of the TERMPOL review committee. Based on the results of the monitoring program and taking account of marine safety imperatives, the choice of a route to the north or south of l’Île Rouge could be subject to an adaptive management process that would take into account seasonal variations in the presence and activities of marine mammals.

Recommendation 30

The Panel recommends that, in addition to the warning systems planned for the trails on Gros-Cacouna Peninsula and for the municipality of Cacouna, the proponent should implement one for the Gros-Cacouna harbour workers. Also, warning systems should be set up in cooperation with the Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs and Les Escoumins municipal authorities.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. The proponent will need to submit a emergency response plan outlining the measures planned to notify the public likely to be affected by an emergency. Representatives of the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec will sit on a joint municipal/industry committee and ensure that these aspects are taken into consideration.

Recommendation 31

The Panel recommends that the proponent put in place an annual public information system for persons who could be affected by a technology-related accident at the LNG terminal or on an LNG carrier.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. The proponent must submit a emergency response plan outlining the measures planned to notify the public likely to be affected by an emergency. Representatives of the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec will sit on a joint municipal/industry committee and ensure that these aspects are taken into consideration.

Recommendation 32

The Panel recommends that, in the event of an earthquake of a magnitude equal to or in excess of the 475-year return period, the contingency plan be activated such that the municipal and provincial authorities in charge of civilian safety can be issued status reports even if there is no liquefied natural gas leak.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. The proponent must include this scenario in its emergency response plan, in accordance with the CSA-Z276-01 standard. The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec will sit on a joint municipal/industry committee and ensure that these aspects are taken into consideration.

Recommendation 33

Since Transport Canada owns the Gros-Cacouna port facilities, the Panel recommends that the latter ensure that an environmental contingency plan be developed for the proposed LNG terminal in accordance with the Environmental Emergency Regulations.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. The proponent, pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act, must conform to the Environmental Emergency Regulations. TC, as representative of Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada owner of the land to be leased by the proponent, will require an up-to-date environmental emergency response plan.

Recommendation 34

The Panel recommends that a work monitoring program be developed by the proponent as part of the present environmental assessment of the project.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. TC, through the federal lease and in accordance with the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Species at Risk Act, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in accordance with the Fisheries Act, will ensure that the proponent develops an adequate work monitoring program, in cooperation with the provincial authorities.

Recommendation 35

The Panel recommends that a watchdog committee be struck to respond to the concerns of the public. This committee, to be composed of citizens, the proponent, a representative of the municipality of Cacouna, a representative of the Government of Canada and a representative of the Government of Quebec, would be financed by the proponent for the duration of the work. The results of the monitoring and the committee’s deliberations would be made public.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation because the proponent has pledged to form a public liaison committee for the construction and operation period. TC and the provincial authorities will also ask the proponent to put in place an information and complaints management service for the public. The proponent will need to take account of the complaints received.

Recommendation 36

The Panel recommends that the proponent, in partnership with the Rivière-du-Loup region’s Centre local de développement, help assess the project’s regional economic spinoffs.

Response

The Government of Canada points out that the project’s regional economic spinoffs comes under provincial jurisdiction. This recommendation comes under provincial jurisdiction.

Recommendation 37

The Panel recommends that the watchdog committee be maintained during the operation period. The results of the monitoring would be made public.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation because the proponent has pledged to form a public liaison committee for the construction and operation period. TC and the provincial authorities will also ask the proponent to put in place an information and complaints management service for the public. The proponent will need to take account of the complaints received.

Recommendation 38

The Panel recommends that the proponent complete its environmental impacts analysis for the dismantling of the site, according to the terms of the lease concluded with Transport Canada as part of the present environmental assessment.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. The federal lease will stipulate that all work other than that relating to maintenance be subjected to an environmental assessment before being carried out, including the dismantling of the site.

Recommendation 39

The Panel recommends that in its lease, Transport Canada require that the proponent provide a site rehabilitation guarantee for the port lands used for the project upon completion of the construction of the LNG terminal.

Response

The Government of Canada supports this recommendation by the Panel. The proponent must provide all guarantees relating to the dismantling and rehabilitation of the site when the lease is signed.