Backgrounder

The Project

LNG Canada Development Inc. (consisting of Shell Canada and affiliates Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, Korea Gas Corporation and PetroChina) is proposing the construction and operation of a natural gas liquefaction facility and marine terminal for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the District of Kitimat, British Columbia (B.C.). The proposed project would convert natural gas to LNG, about 26 million tonnes a year, for export to global markets. The project is expected to have a life of at least 25 years.

The Environmental Assessment Process

The Minister of the Environment granted substitution to B.C. for this project in May 2013. The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) conducted the environmental assessment of the project in accordance with the substitution conditions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), including the additional conditions set by the federal Minister.

B.C. submitted its Assessment Report to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on May 6, 2015. The Report includes the EAO's conclusions and recommendations on the potential environmental effects of the project, the proposed mitigation measures, the significance of any remaining adverse environmental effects, and the follow-up program. The federal government considered the Assessment Report in reaching its decision.

Enforcement and Conditions

The legally binding conditions in the Minister's Decision Statement address a number of environmental effects including fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, wetlands, human health, current Aboriginal use of lands and resources for traditional purposes and archaeological and heritage resources. The conditions also set out reporting and record-keeping requirements.

The project is subject to the B.C. Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act, which establishes a regulatory framework to take into account emissions from different types of current and future industrial facilities within B.C.

Aboriginal Consultations

Aboriginal groups were consulted throughout the environmental assessment process and on the conditions set out in the Minister's Decision Statement. The comments received were taken into account in identifying conditions to serve as mitigation measures for impacts on hunting, fishing, marine harvesting, trapping and gathering plants for medicines and food. The conditions also establish specific requirements for the proponent to consult with Aboriginal groups on the development and implementation of mitigation strategies and follow-up requirements.

Next Steps

LNG Canada Development Inc. is required to obtain federal regulatory approvals from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Fisheries Act), Transport Canada (Navigation Protection Act) and Environment Canada (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999). The proponent must also obtain provincial regulatory approvals at various stages of the project.

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