Murray River Coal Project
Minister of Environment and Climate Change's section 52 decision under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

October 7, 2016 – Pursuant to subsection 52(1) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, after taking into account the implementation of mitigation measures described in the Environmental Assessment Report, decided that the Murray River Coal Project is likely to cause significant adverse cumulative environmental effects to the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by Aboriginal Peoples. This is due to cumulative adverse environmental effects on the Quintette herd of Southern Mountain Caribou, which is listed as Threatened under the Species at Risk Act.

The Minister must now refer the matter to the Governor-in-Council who will determine if the significant adverse environmental effects are justified in the circumstances pursuant to subsection 52(4) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

On October 4, 2016, the Minister, along with the Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Environment for British Columbia, announced the undertaking of a joint study to review the regulations in place for the protection of Southern Mountain Caribou and their habitat. The purpose of this joint study is to inform a critical habitat protection assessment under the federal Species at Risk Act to determine what additional steps may need to be taken by federal or provincial governments to protect and recover Southern Mountain Caribou.

A final decision on the Project will be informed by available and relevant scientific information and the traditional knowledge provided by Indigenous Peoples involved in the environmental assessment of the Project.

Document Reference Number: 25

Date modified: