Substitution Decision

Sukunka Coal Mine Project, British Columbia

April 15, 2013 – The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment, has reviewed the request for substitution by British Columbia (B.C.) for the environmental assessment of the Sukunka Coal Mine Project proposed by Xstrata Coal Canada Ltd.

Having taken into consideration the request for substitution from B.C. and its approach to undertaking the substituted environmental assessment as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office on the Substitution of Environmental Assessments (2013), the Minister is satisfied that conditions identified below will be met and that the B.C. environmental assessment process is an appropriate substitute. The Minister therefore approves the substitution request given that B.C. has committed to meeting the following conditions:

  • The designated project to be assessed is the construction, operation and decommissioning of a combined open pit and underground coal mine and any incidental physical activities;
  • the substituted process will include a consideration of the factors set out in subsection 19(1) of CEAA 2012;
  • B.C. will ensure that any Orders under sections 11, 13 and 14 or 15 of B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Act require the subsection 19(1) factors;
  • the public will be given an opportunity to participate in the environmental assessment;
  • the public will have access to records in relation to the environmental assessment to enable their meaningful participation;
  • at the end of the environmental assessment, a report will be submitted to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency that includes the findings and conclusions of the environmental assessment with respect to the factors as set out in subsection 19(1) of CEAA 2012; and
  • the report will be made available to the public.

The Minister has also established the following additional conditions for this project:

  • B.C. involving expert federal authorities in the B.C. process;
  • B.C. providing the environmental assessment report to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency within a time frame that will enable the Minister to make decisions under subsection 52(1) of CEAA 2012 within the time limits set out in CEAA 2012;
  • B.C. conducting procedural aspects of Aboriginal consultation in accordance with the process set out in the Memorandum of Understanding; and
  • B.C. making available to Aboriginal groups funding provided by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to support Aboriginal consultation during the substituted environmental assessment.

Document reference number: 11

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