Public Notice
Joint Review Panel for Pierre River Mine Project Invites Applications for Interested Party Status

OTTAWA – December 5, 2013 – The Joint Review Panel for the proposed Pierre River Mine project near Fort McMurray is inviting persons to apply for Interested Party status.

While the Panel will allow the opportunity for general public input and comment regarding the review, only those persons with Interested Party status will be permitted to participate in all aspects of the public hearing phase of the review. This phase will begin once the Panel determines that there is sufficient information from the proponent, Shell Canada Limited, to proceed to a hearing.

The Panel is currently inviting the public to comment on the additional information provided by Shell Canada. This comment period provides the public an opportunity to submit their views in writing to the Panel on the adequacy of the additional information. The Panel will review the public comments received and will determine whether it will require additional information from Shell Canada. Once the Panel is satisfied that the information is adequate, it will announce the details of the public hearing, and establish the schedule and location for the hearing. At that time the Panel will also provide information on how to register for the hearing and how to file a written hearing submission.

To assist in planning for the hearing, the Panel requires that Interested Parties be identified in advance, along with their interests in the project.

The relevant sections of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) regarding public participation and Interested Party status are as follows:

  • Subsection 2(2) defines an "interested party" as a person who, in the opinion of the Panel, is either "directly affected by the carrying out of the designated project" or "has relevant information or expertise."
  • Subsection 19(1)(c) requires the Panel to take comments from the public into account as part of the environmental assessment.
  • Paragraph 43(1)(c) requires the Panel to, in accordance with its terms of reference, "hold hearings in a manner that offers any interested party an opportunity to participate in the environmental assessment."

Since Shell Canada is the project proponent, it has full participation rights automatically and does not need to apply for Interested Party status.

The Panel also grants Interested Party status to those federal and provincial government departments or agencies that the Panel has invited to offer their technical expertise or information relevant to the review.

How to Apply

Those persons who wish to participate in all aspects of the public hearing must apply for Interested Party status by submitting a brief written application of a maximum of five pages to the Panel with the information listed in Appendix A. Once the hearing is scheduled and the Notice of Hearing is posted on the public registry, a deadline for submitting applications for Interested Party status will be set. Applications must be sent to the Panel by mail, e-mail or fax to the attention of:

Pierre River Mine Joint Review Panel Secretariat
160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
Tel.: 1-866-582-1884
Fax: 613-957-0941

The Panel will assess applications for Interested Party status in the context of the Panel's mandate under the Joint Review Panel Agreement and the Terms of Reference, and will provide decisions in due course.

All information related to this environmental assessment is available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Registry, under reference number 59539.

Questions about the application process may be directed to either Amanda Black at 780-743-7473 or Jill Adams at 613-948-2674 or sent by email to .

About the Project

The Pierre River Mine project proposed by Shell Canada includes the construction, operation and reclamation of an oil sands surface mine and bitumen extraction facilities. The proposed mining project would be located approximately 90 km north of Fort McMurray on the west side of the Athabasca River. The proposed development includes an open-pit mine, ore handling facility, bitumen extraction facilities, tailings processing facilities, support infrastructure, water and tailings management plans and the construction of a bridge across the Athabasca River. The project is designed to produce a total of 200 000 barrels of bitumen per day.

About the Joint Review Panel

The Joint Review Panel for the proposed Pierre River Mine project is an independent body, mandated by the Minister of the Environment and the Alberta Energy Regulator to assess the environmental effects of the proposed project and review the Application.

Document Reference Number: 199

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