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Pinnacle Pellet terminal proposed for Prince Rupert receives approval

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced today that the environmental assessment of the Westview Terminal Redevelopment Project proposed by Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group (Pinnacle) is complete, and the project has been approved.

PRPA has made the approval subject to strong mitigation and enforcement measures designed to ensure the operation fulfills its environmental, health and safety performance requirements.

The assessment was conducted under the Canada Port Authority Environmental Assessment Regulations (CPAEAR) and included the participation of a working group comprising the PRPA, Environment Canada, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Lax Kwalaams, Metlakatla, and Gitxaala. Public input was solicited through an invitation for written comment, a May 29 open house held by the working group, and a June 18 public meeting held by Pinnacle Renewable Energy.

Through this process, the assessment determined that the project as proposed is unlikely to result in a significant adverse environmental effect.

The environmental assessment determination is subject to the implementation of a number of mitigation measures relating to environmental protection, including adherence to current regulations for maintaining air quality (including dust and greenhouse gases) and limiting noise. Pinnacle will also be required to meet the following commitments:

Air Quality: Pinnacle will be required to carry out continuous air quality monitoring by qualified environmental monitors throughout construction, operation and potential decommissioning of the project. Pinnacle will work with the BC Ministry of Environment to develop a plan that will achieve the required monitoring, ensure adherence to current regulatory standards, and determine corrective steps to be taken in the event that limits are exceeded.

Noise: Pinnacle will be required to carry out continuous noise monitoring during terminal operations. Furthermore a plan will be designed to confirm the accuracy of the Baseline Noise Assessment, confirm that the proposed noise mitigation measures are effective, and determine corrective steps to be taken in the event that limits are exceeded.

In the event that emissions exceed the limits set out in any of the mitigation measures, Pinnacle is required to take immediate corrective action, and PRPA has specifically maintained the ability to require an operational shutdown if required.

If the nature or scope of the project changes at any time in the future, PRPA has also expressly reserved the ability to order a reassessment, and Pinnacle shall not proceed with any work until approvals are properly obtained.

"PRPA acknowledges the feedback and concerns expressed by some local residents regarding land use management in the inner harbour adjacent to CN's downtown railyard," said Ken Veldman, Director of Public Affairs for the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

"However, we believe we can strike a balance between creating the economic opportunity a growing port represents and enhancing the livability of Prince Rupert through improvements to public access to the waterfront. PRPA is committed to working with the City of Prince Rupert to this end."

The Pinnacle terminal project represents an estimated capital investment of $42 million in Prince Rupert, 90,000 hours of construction work, up to 24 direct jobs in terminal operations, and a significant increase in the municipal tax base.

The terminal will provide the capacity to export two million tonnes of wood pellets annually, creating a strategic trade gateway for the expanding bio-fuel industry across Northern British Columbia. Pinnacle operates six pellet manufacturing facilities in the communities of Houston, Burns Lake, Meadowbank, Quesnel, Williams Lake and Armstrong, supporting 350 jobs in those operations.

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