When the Conservative government’s revisions to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act took effect last month some 492 projects currently under review in the province no longer needed to have an environmental screening done, including a number here on the north coast.
But of the six projects in the area, only one of them is in Prince Rupert. Improvements to the Prince Rupert aquatrain facility, owned by CN, began an environmental assessment in 2008 and was cancelled on July 6, 2012, due to the new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The project had called for the construction, operation, modification and decommissioning of the needed components; the removal and disposal of an aging timber mooring wall, installation of four socketed pile dolphins, excavation and re-contouring of the foreshore area, in-water blasting and disposal of sediments at sea and on-land.
Two projects in Metlakatla no longer need assessments should they proceed. The first is for a sewage treatment upgrade that would see the construction and operation of an aerated lagoon, pump station, sewage forcemain and disinfection system as well as upgrades to an existing marine outfall. The second project, which goes back to last December, is the construction of a Fist Nation Health Centre in the community.
In Lax Kw’alaams there were three projects no longer needing an environmental assessment should they proceed, though they all date back at least seven years. The band had proposed to construct a new transfer station, a community school and construction of a new sewage treatment plant including a new lift station, an aerated lagoon, a forcemain and gravity discharge main.