Presentation Here - Association of Professional

Report
Overview of Environmental
Assessment in BC
Presentation to the
Professional Economists Association of BC
November 28, 2013
1
Purpose of the Presentation
1. Provide an overview of the EA process
2. Discuss key business drivers and priorities
2
Overview of the EA process
3
BC Environmental Assessment Office
Vision: Vibrant communities, healthy
environment and a prosperous economy.
Mission: EAO leads neutral and respected environmental
assessment process that is inclusive and transparent,
contributing to BC’s economic, social, and environmental
sustainability.
4
What is an EA?
Comprehensive assessment of a proposed project to
identify:
1. potential adverse environmental, economic, social, heritage
and health effects
2. measures to prevent or reduce adverse effects
Results in well-informed and timely decision-making that
supports sustainable development
5
Common Characteristics of EA Projects
•
•
Typically large scale
Potential for significant adverse effects
in the absence of mitigation measures
•
•
•
Public, First Nations,
government, industry interests
Plurality of perspectives
Complex issues
6
Steps in the EA
• Step 1: Is an EA required?
– Three ways: 1) Reviewable Project Regulation, 2) Minister
designates a project, or 3) Proponent requests EA.
• Step 2: What does the EA look like?
– What are the project components and how will the EA be done?
• Step 3: What information and studies are required?
– Identify valued components, studies, and methods, and provide
first opportunity for public consultation
• Step 4: Proponent builds the Application
– Company gathers the required information, conducts the
required studies, and assembles its application
7
Steps in the EA
• Step 5: EAO reviews the Application
– First legislated timelines:
• 30 days to determine if Application includes necessary
information/analysis;
• 180 days to review Application and develop an Assessment
Report summarizing potential impacts and conclusions
– Second opportunity for public consultation
• Step 6: Ministers make a decision
– Ministers can: 1) issue an EA Certificate, 2) refuse to issue EA
Certificate or 3) order further assessment
– 45-day time limit
8
Post Environmental Assessment
• If EA Certificate issued, then:
o Project proceeds to permitting
o Construction of Project
o Compliance and enforcement by EAO and other
provincial agencies (e.g. Ministries, OGC)
9
Project Development Framework
Environmental
Assessment (EA)
Investigative
Permitting
Decisions by
agencies based
on project
proposal
EAO designs and
conducts objective EAs,
reaches conclusions,
and provides
recommendations to
Ministers
Decision on EA
Certificate is made by
Ministers based on
conceptual project
design
Environmental assessment certificate conditions set
framework for project approvals, permits and
implementation
Permitting
Decisions by
agencies
based on
detailed
project design
Project
implementation
Compliance
and
Effectiveness
Management
10
Key Business Drivers and
Priorities
11
Policy Context: Government Priorities & EA Review
• BC Jobs Plan – focus on building a strong economy and
developing 8 key industries:
o Agrifoods, forestry, international education, mining, natural
gas, technology, tourism, transportation
• Clear government focus on liquid natural gas (LNG).
• EAO review under Ministry mandate letter:
o Review in initial stages.
o Guiding principles: provide certainty to all participants,
maintain integrity of the EA process, focus on continuous
improvement.
12
Working with the Federal Government
• The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency conducts
environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental
Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).
• In the past there has been duplication and overlap.
• BC has advocated for more effective and efficient alignment for many
years - goal of “one project, one assessment.”
• CEAA 2012 provides new tools for reducing duplication:
o Substitution: Canada substitutes BC’s process for its own. Single
process, two decisions, and
o Equivalency: Canada determines BC’s process equivalent to its own.
Single process, single decision.
13
Focus on Substitution
• BC is first province in Canada to obtain substitution from Canada
(MOU implemented in March 2013).
• Under substitution, Canada retains substantive aspects of Aboriginal
consultation.
• To date, the federal government has approved all of EAO’s five
requests for substitution:
o
o
o
o
o
Carbon Creek Coal Mine, near Hudson's Hope;
Sukunka Coal Mine, near Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge;
Echo Hill Coal Mine, near Tumbler Ridge;
LNG Canada Export Terminal Project, near Kitimat; and
Arctos Anthracite Coal Project, near Iskut.
14
Substitution Process
Three Phases:
1. EAO and the Agency work together closely before a substitution
decision and immediately thereafter (e.g. determining the scope
of the EA; Aboriginal groups to be consulted).
2. Following the Agency’s notice of commencement and notice of
substitution decision, EAO will conduct the substituted EA
independently, keeping the Agency apprised of key milestones
and issues.
3. EAO and the Agency work together closely to finalize the EA and
refer to federal and provincial Ministers for decision.
Key benefit: participants engage in a single process.
15
EAO LNG Strategies
• Currently reviewing 10 LNG projects, with more expected to
enter ($50 billion + capital investment in LNG alone).
• Single EAO team dedicated to LNG projects to provide consistency to
reviews. About 1/3 of EAO staff.
• Created a senior level inter-agency LNG Regulatory Working Group
to address strategic issues early in the process (air quality, GHG, etc).
• Memorandum of Understanding with the Oil and Gas Commission to
provide a seamless approach to permitting if an environmental
assessment certificate is issued.
16
Enhancement of Compliance and Enforcement
• Office of the Auditor General: EAO’s oversight of certified
projects was insufficient (July 2011).
• EAO’s response a top priority: all recommendations have been
addressed and completed.
• Focus has been on building a comprehensive program built on
best practices from leading jurisdictions and complements
existing expertise in other agencies.
17
Compliance and Enforcement
Program Goal:
• EAO is independently and objectively confident that certificate
conditions are being met.
Key Actions:
• New, dedicated Compliance and Enforcement team with field
presence.
• Conducted 37 site inspections and 1 audit since 2011/12.
• Public reporting on compliance, including a compliance website and
service plan measures.
• Focus on measurable and enforceable conditions.
18
Paul Craven, Executive Director, Policy and Quality Assurance
Environmental Assessment Office
Phone: (250) 387-6748
Email: [email protected]
eao.gov.bc.ca
19

similar documents