Federal government opts to assess Blackwater Project

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency decided last month that an environmental assessment of the Blackwater Project is required.

New Gold is proposing the construction

The federal government decided last month that an environmental assessment (EA) of the Blackwater Project is required.

After consulting with the public on the potential environmental effects of the project, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) determined on Dec. 21, 2012, that the proposed gold-and-silver mine must undergo a federal EA.

As a result, the second of four opportunities for Canadians to comment on the project is now happening until Sunday, Jan. 20.

According to the CEAA, an EA will promote sustainable development and help to ensure the Blackwater mine is developed in a careful manner to avoid, or reduce, adverse effects on the surrounding environment.

Key principles of the federal EA process is to engage First Nations and hold public consultations with communities most affected by the project.

“The agency invites the public to comment on which aspects of the environment may be affected by this project and what should be examined during the environmental assessment,” the CEAA said in a news release on Dec. 21, 2012.

Before the EA process can begin, New Gold, the project’s owner, must submit to the federal government an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a document summarizing the project and the potential environmental effects that may arise from mining operations, along with corresponding mitigation strategies.

New Gold’s EIS will be based on more than 30 pages of federal guidelines, which have been made available to the public in draft form for comment and review until Sunday, Jan. 30.

Afterward, the CEAA will evaluate public input and adjust the EIS guidelines accordingly.

Once the guidelines are finalized, they will be forwarded to New Gold so the company can develop an EIS, trigerring the EA process.

“As New Gold moves through the environmental assessment process, we recognize that our growth and success depend on the long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability of each of the communities in which we live and work,” Kathie LaForge, community manager for New Gold, said in a news release on Dec. 21, 2012.

“We understand that our activities have a direct effect on our employees, the environment and local communities.”

An EA is required by the CEAA before New Gold can start building the Blackwater mine, an undertaking that will require between 1,000 to 1,500 workers, the company estimates.

In November 2012, shortly after New Gold filed a 145-page project description with the Environmental Assessment Office, the provincial government commenced an EA of the Blackwater Project.

The project description analyzed potential adverse environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects associated with the project that were determined by qualified professionals who carried out studies, field surveys and other research at New Gold’s request.

Regarding the federal EA, written comments can be submitted to the CEAA until  Jan. 20, 2013:

Blackwater Gold Project

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

410 – 701 West Georgia Street

Vancouver, BC V7Y 1C6

Phone: 604.666.2431

Fax: 604.666.6990

Email: Blackwater@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

Just Posted

Gitdumden checkpoint blocks access to Unist’ot’en camp

Wet’suwet’en clan members say Morice Lake Forest Service Rd checkpoint in effect until further notice.

Column: Windows can be bad news for birds

Dianne Bersea is a member of the South Okanagan Naturalists Club

23-year-old missing from Prince George since Dec. 1

Kari Baxter has a dreamcatcher tattoo on her neck

Passport services expanded to 300 locations across Canada

At Service Canada outlets officers can review applications, validate supporting documents, collect fees and forward applications

Two Vanderhoof students awarded scholarships for post-secondary education

Indigenous students awarded to further their studies

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Most Read