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Federal EA

Government Pushes Raven Coal Mine to Next Stage, Comox Valley Residents Remain Defiant

John Snyder, The Commonsense Canadian, June 28, 2012

The recently released Application Information Requirements/Environmental Impact Statement (AIR/EIS) Guidelines Document on the Raven Underground Coal Mine Project signals the end of the Pre-application Stage of the Environmental Assessment (EA) process and sets the table for the next stage, which is the Application Stage. This AIR/EIS document is partly the culmination of several years of public consultation, which included 3 public meetings and 3 public comment periods, resulting in a near record 5,000 written comments submitted. Over 95% of the written comments expressed concern or opposition to the project.

CoalWatch slams latest coal mine document

News Release, CoalWatch Comox Valley Society, June 12 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The environmental assessment process for the proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine Project has just taken another step. It's a step in the wrong direction, in the view of the CoalWatch Comox Valley Society.

The BC Environmental Assessment Office recently released its 239 page Application Information Requirements/Environmental Impact Statement (AIR/EIS) Guidelines document on the proposed Raven coal mine.

CoalWatch sent the document to its technical advisory group for review, and the initial feedback is that the AIR/EIS is deficient and inadequate.

"It gets a failing grade from our experts," said John Snyder, President of CoalWatch.

Application Information Requirements/Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines

Application Information Requirements/Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines as approved by EAO for Raven Underground Coal Project dated June 2012

Raven Underground Coal Project at the BC EAO

Comments by CoalWatch: The applicant, Compliance Coal Corp. dba Comox Joint Venture, must now complete the Application and the Environmental Impact Statement in compliance with these information requirements and EIS guidelines.

When the Application & EIS are submitted to the EAO, the EAO in consultation with the Working Group have 30 days to review the documents and either return them to the applicant for revision, or accept them for publication.

Once the Application & EIS are accepted by the EAO, the legislated 180 day review period begins. One of the earliest events in the 180 review schedule is a 50 day public comment period.

In Compliance Energy's news release on June 7, CEO John Tapics is quoted as saying that, "Submission of these Applications is expected before year end.”

The case for strong environmental assessment

Calvin Sandborn, Vancouver Sun, June 5, 2012

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. — Winston Churchill

Canadians should worry about Bill C-38 — Ottawa’s bid to gut the Environmental Assessment Act.

Scientists, ex-ministers slam federal changes to Fisheries Act

Doug Ward, Peter O'Neil, Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, May 29, 2012

The federal government is sabotaging its own legislated requirement to protect endangered freshwater fish by weakening the Fisheries Act, four former federal fisheries ministers from B.C. and Canadian scientists say in separate letters to the Harper government.

Canada’s New Environmental Assessment Regime: What Miners Need to Know

David Hunter, Nalin Sahni & George McKibbon (McKibbon Wakefield Inc.)., Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, May 18 2012

As part of the federal budget, the government has proposed a complete overhaul of federal environmental assessment in Canada. The repeal and re-enactment of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (“CEAA”) and amendments to other federal environmental legislation amount to the most significant change in federal environmental assessment (“EA”) since the legislation was first created decades ago. These changes are vast and their full impact on the mining industry, particularly in Ontario, will not be known for years to come.

Bill C-38: the Environmental Destruction Act

By Elizabeth May, The Tyee.ca, May 10, 2012

Packing so many attacks on nature into one bill, Harper bets, will confuse citizens. Here's what's at stake.

Budget Bill Declares War on Environment

West Coast Environmental Law, April 27, 2012

Removal of environmental safeguards serves interests of big oil and silences citizens, say environmental lawyers

Tories unveil revised fisheries law, deny it's a move to boost pipelines

By Peter O'Neil, Vancouver Sun, Postmedia News, April 27, 2012

Critics say protection for fish habitat 'eliminated' in bill to appease businesses

The Harper government unveiled a budget-implementation bill Thursday that includes Fisheries Act amendments that would strip the term "habitat" from the most crucial section of the law. Accusations that the government is giving in to demands from energy and mining lobbyists are false, said Erin Filli-ter, spokeswoman for Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield.

“Directly affected” silences hunters, fishers, landowners ... and environmentalists

Andrew Gage, West Coast Environmental Law, April 24 2012

Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver, recently stated that proposed changes to Canada’s environmental laws will (if passed) prevent anyone who is not “directly affected” from speaking at environmental reviews.  Oddly enough, much of the media coverage characterized this as shutting out environmentalists, rather than shutting out everyone not “directly affected” by a development (which it does).  See, for example, coverage by CTV News and the Vancouver Sun

B.C. environment minister likes federal plan to let provinces run reviews

By PETER O'NEIL, Vancouver Sun, April 17, 2012

Terry Lake said B.C. should be seen as a trustworthy steward of the environment

OTTAWA --- B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake enthusiastically embraced the federal government's plan announce Tuesday to let provinces run environmental reviews of natural resource projects, but said Victoria may ask for federal money to handle that new responsibility.

Ottawa to slash environment review role

By Andrew Davidson, CBC News, Apr 17, 2012

Sierra Club says Tories 'abdicating' responsibility to protect environment

The federal government is reducing the number of departments and agencies that can do environmental reviews from 40 to just three to speed up approvals for projects that will bolster Canada's economy, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said today.

Economy over environment

Editorial, Comox Valley Record, April 3, 2012

The alarm has been raised that the federal government is about to turn the clock back on fisheries protection by about 35 years.

No Habitat, No Fish: Harper Plans for Elimination of Wildlife Protection

by Otto Langer, Pacific Free Press, March 12 2012

Harper Government to Eliminate Habitat Protection Provisions in the Canada Fisheries Act

Environmental review process fairness 'pants-on-fire fib'

Mike Bell, Comox Valley Record, January 10, 2012

Dear editor,

We have been told that the Environmental Review Process is objective and fair.

Not true. It’s a great big “pants-on-fire” fib. Here’s why.

Changes to environmental assessment worrisome

Tony Pearse, Vancouver Sun, December 17, 2011

Re: Environmental reviews need streamlining, Editorial, Dec. 10

The Vancouver Sun's editorial about streamlining environmental reviews comes across as boosterism for industrial growth at all costs.

Ottawa wants to streamline environmental reviews

Shawn McCarthy, Globe and Mail, Nov. 28, 2011

OTTAWA — Ottawa is planning to overhaul the country’s environmental assessment process to ensure major energy and mining projects aren’t jeopardized by unnecessary delays, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says.

Parliamentary Review of Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Abruptly Terminated

News Release, West Coast Environmental Law, November 29, 2011

Ottawa/Vancouver - Environmental groups across Canada are expressing shock over the abrupt termination of the Parliamentary review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Committee hearings scheduled for today were cancelled late last week without warning, and even written submissions are no longer being accepted.

Critics claim mineral exploration in B.C. needs more accountability

By Andrew Findlay, Georgia Straight, November 24, 2011

Mineral exploration is exploding in B.C., but critics claim the provincial government isn’t assessing the environmental impact.

House Environment Committee winds down review of Environmental Assessment Act

By CHRIS PLECASH, Hill Times, Nov. 28, 2011

NDP Environment Critic calls exercise a ‘farce,’ accuses government of
already drafting legislative overhaul of EA process.

The House Environment Committee is winding down its statutory review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, a process that committee vice-chair and NDP environment critic Megan Leslie is calling a “farce,” accusing the government of already drafting legislation to overhaul the federal environmental assessment process.

Raven coal documents daunting, says CoalWatch

Oceanside Star, November 17, 2011

The public is being discouraged from commenting on Compliance Coal Corporation's proposed Raven Coal Mine Project, CoalWatch Comox Valley said Monday.

CoalWatch says public consultation lacking time

Spencer Anderson, Comox Valley Echo, November 18, 2011

A local group campaigning against the proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine project is calling for more time to review the project, ahead of a new public comment period beginning today.

Coalwatch slams public input process

Julia Caranci, Alberni Valley Times, November 15, 2011

Critics of a proposed coal mine project say the average person would "throw up their hands" at the barriers regarding learning if their opinion has been heard.

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