Minister's Response — Vivian Sand Processing Facility Project and Vivian Sand Extraction Project

Projects

CanWhite Sands Corp. is proposing to construct and operate the Vivian Sand Processing Facility Project, a new silica sand processing facility located within the Rural Municipality of Springfield, about 35 kilometres east of Winnipeg, Manitoba. As proposed, the Vivian Sand Processing Facility Project would produce over 1.3 million tonnes of silica sand per year, and be located on private land designated for aggregate/industrial activities and adjacent to existing CN Rail infrastructure. The project, which would include the construction of a wet plant, a dry plant and a rail load out, would receive trains on a weekly basis to allow for the transportation of the silica sand product to national and international markets.

CanWhite Sands Corp. has indicated that it intends to propose the construction and operation of the Vivian Sand Extraction Project, which would supply the Vivian Sand Processing Facility. Extraction would involve temporary water well drill holes, into which air would be injected to flow water and sand to the surface as a slurry. The slurry would be transported to the processing facility using a moveable slurry line, which would be re-located alongside the drilling rigs.

Decision

Non-designated projects

Reasons

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada has considered the potential for the Projects to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, adverse direct or incidental effects, public concern related to these effects, as well as adverse impacts on the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. The Minister considered the Projects both in isolation and in combination and also considered the analysis of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

The Minister has reached the decision that the designation of the Vivian Sand Processing Facility Project is unwarranted for the following reasons:

  • Any potential adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, and related concerns, are expected to be appropriately managed by legislative mechanisms, such as the review of any Application for Authorization under the Fisheries Act; compliance with the Canada Transportation Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the Species at Risk Act; and the provincial regulatory processes under Manitoba's The Environment Act.

The Minister has reached the decision that the designation of the Vivian Sand Extraction Project is unwarranted for the following reasons:

  • There is limited information available to assess whether the Vivian Sand Extraction Project has the potential to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction or adverse direct or incidental effects. However, potential adverse effects within federal jurisdiction as understood based on this limited information are expected to be appropriately managed by existing legislative mechanisms, including:
    • a complete assessment of the potential environmental impacts and proposed mitigation measures through regulatory review processes under Manitoba's The Environment Act, including an assessment of potential impacts to groundwater and surface water. Provincial Crown consultation will be carried out for this project in order to understand the potential impacts to Indigenous peoples and their rights as recognized and affirmed under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982; and
    • the review of any Application for Authorization under the Fisheries Act; compliance with the Canada Transportation Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the Species at Risk Act.
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