Notice of Substitution Approval under the Impact Assessment Act

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) has determined that an impact assessment pursuant to the Impact Assessment Act (IAA) is required for the Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion Project (the Project), located in Delta, British Columbia (B.C.).

For this project, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, has approved the substitution of the conduct of the impact assessment to B.C. This means that B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) will conduct the impact assessment of the Project under the Environmental Assessment Act, 2018 on behalf of the Agency. The EAO will gather the information needed for the Minister to make a decision on the Project under the IAA.

On March 5, 2020, B.C. requested that the conduct of the federal impact assessment process be substituted to the province. From June 1 to July 16, 2020, the Agency held a joint public comment period with the EAO on the Initial Project Description and B.C.'s request to substitute the impact assessment process.

Comments received from the public and Indigenous groups on the substitution request covered a range of topics, including the assessment of cumulative effects, the role of the Agency in substituted assessments, the factors that should be included, considerations for meaningful consultation with Indigenous groups, and engagement with the public. The Agency has shared these comments with the EAO so that they can be addressed in the substituted process, guided by B.C.'s commitments made to fulfilling the requirements of the IAA in the Impact Assessment Cooperation Agreement between Canada and British Columbia (the Cooperation Agreement) and its substitution request.

Having taken into consideration the request for substitution from B.C., the commitments made by B.C. in the Cooperation Agreement, and comments received during the joint public comment period, the Minister is of the opinion that B.C.'s process is an appropriate substitute for the federal process for the following reasons:

  • B.C. has committed to a substituted impact assessment process that meets the legislative requirements of the IAA. This will include consideration of the factors set out in subsection 22(1) and the conditions and reporting requirements for substitution outlined in subsections 33(1) and (2);
  • B.C. and Canada have established a framework to facilitate efficient and effective substituted impact assessments, set out in the Cooperation Agreement. B.C. has committed to fulfilling the conditions for substitution in Section 7 of the Cooperation Agreement; and
  • B.C. has the ability to enter into an arrangement with any jurisdiction referred to in paragraphs (e) to (g) of the definition of jurisdiction in section 2 of the IAA respecting cooperation in the conduct of the impact assessment;

Additionally, the Minister is satisfied that:

  • federal authorities will have the opportunity to participate in the impact assessment;
  • B.C. will conduct consultation with Indigenous peoples that may be affected by the Project, including Indigenous groups identified by the Agency for consultation, and will provide the Agency the opportunity to participate in the consultation;
  • the public will have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the impact assessment process, as the B.C. process includes multiple opportunities for public comment; and,
  • the public will have access to information related to the impact assessment, including the Proponent's information and studies, other scientific information, public comments, and the draft assessment report (subject to Section 13 of the Cooperation Agreement).

The Minister is also satisfied that B.C. will meet the following additional conditions that he has established for the impact assessment of the Project:

  • the designated project to be assessed is the construction, operation, and decommissioning of the liquefaction capacity and LNG storage tank and any incidental physical activities;
  • as required under the IAA, B.C. will include the requirements of the Strategic Assessment of Climate Change, prepared by Environment and Climate Change Canada, in the impact assessment, including information on the Project's greenhouse gas emissions, mitigation measures and requirements of any follow-up program that may be warranted, and climate change resilience;
  • consideration of federal policy measures and commitments outlined in the Federal Government's Strengthened Climate Plan; and
  • consideration of commitments to be outlined in Canada's 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan as required under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, including consideration of a cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector, in the impact assessment.

The Agency will make funding available to support the participation of Indigenous groups and the public in the substituted impact assessment, and will work with the EAO to coordinate the timing of the funding to support the appropriate process steps.

Information about the substituted impact assessment process for the Project will be located on the EAO's project-specific website, EPIC.

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