Minister's Response — Clearwater Peat Harvesting Project

Physical Activities

Premier Tech Horticulture Ltd. is proposing the construction, operation, decommissioning, and abandonment of the Clearwater Peat Harvesting Project (the project), located approximately 10 kilometres northwest of Caroline, Alberta. As proposed, the project would include clearing and drainage of peatland for horticulture purposes and will consist of harvest sections, an access road, harvest roads, sedimentation ponds, and drainage ditches. The project would harvest approximately 135 hectares of peat from a project footprint of approximately 156 hectares over 35 years.

Decision

The project does not warrant designation.

Reasons

Pursuant to section 9 of the Impact Assessment Act (the IAA), I, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, considered the potential for the project to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, adverse direct or incidental effects, and public concerns related to these effects; as well as adverse impacts on the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In forming my opinion, I took into account the analysis prepared by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

I am of the opinion that the designation of the project is unwarranted for the following reasons:

  • The legislative processes that currently apply to the project and related consultations with potentially impacted Indigenous peoples provide a framework to address the potential adverse aforementioned effects and impacts, and concerns raised by Indigenous peoples and members of the public. These processes include:
    • the provincial approval process under Alberta's Water Act, which can include terms and conditions to mitigate potential environmental effects;
    • the provincial legislation, as applicable, such as the Public Lands Act and Historical Resources Act; and
    • the federal authorizations, approvals, and reporting that may be required under the Fisheries Act; Species at Risk Act; Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; and the .
  • The project must be carried out in compliance with provincial and federal legislation, including the Water Act; Public Lands Act; Historical Resources Act; Fisheries Act; Species at Risk Act; Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

Document Reference Number: 5

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