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Participant Funding Program – Regular Funding Envelope
Funding Review Committee's Report

Allocation of Federal Funds for the Environmental Assessment of the Kingsvale-Oliver Reinforcement Project

The Participant Funding Program (PFP) is established pursuant to subsection 58(1.1) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act), which states: For the purposes of this Act, the Minister shall establish a participant funding program to facilitate the participation of the public in comprehensive studies, mediations and assessments by review panels.

A Funding Review Committee (FRC) independent of the environmental assessment (EA) was established for the Kingsvale-Oliver Reinforcement Project (the Project). The EA of the Project is being conducted by means of a comprehensive study (CS). The FRC's purpose was to assess funding applications received under the PFP – Regular Funding Envelope (RFE) for the proposed project, and to provide recommendations to the President of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) on whether funding should be provided, and if so, in what amount.

Under the RFE for this project, a total of $25,000 was made available to support public participation in the EA, linked to the:

  • review of and comment on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) guidelines;
  • review of and comment on the EIS; and
  • review of and comment on the Comprehensive Study Report (CSR).

The deadline to submit an application was March 12, 2012. One application was received, requesting a total of $10,200.

On March 19, 2012, the FRC met to review the application. The FRC members were Paul Scott, retired Regional Director of the Agency's Pacific and Yukon Regional Office, acting as Committee Chairperson; Bruce Young, retired Director of Panel Management with the Agency; and Raymond Crook, Environmental Assessment Consultant.

Background

FortisBC Energy Inc. is proposing to construct a new 161-kilometre, 24-inch (610-mm) diameter natural gas transmission pipeline, generally to be placed alongside the existing natural gas transmission pipeline between Kingsvale, British Columbia (BC) (near Merritt) and Oliver, BC. The project also includes a new compressor station near Yahk, BC, including a 1-km extension of the existing FortisBC Southern Crossing Pipeline, and a new compressor station in the vicinity of Trail, BC.

The Project is also subject to review under the BCEnvironmental Assessment Act.

Eligibility

Under the PFPRFE, funding may be provided to support applicants' input to an EA with the federal government. These activities must be linked to the EA of a proposed project through a CS, mediation or review panel.

Eligible recipients must be able to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • have a direct, local interest in the Project, such as living or owning property in the project area;
  • have community knowledge or Aboriginal traditional knowledge relevant to the EA; or
  • have expert information relevant to the anticipated environmental effects of the Project.

The applicant was deemed to have met the eligibility criteria.

Under the PFPRFE, applicants can request funding for costs related to:

  • professional fees;
  • staff salaries and benefits;
  • travel expenses;
  • honoraria for Elders and Chiefs to attend meetings and functions;
  • ceremonial offerings related to receiving traditional knowledge in relation to the EA;
  • administrative and reporting costs;
  • local collection and/or distribution of information;
  • office supplies and telephone charges;
  • rental of office space and meeting rooms;
  • legal fees;
  • general media advertising and/or promotion;
  • purchase of information material, with supporting documentation; and
  • other detailed expenses.

Rationale for Allocation

In reviewing the application and in reaching its conclusions and recommendations, the FRC took into consideration a number of factors including the following:

  • the ability of the applicant to demonstrate that it had met one or more of the eligibility criteria listed above;
  • the quality, clarity and content of the application and the applicant's proposed EA participation work plan;
  • the eligible activities under the PFPRFE for the Project, which include reviewing and commenting on the EIS guidelines, EIS and CSR;
  • the extent to which the proposed activities meet the requirements of the PFPRFE; and
  • the maximum funding available to the applicant.

Recommendation

The FRC recommends allocating $10,200 of the available RFE funding to support the Métis Nation BC's participation in the EA.

The FRC further recommends that any funding allocation be conditional on a provision of written comments, by the applicant, to the Agency on the EIS guidelines, EIS and CSR.

Funding Review Committee
Kingsvale-Oliver Reinforcement Project
Regular Funding Envelope

______________________________________________________________________
Paul Scott, retired Regional Director of the Agency's Pacific and Yukon Regional Office, acting as Committee Chairperson

______________________________________________________________________
Bruce Young, retired Director of Panel Management with the Agency

______________________________________________________________________
Raymond Crook, Environmental Assessment Consultant

Recommended Participant Funding Allocation
Kingsvale-Oliver Reinforcement Project
Regular Funding Envelope

Applicant Total Allocation Amount Recommended
Métis Nation BC $10,200
TOTAL $10,200
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