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Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

News Release

Public Comment Invited on the Draft Agreement for the Joint Panel Review of the Georgia Strait Crossing Project

Hull - May 15, 2001 - The public is invited to comment on a draft agreement to establish a joint review panel for the environmental assessment of the GSX Canada Pipeline project, the Canadian portion of an international pipeline proposal to transport natural gas to Vancouver Island.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will receive comments from the public until June 15, 2001. The draft agreement between the federal Minister of the Environment and the National Energy Board includes procedures for appointing the joint review panel members, the proposed terms of reference for the joint review panel, and procedures for conducting the review process.

Following a request from the federal authority responsible for the proposed project, the National Energy Board, Environment Minister David Anderson, pursuant to his authority under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, is referring the environmental assessment of the project to a joint review panel.

The composition of the joint review panel and the availability of participant funding will be announced at a later date. Participant funding is a limited fund to help concerned citizens and groups take part in the key stages of the joint panel review process.

The GSX Canada Pipeline project, proposed by Georgia Strait Crossing Pipeline Limited, is the Canadian component of a proposal for a new international pipeline, referred to as the Georgia Strait Crossing Project, to transport natural gas from Sumas, Washington to Duncan, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. The entire proposed international pipeline would be approximately 136 kilometres (84.5 miles) long. It is a joint undertaking of BC Hydro and Williams Gas Pipeline Company and is proposed to be in service in October 2003.

Georgia Strait Crossing Pipeline Limited has filed an application with the National Energy Board to build and operate the GSX Canada Pipeline. The proposed pipeline would be approximately 60 kilometres (37.5 miles) in length, with 44 kilometres (27.5 miles) offshore and 16 kilometres (10 miles) onshore. It would extend from a point on the Canada-United States border in Boundary Pass, west of the Strait of Georgia, to an interconnection with the existing Centra Gas British Columbia Inc. pipeline at a point west of Shawinigan Lake, south of Duncan. The 406 millimetre (16 inch) pipeline is expected to carry 2.66 million cubic meters (94 million cubic feet) of natural gas per day.

Copies are available on request. All comments should be addressed to Jean Crépault, at the address below.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is a federal agency reporting to the Minister of the Environment. Its mission is to provide Canadians with high-quality environmental assessments that contribute to informed decision making in support of sustainable development. Environmental assessment is a planning tool used to avoid or mitigate the possible adverse effects of development on the environment.

Draft Agreement

For more information:

Robert Deslauriers,
Sr. Communications Advisor
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
200 Sacré-Coeur Blvd., 9th Floor
Hull, Quebec K1A 0H3
Tel.: (819) 953-9407
Fax.: (819) 953-2891
E-mail: robert.deslauriers@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

To address comments:

Jean Crépault,
Panel Manager
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
200 Sacré-Coeur Blvd., 13th Floor
Hull, Quebec K1A 0H3
Tel.: (819) 953-2989
Fax.: (819) 997-4931
E-mail: jean.crepault@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

To obtain a copy of the draft agreement:

Martynn St-André
Information Officer
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
200 Sacré-Coeur Blvd., 13th Floor
Hull, Quebec K1A 0H3
Tel.: (819) 994-4049
Fax.: (819) 997-4931
E-mail: martynn.st-andre@ceaa-acee.gc.ca