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Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

News Release

Successful applicants receive $100,000 to participate in the Joint Review Panel of the proposed GSX Canada Pipeline project

Hull, December 21, 2001 - The federal government has awarded $100,000 to assist eight applicants in preparing for and taking part in the joint review panel of the proposed GSX Canada Pipeline project, which was established pursuant to an agreement between the Minister of the Environment and the National Energy Board. Assistance is being provided under the Participant Funding Program administered by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

The recipients are: Pender Islands GSX Coalition, Islands Trust, Vancouver Island Pipeline Landowners Association, Cowichan Tribes, Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, GSX Concerned Citizens Coalition, and Sencot'en Alliance. One combined allocation was awarded to the following organizations: Saturna Community Club, Pender Islands Conservancy Association, Salt Spring Island Conservancy, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (BC Chapter), Georgia Strait Alliance and Saanich Inlet Protection Society.

A funding review committee, independent from the environmental assessment panel, was appointed to review the applications for participant funding. Committee members are Dr. Paul West, School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, Dr. George Kupfer, a consultant from British Columbia specializing in community relations and conflict resolution, and Mr. Paul Scott, Regional Director for the Agency in Vancouver.

The committee acknowledged and supported coordination efforts which will be instrumental in avoiding the duplication of work for professional or technical experts. The committee also ensured that local areas and organizations potentially affected by the pipeline would receive assistance.

The proposed GSX Canada Pipeline project is the Canadian component of a new international pipeline, referred to as the Georgia Strait Crossing Project, which will transport natural gas from Sumas, Washington, to Duncan, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. It is a joint undertaking of BC Hydro and Williams Gas Pipeline Company.

Report of the Funding Review Committee

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The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is a federal agency reporting directly to the Minister of the Environment. Environmental assessment (EA) is a planning tool used to identify possible significant adverse effects of development projects on the environment, and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate these effects. EA provides decision makers with information needed to approve projects that are compatible with a healthy, sustainable environment for both present and future generations.

For more information on the Participant Funding Program or to obtain a copy of the committee's report, please contact:

Martynn St-André
Participant Funding Program
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

For further information, please contact:

Communications
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Elise Dhaussy
Tel: (819) 953-4054
Fax: (819) 953-2891
E-mail: elise.dhaussy@ceaa-acee.gc.ca