Castle Project — Public Comments Invited
British Columbia, Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, NE Nature and Environment, Projects and environmental assessments, general public, news releases
October 14, 2020 — Ottawa — Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) has accepted an initial project description for the proposed Castle Project, the expansion of an existing metallurgical coal mine located about 29 kilometres north of Elkford, British Columbia.
The Agency invites the public and Indigenous groups to review the summary of the initial project description and provide feedback related to the proposed project. Comments received will support the Agency in the preparation of a summary of issues. To prepare this document, the Agency will also consider information gathered as part of the project’s designation process under the Impact Assessment Act, including issues related to transboundary effects, water quality and effects to fish and fish habitat, greenhouse gas emissions and impacts to the rights of Indigenous peoples as well as jobs and economic benefits. Once completed, the Agency will provide the summary of issues to the proponent, Teck Coal Limited.
Written comments in either official language will be accepted until November 3, 2020.
Comments can be submitted online by visiting the project home page on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry (reference number 80702). All comments received will be published online as part of the project file.
The Agency is cooperating closely with British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) to ensure a single assessment process for the Castle Project that meets the requirements of both the provincial and federal government, in accordance with the Impact Assessment Cooperation Agreement Between Canada and British Columbia (2019). Any comments previously submitted to the EAO as part of the provincial review process do not need to be submitted again.
The Agency recognizes it is more challenging to undertake meaningful public engagement and Indigenous consultation in light of the circumstances arising from COVID-19. The Agency continues to assess the situation with key stakeholders, make adjustments to consultation activities, and is providing flexibility as needed in order to prioritize the health and safety of all Canadians, while maintaining its duty to conduct meaningful engagement with interested groups.
For more information on the project, the review process and alternative means of submitting comments, visit the Agency’s website at canada.ca/iaac.
As next steps, the proponent will provide the Agency with a detailed project description, which will include a response to the summary of issues. Taking into consideration the information submitted by the proponent, as well as comments received during the public comment period and other relevant information, the Agency will determine whether a federal impact assessment is required for the proposed project. If one is required, the public and Indigenous groups will have additional opportunities to participate over the course of the impact assessment process.