VICTORIA - The Province of B.C. has issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) certificate for the B.C. portion of the Trans Mountain pipeline Project.
"Today we issued an EA Certificate for the project, understanding that all inter-provincial pipelines are under federal jurisdiction. We have looked at areas where we can improve the project by adding conditions that will build upon those already established by the federal government," a joint statement by Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman said.
"The Environmental Assessment Office recommended 37 new conditions be attached, to address concerns raised by communities and aboriginal groups during its consultation. We have agreed to all 37 conditions, ensuring the project meets the high standards we demand in British Columbia."
The pair also said the conditions attached will make sure ongoing consultation with First Nations occurs and provides further protection of wetlands, wildlife habitat and caribou and grizzly populations. The conditions are all legally enforceable and will help to minimize or avoid altogether potential issues within areas of provincial interest, a release reads.
"Clearly, the project will have economic benefits for British Columbia workers, families and communities," stated the ministers. "However, we have always been clear economic development will not come at the expense of the environment. We believe environmental protection and economic development can occur together and the conditions attached to the EA certificate reflect that."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave the green light to the $6.8-billion Kinder Morgan project in November saying it is expected to create 15,000 new jobs during construction by twinning the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C. It will also provide access to global markets and generate $4.5 billion in federal and provincial government revenues, he added. His approval is subject to 157 binding conditions.