Environment Minister Mary Polak and Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett have issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate to Graymont Western Canada Inc. for the Giscome Quarry and Lime Plant project, which is located near Giscome, approximately 27 kilometres east-northeast of Prince George.
The decision was made after considering a review led by British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office. The ministers have issued the certificate with legally-enforceable conditions that have given them the confidence to conclude that the project will be constructed, operated and decommissioned in a way that ensures that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur. A record of the factors that the ministers considered in making their decision can be found in the Reasons for Ministers’ Decision at: http://ow.ly/DDEF307jaQS
There are 25 conditions that are part of the Environmental Assessment Certificate. Design requirements are specified in the certified project description. Each of the conditions and the certified project description are legally-binding requirements that Graymont must meet to be in compliance with the certificate.
The certificate conditions were developed following consultation and input from the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, government agencies, communities and the public. Key conditions and requirements for the project mean that Graymont must:
- Hire an Independent Environmental Monitor to audit whether Graymont is complying with the conditions in the Environmental Assessment Certificate;
- Abide by the greenhouse gas emissions cap in the Certified Project Description and meet the requirements set out in British Columbia’s Climate Action Plan (including payment of a carbon tax) to ensure the lowest greenhouse gas-emitting fuel options;
- Develop management plans to monitor and mitigate effects on wildlife, fish and fish habitat, air quality, and water; and
- Establish a Community Advisory Committee that will receive information about how well Graymont is managing effects on air quality, groundwater and surface water quality, wildlife interactions, visual mitigations, public access management, and noise management, and will provide a venue in which to raise and address concerns about the project with Graymont.
The Giscome project will require various federal, provincial and local government permits to proceed. The Environmental Assessment Office will co-ordinate compliance management efforts with other government agencies to ensure that the office is satisfied that certificate conditions are met throughout the life of the project.
With a cost of between $80 million and $90 million for the first phase and approximately $25 million for the second phase, the Giscome project will operate for at least 50 years. The project will initially extract up to 600,000 tonnes of limestone per year, with a future potential limestone extraction rate of up to 1.7 million tonnes per year. Employment during construction is estimated by Graymont to be approximately 90 person-years, with an estimated 1,000 person-years of employment during operations.
British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment process offers significant opportunities for Aboriginal groups, government agencies and the public to influence the outcome of environmental assessments by providing input on the potential for environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects from a proposed project.