PROJECT AGREEMENT FOR THE CROWN MOUNTAIN COKING COAL PROJECT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

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PREAMBLE

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEA Agency) has commenced an environmental assessment (EA) pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) for NWP Coal Canada Ltd's (the Proponent) Crown Mountain Coking Coal Project (the Project).

The proposed project consists of an open-pit metallurgical coal mine in the East Kootenay Region, approximately 12 kilometers from the District of Sparwood in southeastern British Columbia. As proposed, the production capacity of the project would be 3.7 million tonnes per year, over a mine-life of approximately 16 years.

The CEA Agency and the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office have agreed to coordinate the federal and provincial EAs to the extent possible pursuant to the intent of the Canada-British Columbia Agreement for Environmental Assessment Cooperation (2004).

Nothing in this Project Agreement (the Agreement) fetters the powers, statutory authorities and functions of federal departments/agencies and their respective Ministers.

The signatories tao this Agreement (the Parties) commit to work together to facilitate an effective, accountable, transparent, timely and predictable federal review in relation to the proposed project and to contribute to fulfilling the Crown's duty to consult Aboriginal groups.

1.0 PURPOSE

The purpose of this document is to provide detailed information pertaining to the federal review process where the CEA Agency is the responsible authority during the EA. For further information regarding the federal review process, please refer to The Federal Review Process for Major Projects: Project Agreement Companion Document (the Companion Document).

2.0 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The following federal departments and agencies have identified an interest in the Project, and will participate in the federal review:

  • Responsible authority: The CEA Agency will ensure that an EA is conducted, an EA Report is prepared and an EA Decision Statement is issued;
  • Federal authorities (FAs): Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO); Transport Canada (TC); Environment Canada (EC); Natural Resources Canada (NRCan); Health Canada (HC) may be in possession of specialist or expert information or knowledge with respect to the Project;
  • Regulatory departments and agencies: DFO, NRCan and TC may have regulatory and statutory duties in relation to the Project;
  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has advisory responsibilities in relation to the Project to support consistency with the Government of Canada's Whole of Government approach to Aboriginal consultation activities; and,
  • The Major Projects Management Office will provide oversight and advice throughout the entire federal review in relation to the Project to ensure adherence to the service standards and roles and responsibilities of all Parties as described in the Agreement and the Companion Document.

3.0 Aboriginal Consultation

The Parties are committed to a Whole of Government approach to Aboriginal consultation that is integrated with the EA and regulatory process, to the extent possible. For more information on the Whole of Government approach, including roles and responsibilities of departments and agencies, as well as coordination during the project review, please refer to Annex I of the Companion Document.

Where applicable, the terms and conditions of all existing agreements or protocols and/or MOUs between the Crown and Aboriginal groups will be respected.

4.0 TIMELINES

Timelines identified in the Agreement represent the time expected to be taken by federal departments and agencies in carrying out their respective tasks. The timelines do not account for time taken by the Proponent to collect information or undertake a study at the request of the CEA Agency during the EA or regulatory departments during the regulatory phase. The target timelines for the federal review are as follows:

  1. Completion of the EA, as per CEAA 2012 – 365 days from the posting of the Notice of Commencement (NoC) on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet Site (CEARIS) to the Minister of the Environment's (the Minister) EA Decision Statement about whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
  2. Regulatory decisions pursuant to the Fisheries Act – 90 days from receipt of a complete application assuming the Minister's EA Decision Statement has been posted on the CEARIS and no additional consultation is required.
  3. Regulatory decision pursuant to the Explosives Act – 60 days from the submission of a complete and acceptable application for an Explosives Factory Licence assuming the Minister's EA Decision Statement has been posted on the CEARIS.
  4. If appropriate, Governor in Council (GIC) proclamation of exemption under s.24 of the Navigation Protection Act – 11.5 months from the Minister's EA Decision Statement posted on the CEARIS. The timeline will be reduced to 6 months if Treasury Board is satisfied that the Conditions for Exemption have been met (see the Companion Document for additional information).

For more information on roles, responsibilities, key milestones and timelines for regulatory departments and agencies, please refer to Annex III of the Companion Document.

5.0 SIGNATORIES

The Parties hereto have signed the Agreement, in counterpart, on the dates indicated below.

Annex I

Key Milestones and Service Standards for the Environmental Assessment and Aboriginal Consultation
  Milestone Lead Support As Needed Timeline/Completion Date
1 Post the Notice of Commencement (NoC) on the CEARIS CEA Agency   December 22, 2014
2 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EIS Guidelines CEA Agency   Dec 22, 2014-Jan 30, 2015
3 Finalize the EIS Guidelines and provide to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs Jan 31 – Feb 20, 2015
4 Submit the EIS and EIS Summary Proponent CEA Agency, FAs To be determined by the Proponent
5 Perform conformity check of the EISFootnote 1 CEA Agency   Day 61-67 (7 Days)
6 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the EIS summary

 

 
CEA Agency FAs Starting between day 68 and 91 (for a duration of 30 Days)
7 Review and provide comments on the EIS to the CEA Agency FAs CEA Agency Day 68-107 (40 Days)
8 Review and provide information requests on the EIS to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs Day 68-117 (50 days)
9 Submit response to information requests Proponent CEA Agency, FAs To be determined by the Proponent
10 Review and provide comments on the additional information to the CEA Agency FAs CEA Agency Day 118-147 (30 Days)
11 Review and provide information requests on the additional information to the ProponentFootnote 2 CEA Agency FAs Day 118-152 (35 Days)
12 Prepare the draft Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) CEA Agency FAs Day 153-225 (73 Days)
13 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EAR CEA Agency FAs Day 226-255 (30 Days)
14 Review and provide comments on the draft EAR to the CEA Agency FAs CEA Agency Day 226-260 (35 Days)
15 Finalize the EAR and submit to the Minister CEA Agency FAs Day 261-335 (75 Days)
16 Minister makes EA Decision Statement Minister CEA Agency Day 336-365 (30 Days)
17 Issue and post the Minister’s EA Decision Statement on the CEARISFootnote 3 CEA Agency   Day 365 (0 Days)