YELLOWKNIFE, NWT - 24 May, 2001 - A draft framework for a single environmental assessment process will be developed for the review of Mackenzie Valley and Beaufort offshore pipeline proposals. The agreement was reached following two days of meetings of the chairs of the boards and agencies with responsibility for regulating energy developments in the Northwest Territories.
The draft framework will also consider integration of the various regulatory requirements applicable to the project and will support and respect the spirit and intent of land claims agreements. The parties are optimistic the draft framework will be developed by the end of the summer. Once developed, the draft framework will be made available for comment and will be subject to ratification by the relevant authorities.
In a meeting earlier this week with the chairs, the Honourable Robert Nault, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, expressed strong support for the important work of the northern resource management boards. The boards were encouraged by the commitment of federal resources to address pressing capacity issues.
Since November 2000, the parties have met several times to explore their willingness and ability to cooperate and coordinate the review process for northern gas development. The parties involved include: the National Energy Board, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board, the Environmental Impact Screening Committee and the Environmental Impact Review Board for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, the NWT Water Board, the Inuvialuit Land Administration, the Inuvialuit Game Council, the Sahtu Land and Water Board, the Gwich'in Land and Water Board, and the Government of the Northwest Territories.
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