News Release
Sukunka Coal Mine Project and Carbon Creek Metallurgical Coal Mine Project – – Substitution requested under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 - Public Comments Invited

OTTAWA – March 15, 2013 – As part of the strengthened and modernized Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) put in place to support the government's Responsible Resource Development Initiative, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is seeking comments from the public on substitution requests by British Columbia (B.C.) for the environmental assessment of the proposed Sukunka Coal Mine Project and of the Carbon Creek Metallurgical Coal Mine Project located in B.C.

CEAA 2012 enables cooperation between the federal government and other jurisdictions in the delivery of timely, high quality environmental assessments through a number of different means. One of these means is for the Minister of the Environment to substitute the environmental assessment process of another jurisdiction for the process that would otherwise be conducted by the Agency. This approach achieves the objective of “one project-one assessment” which has been endorsed by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.

The Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Peter Kent, must approve the substitution requests if he is satisfied that the conditions for substitution under CEAA 2012 are met and if he is of the opinion that the B.C. process would be an appropriate substitute for an environmental assessment by the Agency.

Written comments in that regard must be submitted by April 4, 2013 to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency:

410 - 701 West Georgia Street
Vancouver B.C. V7Y 1C6
Telephone: 604-666-2431
Fax: 604-666-6990

For the Sukunka Coal Mine Project: Sukunka@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

For the Carbon Creek Metallurgical Coal Mine Project: CarbonCreek@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

To view the Notices of Request for Substitution or for more information on the projects and on the environmental assessment process, visit the Agency's website (registry reference numbers 80013 for Sukunka and 80028 for Carbon Creek). All comments received will be considered public.

The Agency will post a decision on its website stating whether the Minister of the Environment approves each substitution request.

At the conclusion of each substituted EA process, the federal Minister of the Environment will make an EA decision under CEAA 2012. Environmental protection will absolutely be maintained through this process. Projects will only be allowed to proceed if they meet Canada's rigorous environmental protection laws. Where a decision on a project may adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights, Canada will ensure that potentially affected Aboriginal groups are adequately consulted.

The Agency and the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office have finalized a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enable efficient and timely use of CEAA 2012 substitution provisions. The MOU addresses the processes leading to substitution, the conduct of the substituted EA and associated Aboriginal consultation and the coordination of decision-making, monitoring and follow-up after the EA. The MOU and a Backgrounder on substitution under CEAA 2012 are available on the Agency’s website.

The Sukunka Coal Mine Project

Xstrata Coal Canada proposes to develop and operate an integrated surface and underground metallurgical coal mine located approximately 55 kilometres south of Chetwynd and 40 kilometres west of Tumbler Ridge, in northeast British Columbia. The proposed project would initially produce 1.5 to 2.5 million tonnes per year increasing to 6 million tonnes per year when underground mining begins. The mine life is expected to exceed 20 years.

The Carbon Creek Metallurgical Coal Mine Project

Cardero Coal Ltd proposes to develop and operate an open pit metallurgical coal mine located approximately 60 kilometres northwest of Chetwynd and 40 kilometres west of Hudson's Hope, in northeast British Columbia. The proposed project would involve open pit surface mining followed by combined open pit and underground mining. The production rate would be 4.1 million metric tonnes of metallurgical coal per year, over a mine life of 20 years.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of sustainable development.

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For more information, media may contact:
Isabelle Perrault
Senior Communications Advisor
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Isabelle.Perrault@ceaa-acee.gc.ca
Tel.: 613-960-0290

Document Reference Number: 7

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