May 20, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government will comprehensively review and assess
the draft environment impact statement (DEIS) for the Downeast LNG terminal project issued last Friday by the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The provincial government will also take appropriate action as a formal intervener in the FERC proceeding.
Premier Shawn Graham issued the following statement following receipt of FERC's notice of availability of the DEIS in the Downeast LNG proceeding:
"The release of the Downeast LNG draft environmental impact statement by the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff does not come as a surprise. As an intervener in the regulatory process, we were aware that this step was imminent for the Downeast LNG project.
I have directed all relevant departments to proceed with a thorough review of the Downeast LNG DEIS and to provide me with their conclusions and recommendations with respect to all impacts the proposed Downeast facilities will have on New Brunswickers.
FERC has jurisdiction over the development of this project on United States soil and in United States waters. We note that FERC staff has recommended nearly 100 very serious conditions be imposed on the project in the event this project were ever to move forward.
We also note in this report mention of resources or effects on the Canadian side of the border, which are clearly beyond the authority or jurisdiction of FERC. For example, references to the application of the New Brunswick Endangered Species Act, or any other Canadian or provincial law, are misplaced.
We will ensure that New Brunswick's safety and security concerns, as well as the environmental and economic impacts of these facilities on New Brunswick residents who live along Passamaquoddy Bay, are not dismissed and are forcefully defended. We are involved in the FERC process for this exact reason."
The decision on LNG vessels transiting Head Harbour Passage and matters pertaining to Canadian territorial waters is the exclusive jurisdiction of the Government of Canada and is outside the FERC process.
MEDIA CONTACT: Gisèle Regimbal, communications, Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, 506-444-4594.