The Aurora LNG project is undergoing a thorough, independent environmental assessment process led by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). This is a substituted environmental assessment where the EAO conducts a single assessment that meets federal and provincial requirements, but the project is subject to separate decisions from the federal minister and provincial ministers on whether to approve the project. The process looks at potentially adverse effects (environmental, economic, social, health and heritage) and ways to avoid or mitigate these effects. 

Engagement with First Nations, neighbouring communities and other stakeholders began in 2013 and will continue throughout project development. At the same time, an array of studies have been undertaken to assess potential environmental effects. 

The EAO has established a Working Group which consists of provincial, federal and municipal government agencies, as well as representatives from First Nations and other communities that may be directly impacted by the project. The Working Group assists the EAO in identifying Environmental Assessment (EA) application information requirements (AIR) and potential affects before the project design and construction are undertaken. 

Major milestones in the EA process:

  • Draft application information requirements (dAIR) filed with EAO, early 2015
  • AIR approved November 23, 2015
  • Environmental Assessment Certificate Application filed with the EAO, November 14, 2016 
  • Environmental Assessment Certificate Application accepted by the EAO on December 14, 2016
  • 180-day Application review period begins January 9, 2017.
  • 45-day public comment period begins on January 16, 2017.

Following the EAO’s review of the Application and comments received, the EAO prepares an Assessment Report and provides a recommendation on whether the project should be issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate. The project is then referred to the federal and provincial ministers for an approval decision.