Pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment’s ap­peal of Grieg NL en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment de­ci­sion dis­missed

ASF con­tin­u­ing fight to get com­pany to do more work on en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of Pla­cen­tia Bay aqua­cul­ture project

The Southern Gazette - - News - ST. AN­DREWS, N.B.

An at­tempt by the Gov­ern­ment of New­found­land and Labrador and Grieg NL to ap­peal a court de­ci­sion re­quir­ing the com­pany to carry out a full en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment of its Pla­cen­tia Bay aqua­cul­ture project has been dis­missed.

A panel of three judges with the New­found­land and Labrador Court of Ap­peal ren­dered its de­ci­sion on Sept. 14.

“This rul­ing has once again raised the bar for en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment in New­found­land and Labrador,” At­lantic Salmon Fed­er­a­tion (ASF) pres­i­dent Bill Tay­lor said in a re­lease is­sued Sept. 18.

“The judges have high­lighted se­ri­ous reser­va­tions about the Pla­cen­tia Bay project and have clearly stated that gov­ern­ments must con­sider the level of pub­lic con­cern in en­vi­ron­men­tal de­ci­sion mak­ing.”

The ASF ini­tially ap­pealed for­mer min­is­ter of en­vi­ron­ment and cli­mate change Perry Trimper’s de­ci­sion to re­lease Grieg NL’s pro­posed aqua­cul­ture project with­out an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact state­ment (EIS) to the Supreme Court and won.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment ap­pealed that de­ci­sion but prior to the hear­ing this past De­cem­ber or­dered Grieg NL to com­plete an EIS.

Only a few days be­fore the Court of Ap­peal de­ci­sion was is­sued, Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter An­drew Par­sons ap­proved the EIS and re­leased the project from fur­ther en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment, sub­ject to a num­ber of con­di­tions.

Grieg NL is plan­ning an At­lantic salmon hatchery and nurs­ery in Marystown along with sea cages to grow the fish in Pla­cen­tia Bay.

“When this rul­ing is con­sid­ered along with the first judge­ment, which or­dered an EIS be com­pleted, a pat­tern of be­hav­ior emerges. It shows that po­lit­i­cal lead­ers have at­tempted to avoid en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment con­tin­u­ously and with­out le­gal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion,” said Steve Sut­ton, ASF’s di­rec­tor of out­reach and en­gage­ment.

ASF is now ar­gu­ing a full en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment of the Pla­cen­tia Bay aqua­cul­ture project was not com­pleted, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease from the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The ASF is ready­ing an ap­peal un­der the New­found­land and Labrador En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Act. It will ask Par­sons to re­con­sider his de­ci­sion and have Grieg com­plete more work on the EIS.

The Court of Ap­peal’s full judge­ment can be read at https://0102.nc­cdn. net/1_5/000/000/132/c50/ NLCA-Grieg-Judge­ment.pdf.

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