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
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.