An agreement was drafted up, and the public was asked to give input by November 7, 2011.
Council is recommending that funding be given to the local governments and agencies who will be part of the Working Group. The Agreement currently does not provide funding to members of the Working Group, and only refers to funding for the Joint Review Panel. Council is requesting clarification on this matter along with its suggestions.
It also recommends that the first draft of the Environment Impact Statement Guidelines be based on comments from the Working Group, in order to not appear self-serving. Section 3.4 of the Agreement has B.C. Hydro preparing the first draft, and then the Working Group reviews it.
Lastly, Council recommends that local governments be given the same opportunities to participants Aboriginal groups have been given, stressing they too be considered a significant stakeholder.
These recommendations will be forwarded by city staff to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office.
The draft agreement can be found on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca, reference number 11-05-63919 or the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office website at www.eao.gov.bc.ca.
Individuals or groups interested in taking part in the environmental assessment process can now apply for funding from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. $140,000 is available under its participant funding program.
To submit an application or to obtain additional information on the program, visit www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca. Applications are due by November 7, 2011.
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