B.C. lifts environmental review requirements

Global News

VANCOUVER – The B.C. government is exempting about 99 per cent of the natural gas produced in the province from automatic environmental assessment reviews.

Under orders in council passed without public debate or fanfare on Monday, natural gas processing plants that produce less than two tonnes of sulphur emissions per day — “sweet” natural gas, as opposed to higher-emission “sour gas” — will no longer face the assessment as of April 28.

According to figures from the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission, that would account for about 99 per cent of the natural gas produced in the province.

And beginning Jan. 1 next year, ski and all-season resorts would also be exempt.

Environment Minister Mary Polak said such projects are subject to approval processes by other government agencies.

“This will reduce the duplication. Right now there are two process that are virtually identical,” Polak said Tuesday.

The gas plants will…

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