October 22, 2018 — Ottawa — The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the environment and our natural heritage while growing our economy.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, announced that the Marine Terminal Project on the North Shore of the Saguenay is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. The project, proposed by the Saguenay Port Authority, consists of the construction and operation of a new multi-user marine terminal at Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, located approximately 45 kilometres from the city of Saguenay, in Quebec.
In making her decision, the Minister reviewed the Environmental Assessment Report and the comments received from Indigenous peoples and the public. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) has concluded that the risk of adverse cumulative effects on the beluga population in the St. Lawrence Estuary caused by increased marine traffic associated with the project would be low and that the mitigation measures would help reduce the risks.
The Minister’s Decision Statement establishes more than 70 conditions to protect the environment, including marine mammals, fish and fish habitat, birds, the natural and cultural heritage and human health, and includes mitigation measures and requirements for a follow-up program that the Saguenay Port Authority must fulfill.
For example, to prevent potential effects of the project on the belugas in the Estuary of the St. Lawrence, the proponent will be required to ensure a visual monitoring, and order work stoppage in the presence of belugas during construction. The proponent will also be required to run a real-time monitoring of subaquatic noise levels caused by work in the aquatic environment.
This decision follows a thorough and science-based environmental assessment conducted by the Agency with the participation of the public, First Nations, and expert federal departments including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Parks Canada, and the provincial ministry of le Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques.
Following this decision, the proponent will be required to obtain additional authorizations and permits from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada. The Agency will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing legally-binding conditions under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
“My decision is based on rigorous scientific evidence, expertise from federal departments and extensive consultations with the public and First Nations. The Saguenay Port Authority will have to adhere to the established conditions to ensure the implementation of mitigation measures that reduce the risks on the beluga in the St. Lawrence Estuary. We are committed to ensuring that informed decision-making is supportive of sustainable development while providing opportunities for economic growth for all Canadians.”
— The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change