Heritage Gas Award Creates Misunderstanding
Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO) is concerned that the recent announcement of Heritage Gas’ contract with Alton is seen, by the public, as a “green light” for the overall project.
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) decision to allow Heritage Gas to use the Alton Gas development is one about economics and rate levels – not about environmental and permitting approvals. This decision is about future use, should the Alton Gas project receive the necessary permits to move forward.
The NSUARB is an independent quasi-judicial body which has both regulatory and adjudicative jurisdiction flowing from the Utility and Review Board Act. The NSUARB was given jurisdiction with respect to the regulation of natural gas distribution under the Gas Distribution Act in 1997 and the regulation of pipelines under the Pipeline Act in 1998.
Alton Natural Storage LP was given an approval with conditions in 2007 and until these conditions are fulfilled, the approval is not valid. To date, Alton Gas still requires several provincial permits to get approvals – all of which are being held until consultation with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia is completed.
“We have expressed our concerns about the potential impacts to the environment and Mi’kmaq Treaty Rights and Title,” said Chief Paul Prosper, Assembly Lead Chief on Energy. “This project is currently undergoing an independent third party review, at our request.”
In late April 2015, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates was awarded the contract to conduct a Third Party Review of the Alton Natural Gas LP Brine Storage and Discharge Facility which will take upwards of 90 days to complete. During this Review, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates will examine existing data and evaluate the scientific and technical information. This Third Party Review will inform the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, in their consultation with the Province of Nova Scotia, about potential impacts and risks associated with the project on the Shubenacadie River, specifically on fish and fish habitat.
Until this review and consultation is complete, no work permits will be issued for the Alton Gas Natural Storage project by the Province of Nova Scotia.
The Kwilmu’kw Maw- klusuaqn Negotiation Office/Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative works on behalf of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs in the negotiations and consultations between the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada. The purpose of these negotiations and consultations is to implement our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights from the Treaties signed by our ancestors in the 1700’s. For further information visit our website at www.mikmaqrights.com
For more information contact:
Crystal Dorey Communications Officer
Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office/Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative
Phone: (902) 843-3880
Cell: (902) 957-0549
E-mail: [email protected]