Victoria: Environment Minister Mary Polak and Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett have issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate to Meikle Wind Energy Limited Partnership for the Meikle Wind Energy Project, located approximately 30 km northwest of Tumbler Ridge.
The decision was made after considering a review led by British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office. The ministers have issued the certificate with legally enforceable conditions that have given them the confidence to conclude that the project will be constructed, operated and decommissioned in a way that ensures that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur. A record of the factors that the ministers considered in making their decision can be found in the Reasons for Ministers’ Decision at: http://tinyurl.com/pt335qn
The Environmental Assessment Certificate includes 24 conditions. Design restrictions are specified in the Certified Project Description. Each of the conditions and the Certified Project Description are legally binding requirements that Meikle Wind Energy must meet to be in compliance with the certificate.
The certificate conditions were developed following consultation and input from First Nations, government agencies, communities and the public. Key conditions for the project include that Meikle Wind Energy must:
Implement a bird and bat monitoring and adaptive management plan.
Retain the services of an independent environmental monitor during the construction and decommissioning phases of the project. Reduce the project footprint to minimize habitat disturbance and visual effects.
Consistent with its compliance and enforcement program, the Environmental Assessment Office will co-ordinate compliance management efforts with other government agencies to ensure that the office is satisfied that certificate conditions are met.
British Columbia’s environmental assessment process involves a rigorous, thorough review that provides for significant opportunities for First Nations, government agencies and the public to provide input on the potential for environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects from a proposed project.