No environmental challenges facing the project
HALIFAX – Following a review of the Maritime Link project, Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau announced Friday that there are no environmental challenges facing the project.
"The department's study concluded that there will be little impact on wildlife, vegetation and recreational activities because much of the infrastructure already exists or can be built on existing corridors," said Belliveau.
There are conditions on the approval such as establishing a fisheries advisory committee with government and industry representatives, that will monitor the project's impact on fish, shellfish, and marine birds and mammals.
The province began its environmental assessment process in January, under a Federal-Provincial Environmental Assessment Agreement.
While the federal and provincial governments agreed that one environmental assessment report could satisfy their requirements, and both conducted a joint 16-week review, each reached independent conclusions around their respective areas of responsibility. Nova Scotia's responsibility is the corridor for the transmission link with Newfoundland.
Advertisements in the Cape Breton Post and the Chronicle Herald encouraged participation in consultations in Bras d'Or, Sydney and Louisbourg. The province also met with Mi'kmaq leaders to ensure minimal impact on their communities. Comments received through all consultations were considered.
Belliveau's decision is posted on the Nova Scotia Environment website. Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador are also expected to release their decisions today.
The province is still waiting for the decision of the Utility and Review Board to ensure the Maritime Link project is the lowest-cost option for Nova Scotians. It will announce a decision in late July.