Shell Canada will proceed with an environmental assessment of its proposed new refinery near Sarnia, Environment Minister Laurel Broten has announced.
The Minister has approved the company’s terms of reference, which is a work plan for an environmental assessment. It outlines the steps and studies Shell will undertake to identify environmental and cumulative effects and describes the methods that will be used for assessing the effects.
“The terms of reference is just the first step in the environmental assessment process, which Shell has volunteered to undertake,” Broten said. “An EA will inform us if the refinery can be designed and constructed in a manner that respects the environment.”
Components of the proposed project are expected to include new pipeline infrastructure, a co-generation electricity unit, a dock on the St. Clair River, storage of crude oil and highway/railway improvements. Shell’s studies will include modeling of groundwater conditions, aquatic and terrestrial environments, air quality and noise.
Shell’s proposal will also be subject to the federal EA process, which will be coordinated with Ontario’s process, as well as other federal and provincial environmental laws including the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Water Resources Act.
Shell undertook extensive consultation during the preparation of the terms of reference and is committed to continuing to seek the community’s and First Nations’ input into the environmental assessment.