Monday, November 26, 2007

Ask Questions

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The following is an e-mail I recently sent out, asking about the federal government's decision to only do a limited Environmental Assessment of the proposed refinery. Given wind patterns, much of Fundy Royal will be subject to emissions. Even the City of Moncton has come out against this project. Mr. Coulter and Mr. Jeffrey both work in Environment Canada - Atlantic Branch.

Dear Mr. Coulter and Mr. Jeffrey;

Recently Federal Environment Minister, John Baird, decided that only the marine portion of the proposed oil refinery in Saint John, NB (aka "Project Eider Rock") would be subject to a Federal Review.

A number of people have asked for a Full Federal Panel Review of the entire operations of the proposed refinery. A A US House of Representatives Report on oil refineries identifies toxic air emissions of benzene, xylenes, methyl ethyl ketone, toluene, ethylbenzene, 2,2,4-trimethylpentane, hexane, cresols, MTBE, napthalene, and phenol, many of which are listed by Environment Canada on PSL1 and on PSL2. Likewise, particulate matter (PM) is emitted from oil refineries and makes PSL2. Of course, there are also VOCs, SOx, NOx, and greenhouse gases all of which are of significant environmental concern because of both ecosystem and human health effects.

I visted the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's website and read through the document "How to Determine if the Act Applies" . Perhaps it is my lack of familiarity with the legislation, but I fail to see how Minister Baird could decide to call for anything less than a Review Panel.

Can either of you explain to me the reasoning that was used, when Minister Baird decided to limit the Federal government's involvement? Has he outlined his case, or is this the sort of decision left to the Minister's discretion?

I thank you in advance for your prompt reply.

Rob Moir

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