Appeal Filed in Federal Court Ruling Regarding Imperial’s Red Chris Project
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Oct. 31, 2007) – Imperial Metals Corporation (TSX:III) reports that appeals have been filed by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Attorney General of Canada and by bcMetals Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary of Imperial Metals Corporation) in connection with the September 25, 2007 ruling of the Federal Court of Canada which set aside the Federal Screening Report of bcMetals’ Red Chris project, issued in May, 2006.At issue is the nature of the discretion of Federal authorities to scope a project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
The Red Chris Project was subject to both Provincial and Federal environmental review. Based on the initial project description, Red Chris was first scoped for comprehensive study level review by the responsible Federal authorities. Following receipt by the responsible Federal authorities of additional project information including the fact that the project was undergoing a full Provincial environmental assessment, it was determined that the Federal environmental assessment would proceed by way of a screening report. Accordingly, comprehensive environmental review of the Red Chris project was carried out by the Province under the B.C. Environmental Assessment Act, in full cooperation with the Federal responsible authorities. This was in keeping with efforts by Provincial and Federal environmental agencies and legislation aimed at harmonizing Federal and Provincial environmental review.
The Provincial review process covered the technical, environmental, and socio-economic elements of the project and included consultation with the Tahltan First Nation and other local communities. Environmental assessment application documents were made available for public review at local libraries in Smithers, Terrace, and Stewart and the Government Agent’s office in Dease Lake and Band Offices in Iskut and Telegraph Creek. Notices of the availability of these documents with the public comment period were advertised in the BC Gazette and local newspapers. The documents were also made available through the Provincial and Federal environmental assessment office websites. Open houses were conducted in Stewart, Iskut, Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek, the four communities closest to the Red Chris Project.
In July 2005, the Provincial Environmental Assessment Report concluded that the project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. The project subsequently received a Provincial Environmental Certificate. In April 2006, the Federal responsible authorities issued their Screening Report which also concluded that the project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
The appealed judgment impacts only the Federal environmental assessment. There is no impact on the Provincial Environmental Certificate. If the appeal is successful, the Screening Report will stand. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the responsible Federal authorities will be required to carry out a comprehensive study level review, substantially duplicating the work that has been carried out by the Province under the B.C. Environmental Assessment Act.
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