B.C. committed to regional environmental assessments, but experts warn they might never happen – by Matt Simmons (The Narwhal – November 2, 2020)

The Narwhal

At first glance, northwest B.C. is a vast wild landscape home to big forests, even bigger mountains and rich river systems that cut through the landscape. But looking closer, those forests are criss-crossed with logging roads and punctuated with massive clearcuts.

Many mountains are mined for the minerals within and the watersheds are continually threatened by industrial development. Where the rivers meet the ocean, massive freight ships come and go, delivering goods from overseas and carrying materials like grain, lumber, coal and wood pellets across the Pacific.

The region is subject to a seemingly never-ending stream of proposals for mines, export facilities, processing plants and other industrial developments. The question is: can the ecosystem as a whole sustain all of these projects?

Doing a regional assessment that looks at the cumulative impacts of all past, present and future projects on the landscape could help answer that question.

And when B.C.’s updated Environmental Assessment Act came into force in 2019, one of the big changes was adding a provision that allows the minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to order regional assessments and use those assessments to help determine whether or not individual projects should go ahead.

For the rest of this article: https://thenarwhal.ca/bc-regional-environmental-assessments-regulations-delayed/