In response to an article that ran in the daily newspaper Le Journal de Montréal on September 6, 2017 about the development of a methane port project in the Saguenay and its impact on the beluga, the Maritime Information Bureau (MIB) would like to rectify the following information:
1. Fact sheet issued by federal authorities vs. formal notice from Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Contrary to what is indicated in the article, the document from Fisheries and Oceans Canada is not a formal DFO notice on GNL Québec’s Énergie Saguenay project, but a “fact sheet issued by federal authorities.” This type of fact sheet is actually a form the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEEA) distributes to the different federal government departments concerned after a promoter tables a project description. On this fact sheet, the federal government departments can indicate the expertise they have to eventually perform an environmental assessment of the project and to raise its potential and anticipated adverse effects. This work precedes the environmental impact study and is not at all an exhaustive analysis or assessment of a project or its environmental impacts.
2. Environmental assessment
The MIB also points out that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s analysis of the Énergie Saguenay project has not begun. In fact, the promoter has not yet tabled its environmental assessment with the CEEA and is still compiling its information. Consequently, to date, no notice has been issued. To find out more about the project’s different environmental assessments (provincial and federal), click here.
3. Ship size
With regard to the size of the ships that would travel on the Saguenay River if the project materializes, we should point out that Québec ports already regularly welcome ships more than 300 m long (ref., p. 2), which, therefore, corresponds to normal ship size.