GOLDBORO: The Sipekne’katik First Nation, who claimed they were not consulted on the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Goldboro, has officially withdrawn their objection.
Last month, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) scheduled a public hearing for October 15 to examine whether Pieridae Energy Ltd. fulfilled its duty to consult with the band about its LNG project for Guysborough County.
In a letter submitted to the utility and review board dated September 28, Chief Michael Sack said Sipekne’katik formally withdraws its objection to the adequacy of the Crown’s consultation over impacts on aboriginal and treaty rights.
“Sipekne’katik is satisfied that any Aboriginal and Treaty rights of Sipekne’ketik will not be diminished or impinged,” Sack said. “Sipekne’katik will not file any submissions or additional evidence with the board – nor will it attend the hearing currently scheduled on October 15.”
The letter didn’t provide a reason for their objection being withdrawn but it did highlight the fact Sipekne’katik has never sold, ceded, nor surrendered any of its traditional land.
In previous filings with the UARB, Pieridae explained any delay beyond September 28, could cause irreparable harm to the project.
In a letter also dated September 28, Pieridae Energy acknowledged Sipekne’katik’s withdrawn objection, and with no further objections from any First Nations, the company asked the board to consider the construction application permit.
Sean Foreman, a senior solicitor with the provincial government said in a filing that the province had reviewed both Sipekne’katik’s and Pieridae’s submissions and agrees with the request to remove the hearing from the docket.
On October 2, the UARB removed the public hearing from their schedule.
“The board will now proceed with the merits of the permit to construct application,” the filing read. “It notes that Pieridae has been provided with an assessment report filed by Lloyd’s Register, acting in its capacity as the board’s certifying authority, respecting the permit to construct application.”
Pieridae has until no later than October 19 to respond to the tentative approval for the permit to construct.
Lloyd’s Register North America Inc., the utility and review board’s certifying authority, recommended on September 27 the permit to construct can be issued subject to conditions. Their filing reads Pieridae shall ensure all project components and proposed works will be designed, constructed, installed, and commissioned in accordance with all governing federal, provincial, and municipal laws, best management practices, and in particular the Pipeline Act and gas plant facility regulations.
Lloyd’s Register will and provide manpower, supervision and management services and will act as the authorized inspector, as well as an electrical authority.
“Based on the submitted application, with noted conditions, it is Lloyd’s Register North America Inc., view that the plant will be designed, constructed and ultimately operated in accordance with the regulations and the Nova Scotia Code of Practice for Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities,” their recommendation reads.