N.S. approves dredging of Sydney harbour, construction of container terminal

Staff ~ Transcontinental Media
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SYDNEY, N.S. - Nova Scotia has given its approval to the proposed dredging of Sydney harbour and construction of a container terminal in the Sydport Industrial Park.
Proponents of the project are hopeful that federal approval will follow shortly.
Environment Minister David Morse gave the project approval Tuesday, with conditions that include creation of an environmental management plan and submission of detailed engineering plans.
There must also be measures aimed at reducing any effects on groundwater, surface water, air quality, wetlands, wildlife and habitat.
Waste must also be minimized and recycled or disposed of properly.
"I am satisfied . . . that any adverse effects or significant environmental effects of the undertaking can be adequately mitigated through compliance with the attached terms and conditions," Morse wrote in approving the proposal.
Peter Geddes, a provincial environmental assessment officer, said the project can only proceed as the proponents receive further approvals involved in the terms and conditions.
"What the environmental assessment does is essentially the company writes a report on what they think the environmental impacts could be . . . and how they plan to mitigate it," he said.
"We bind them to a lot of those and add some more. We actually have other approvals to issue on this project."
The provincial assessment covers the scope of the project, including dredging and construction of the terminal.
The project is also subject to a federal environmental assessment, which Geddes said would basically cover navigation in the harbour, fish and fish habitat.
Laurentian Energy CEO Jim Wooder, spokesman for the Sydney Marine Group which is proposing to construct the container terminal, said it is hoped the federal approval and any conditions can be received within the next week to 10 days.
"It's excellent news," he said of the provincial approval. "It's 50 per cent of the equation and we're now very focused on receiving the federal decision and dealing with any conditions attached to that."

Organizations: Sydney Marine Group

Geographic location: Sydney, Nova Scotia, Sydport Industrial Park

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