Alton news release
Posted on September 28, 2014
Stewiacke - Alton Natural Gas Storage LP will continue to meet with Mi'kmaq in Nova Scotia regarding the company's $100 million investment in an underground storage facility in Alton, Colchester County.
"This project will create jobs through the construction and operation of the facility, bring natural gas closer to many communities in Colchester County, stabilize natural gas prices for Nova Scotians, help more customers convert to cleaner natural gas from fuel oil and contribute to the overall economic growth of the community," said David Birkett, President of Alton Natural Gas Storage. "Alton Gas recognizes the importance of community consultation, including with local Mi'kmaq. We have been in regular contact with Mi'kmaq for the past eight years."
Nova Scotia's environmental assessment process required community and First Nations consultation, which Alton Natural Gas Storage began in 2006. To ensure proper community consultation has taken place, Alton Natural Gas has completed the following activities:
- Met on October 12, 2006, with the chiefs of the Sipekne'katik (formerly known as Shubenacadie or Indian Brook) and Millbrook First Nations;
- Invited the chiefs and councils to participate in the Nova Scotia government's environmental assessment process;
- Conducted two Mi'kmaq Ecological Knowledge Studies (MEKS) – first on the actual project in 2006-2007 and second on a proposed natural gas pipeline lateral in 2010-2012 – through the consulting firm of Membertou Geomatics Consultants;
- Met with the Native Council of Nova Scotia on July 25, 2007;
- Sent update letters in September 2007 to the chiefs of Sipekne'katik and Millbrook First Nations;
- Participated in the launch of Atlantic Aboriginal Economy Building Strategy, organized by the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs, on November 7, 2007;
- Met on November 13, 2007, with the Native Council of Nova Scotia;
- Met on November 15, 2007, with the economic development officers of the Sipekne'katik and Millbrook First Nations;
- Presented and discussed the project in September 2008 with the Kwilmu'kw Mau-klusuaqn Mi'kmaq Rights Initiative (KMKNO);
- Hosted a site tour and supplier session for Mi'kmaq owned businesses in July 2009;
- Updated Eric Christmas of the KMKNO and Native Council of Nova Scotia up to and including an open house session on November 30, 2011; and
- Invited the KMKNO and the Native Council of Nova Scotia to provide submissions to the environmental assessment process related to the Alton Natural Gas Storage pipeline in February 2013.
In 2014, Alton Natural Gas has been working with the Government of Nova Scotia to continue dialogue with Mi'kmaq, with meetings held in June and August, and as recently as last week with KMKNO and the Sipekne'katik First Nation Band Council.
"We have met with Mi'kmaq about Alton Natural Gas Storage and will continue to do so in the days, weeks, months and years to come," concluded Birkett. "The Alton Gas Project is safe, regulated and sustainable and we want to make sure that there continues to be meaningful consultation and open dialogue with the community."
In 2008, Alton Natural Gas began a seven-year river monitoring program to establish comprehensive ecological knowledge of the Shubenacadie River. The conservation and monitoring program will continue throughout the life of the project.
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