Saturday , 24 July 2021

Elizabeth Metis Settlement’s AER appeal on Cold Lake expansion project withdrawn

The Cold Lake Expansion Project has more certainty.

The Alberta Energy Regulator announced earlier this week that Elizabeth Metis Settlement withdrew their appeal on  Imperial Oil’s Cold Lake Expansion Project.

“We have been working closely with Elizabeth Metis Settlement to resolve any issues and appreciate the efforts undertaken by everyone that’s involved,” said, Lisa Schmidt, communications for Imperial Oil.

“We continue to evaluate our plans for the Cold Lake Expansion project. We’ve not made a final investment decision on this yet. We have been focused on this appeal process and working through that.”

The reasoning for Elizabeth Metis withdrawing their appeal is not known, but they will comment shortly.

Mayor Craig Copeland said this is good news for the community.

“We were kind of stuck in limbo for many, many, many months based on that appeal from Elizabeth. Now it’s good news that Elizabeth Metis Settlement has pulled the appeal. They’ll work with Imperial offline and now we’ll just wait. The ball is back in the court for Imperial to go back and address when then are going to expand to the next phase,” said Copeland on the Morning After.

The $2-billion Cold Lake Expansion project sat in regulatory limbo for two years, when the Alberta Energy Regulator gave approval for the project in August 2018.

Elizabeth Metis Settlement filed their appeal in Sept. 2018 saying Imperial Oil did not complete an Environmental Impact Assessment and did not provide any analysis of the site selection procedure, descriptions of cultural or historical impacts to the land, plans to mitigate negative cultural impacts or any program of public consultation under S.49 of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, among others.

At that time, Imperial Oil said there were no grounds for the appeal.

The project would see an expansion of Imperial’s operations 23 kilometres from Cold Lake and would add 55,000 barrels of production a day.

Elizabeth Metis Settlement, the City of Cold Lake, M.D. of Bonnyville, Kehewin Cree Nation, Fishing Lake Métis Settlement, and Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement all applied to take part in the Nov. 25 appeal hearing.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.