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Revised legislation aims to protect B.C.’s natural environment

The province is amending legislation to make owners of high-risk industrial projects more responsible for the cost of environmental cleanup of abandoned projects.

According to a media release, changes to the proposed legislation will enable future provincial regulations to give the government the authority to collect, use and enforce financial assurance under the Environmental Management Act.

This means companies will now be responsible to plan for decommissioning and closure of their operations, and may be required to provide financial security in advance.

Minster of Environment and Climate Change George Herman said the legislation will hold the companies more accountable and strengthen B.C.’s future.

“We are committed to making sure companies that develop and use B.C.’s natural resources not only support our province’s economic future, but also support healthy communities by maintaining the health of our land, air and water.”

Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Josie Osbourne says companies that leave projects abandoned and unfinished are having a negative impact on the economy, indigenous relations as well as environmental sustainability.

“Abandoned industrial projects can negatively affect communities, economic well-being, and the surrounding environment,” she says. “Improving accountability will strengthen investor confidence, relationships with First Nations, and support B.C.’s competitiveness and help build a climate resilient province.”

If passed the new legislation would establish regulations that protect B.C.’s natural landscape and support an economic future. The new regulation would include a transition period to give industry time to adapt.

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