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This Act is current to November 11, 2020
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Despite the above date, the Schedule to the Act, including the Map of Nisa'a Lands and the Appendices, is current to May 11, 2000. See "Amending Agreements" for amendments to the Schedule.

Nisa'a Final Agreement Act

[SBC 1999] CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 10

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND PROTECTION

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

1. At the request of any Party, the Parties will negotiate and attempt to reach agreements:

a. to coordinate any Nisa'a, federal, and provincial environmental assessment requirements that will meet the Parties' legal requirements concerning environmental assessments; and

b. to avoid duplication of environmental assessment requirements.

2. Agreements under paragraph 1 may be between the Nisa'a Nation and one or both of the other Parties, and may cover the environmental assessment of one or more projects, including an assessment referred to in paragraph 4.

3. Nisa'a Lisims Government may make laws in respect of the environmental assessment of projects on Nisa'a Lands. In the event of a conflict between a Nisa'a law under this paragraph and a federal or provincial law of general application, the federal or provincial law will prevail to the extent of the conflict.

4. A project on Nisa'a Lands that requires an environmental assessment under Nisa'a law and the law of another Party will be assessed only under the process prescribed by Nisa'a law if the Nisa'a Nation and the other Party agree under paragraph 1 that the Nisa'a environmental assessment will provide the information that the other Party requires to make its decisions concerning the project. In the absence of an agreement, the Parties may carry out concurrent environmental assessments.

5. If a proposed project on Nisa'a Lands may reasonably be expected to have adverse environmental effects, the Nisa'a Nation will ensure that Canada and British Columbia:

a. receive timely notice of, and relevant available information on, the project and the potential adverse environmental effects;

b. are consulted regarding the environmental effects of the project if there may be adverse environmental effects off Nisa'a Lands, or on federal or provincial interests referred to in this Agreement; and

c. receive an opportunity to participate in any environmental assessment under Nisa'a laws related to those effects, in accordance with those laws, if there may be significant adverse environmental effects off Nisa'a Lands, or on federal or provincial interests referred to in this Agreement.

6. If a proposed project that will be located off Nisa'a Lands may reasonably be expected to have adverse environmental effects on residents of Nisa'a Lands, Nisa'a Lands or Nisa'a interests set out in this Agreement, Canada or British Columbia, or both, as the case may be, will ensure that the Nisa'a Nation:

a. receives timely notice of, and relevant available information on, the project and the potential adverse environmental effects;

b. is consulted regarding the environmental effects of the project; and

c. receives an opportunity to participate in any environmental assessment under federal or provincial laws related to those effects, in accordance with those laws, if there may be significant adverse environmental effects.

7. If Canada or British Columbia establishes a board, panel, or tribunal to provide advice or make recommendations with respect to the environmental effects of a project on Nisa'a Lands or a project off Nisa'a Lands that may reasonably be expected to have adverse environmental effects on residents of Nisa'a Lands, Nisa'a Lands, or Nisa'a interests set out in this Agreement, the Nisa'a Nation will:

a. have standing before the board, panel, or tribunal; and

b. be entitled to nominate a member of the assessment board, panel, or tribunal, unless the board, panel, or tribunal is a decision-making body, such as the National Energy Board.

8. All environmental assessment processes referred to in this Agreement will, in addition to the requirements of applicable environmental assessment legislation:

a. coordinate to the extent possible the environmental assessment requirements placed by the Parties upon a project proponent;

b. require the project proponent to provide information or studies, as appropriate, about the project and its potential environmental effects and the measures that can be taken to prevent or mitigate those effects;

c. ensure that all information relevant to the assessment of the project is available to the public, other than information that is required to be kept confidential under applicable law;

d. provide for public participation in the assessment process, including public notice of the project, an opportunity to make submissions, and, when deemed appropriate by the Party conducting the assessment, public hearings conducted by an independent review panel;

e. assess whether the project can reasonably be expected to have adverse environmental effects on residents of Nisa'a Lands, Nisa'a Lands, or Nisa'a interests set out in this Agreement and, where appropriate, make recommendations to prevent or mitigate those effects;

f. assess the effects of the project on the existing and future economic, social and cultural well-being of Nisa'a citizens who may be affected by the project;

g. set out time periods within which the assessor must make its recommendation in respect of whether or not the project should proceed;

h. provide for recommendations, based on the assessment, to the Party or Parties with decision-making authority over the project, in respect of whether the project should proceed;

i. take into account any agreements between the project proponent and the Nisa'a Nation or a Nisa'a Village concerning the effects of the project; and

j. be conducted and completed by a Party before that Party issues final approval.

9. Decisions by any Party regarding the issuance of a permit or approval for a project will take into account the recommendations of the environmental assessment.

10. In exercising decision-making authority for projects that may have adverse environmental effects on residents of Nisa'a Lands, Nisa'a Lands, or Nisa'a interests set out in this Agreement, the decision maker will take into account, but will not be bound by, any agreements between the Nisa'a Nation or a Nisa'a Village and the project proponent concerning the project.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

11. Except as otherwise set out in this Agreement, Nisa'a Lisims Government may make laws in respect of environmental protection on Nisa'a Lands, including discharges into streams within Nisa'a Lands. In the event of a conflict between a Nisa'a law under this paragraph and a federal or provincial law, the federal or provincial law will prevail to the extent of the conflict.

12. Any Party may respond to an environmental emergency or natural disaster if the Party with primary responsibility for responding has not responded, or is unable to respond, in a timely manner.

13. If there is an environmental emergency or natural disaster, the Party responding will, if possible, notify the Party with primary responsibility in advance of taking action, but, in any case, will notify that Party as soon as practicable after responding.

14. Canada and the Nisa'a Nation may enter into agreements concerning the performance of specified federal environmental protection functions by Nisa'a Institutions.

15. British Columbia and the Nisa'a Nation will negotiate and attempt to reach agreements concerning the performance of specified provincial environmental protection functions by Nisa'a Institutions within an area to be defined in those agreements.

16. Any agreements entered into under paragraph 15 will be in accordance with the technical and administrative capacity and resources of Nisa'a Institutions to carry out the functions in accordance with relevant provincial standards.

17. Each Party will enforce its environmental laws in the Nass Area in a fair, impartial and effective manner, through appropriate governmental action, consistent with the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

18. No Party should relax its environmental standards in the Nass Area for the purpose of providing an encouragement to the establishment, acquisition, expansion, or retention of an investment.

19. This Agreement does not preclude a Party, within the scope of its jurisdiction, from establishing environmental standards that take into account the specific environmental conditions of a region, location, or type of project.

Contents | Sections 1-70 | Schedule - Table of Contents | Preamble | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19 | Chapter 20 | Chapter 21 | Chapter 22 | Schedule - Map of Nisga'a Lands | Appendix - Contents | Appendix - Introduction | Appendix A | Appendix B | Appendix C | Appendix D | Appendix E | Appendix F | Appendix G | Appendix H | Appendix I | Appendix J | Appendix K | Appendix L | Appendix M