BHP Billiton Ekati Mine Project Environmental Agreement 1997
|Sub Category:||Environmental Agreement (Canada)|
|Location:||Northwest Territories, Canada|
|Alternative Names:||BHP Environmental Agreement|
|Subject Matter:||Environmental Heritage | Mining and Minerals|
|Summary Information: |
|The BHP Billiton Ekati Mine Project Environmental Agreement (the Environmental Agreement) was signed by BHP Billiton, the Department of Indian Affairs and Nothern Development (DIAND) and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) on 6 January 1997, prior to the commencement of the Ekati Mine Project operations in October 1998. It was negotiated with the participation of the Aboriginal organisations of the area. The Environmental Agreement is intended to ensure that BHP follows through with commitments made in its Environmental Impact Statement submitted in 1995. It is also seen as a way of demonstrating an ‘integrated and innovative approach to monitoring and environmental management of the project’s effects.’|
|Detailed Information: |
|The objectives of the Environmental Agreement are to:|
Respect and protect the land, water and wildlife, and the land-based economy integral to the way of life of the Aboriginal peoples;
Facilitate the use of holistic and ecosystem-based approaches for the monitoring, management and regulation of the Project;
Provide advice to BHP to assist in the management of the Project consistent with these objectives;
Maximise the effectiveness of environmental monitoring and regulation of the Project; and
Facilitate the effective participation of the Aboriginal Peoples and the general public in the achievement of these objectives.
The Environmental Agreement also sets out a range of guiding principles for the work to be undertaken under the Agreement. These include the full consideration of Traditional Knowledge, the precautionary principle, maximisation of environmental protection, and adaptive management. BHP must make annual reports on its environmental compliance, monitoring programs, research, present operations and future activities, and remedial and mitigative action. Environmental management plans are required for the construction and operations phases. These are to be subject to review by government, Aboriginal organisations and the Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency (whose establishment is also required by the Environmental Agreement). BHP must also create a fund to be drawn upon in instances where it does not comply with requirements in the Agreement.
The Environmental Agreement also sets out provisions including those which deal with:
The purpose of the Environmental Agreement;
The establishment and mandate of an Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency;
Requirements for BHP to report and undertake environmental management plans and monitoring programs;
Closure and reclamation planning;
Archaeological, Traditional Knowledge and other research requirements;
Security and enforcement; and
The Environmental Agreement is to be reviewed annually, and is to continue for the period of the operation of the mining project.