Government of Nova Scotia
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Environmental Assessment

Project Highlights

Alton Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility

Minister's Decision

On December 18, 2007, the Minister of Environment and Labour released a decision PDF Download Link (PDF:323k) concerning this review. The Minister has decided to approve the undertaking in accordance with Section 13(1)b of the Environmental Assessment Regulations, pursuant to Part IV of the Environment Act. The undertaking has been approved subject to a number of conditionsPDF Download Link (PDF:52k).

The proponent is required to obtain all other necessary approvals, permits or authorizations before commencing work on the undertaking.

Description

On July 6, 2007, Alton Natural Gas Storage LP. registered an underground hydrocarbon storage facility project for environmental assessment, in accordance with Part IV of the Environment Act. On July 31, 2007 the Minister of Environment and Labour released a decision PDF Download Link (PDF:164k) on the proposed Undertaking. The Minister determined that more information was required.

On November 23, 2007, Alton Natural Gas Storage L.P. registered supplemental information to the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project environmental assessment, in accordance with Part IV of the Environment Act.

The supplemental information presented for Alton Natural Gas Storage Project specifically addresses concerns effects to fish and fish habitat due to water withdrawal from the Shubenacadie River into both the water intake and the mixing channel; and the discharge of brine and sediments into the Shubenacadie River. In addition, the report provides additional information to demonstrate how First Nation concerns have been considered in the development and operation of the undertaking.

The purpose of the proposed undertaking near Alton, Nova Scotia is to develop an underground hydrocarbon storage facility in a series of engineered salt caverns at depths of over 700 m by means of a solution mining process. Water for the mining process will be carried between the Shubenacadie Estuary and the facility near Alton, via approximately 12 km of buried pipelines. Initially, four caverns will be formed over 18 to 24 months, with construction commencing mid-2008. Depending on future market demand, the Project may develop as many as 10 to 15 caverns at a later date. The caverns will be developed in accordance with the requirements of the latest edition of Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard Z341, Storage of Hydrocarbons in Underground Formations.

Opportunities for Public Input

Public comments regarding this project were accepted from November 23, 2007 to December 6, 2007. Comments submitted are available in the library on the 5th floor of the Nova Scotia Environment and Labour, Halifax Office and will be made available to the public.

Project Documents