Public Interest Bonding Strategy
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Who: Ministry of Environment
What: To ensure industrial owners pay the full costs of environmental clean-up
Why: Accountability for industrial project owners
Thank you for your interest in the Public Interest Bonding Strategy.
The objective of the Public Interest Bonding Strategy is to ensure that owners of industrial projects, not the people of British Columbia, pay the full costs of environmental clean-up and reclamation, even if projects are abandoned. On April 13, 2022, the Province released a discussion paper on the Public Interest Bonding Strategy’s preliminary considerations with respect to strengthening the financial assurance strategy in British Columbia. The paper was designed to promote discussion and gain feedback to help inform effective and efficient solutions to deliver on the Ministry’s mandate commitment.
The discussion paper is part of a strategy to address the following minister’s 2020/2022 mandate commitment:
“With support from the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, take steps to ensure owners of large industrial projects are bonded moving forward so that they – not British Columbians – pay the full costs of environmental cleanup if their projects are abandoned.”
The Public Interest Bonding Strategy aims to establish financial assurance mechanisms for existing active and new projects that pose high environmental and financial risks, with the goal of protecting the Province and British Columbians from foreseen clean-up costs.
News Release: https://news.gov.bc.ca/26605
With the release of the discussion paper, the Province conducted broad engagement to help inform effective and efficient solutions to deliver on the ministry’s mandate commitment. You may download the Public Interest Bonding Strategy public engagement session presentation.
Virtual engagement sessions were held as follows:
Public Engagement Sessions
April 20, 9 :00 AM– 11:00 AM
April 21, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
April 28, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
May 2, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
May 5, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
May 5, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
B.C. First Nations and Indigenous Organizations Sessions
April 20, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
April 25, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
April 27, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
May 2, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
May 3, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
- The initial Public Interest Bonding Strategy engagement has ended. Feedback received from Indigenous peoples, public and industry stakeholders is summarized in the two What We Heard reports published on this website. The findings will be used to inform future policy development and next phases of engagement.
- Broad engagement on the Public Interest Bonding Strategy discussion paper took place from April 13 to May 28, 2022 and utilized the EngageBC platform to collect feedback via an online survey form and an open call for written submissions from Indigenous peoples, industry, non-governmental organizations, the general public, and other parties. In addition, six virtual public engagement sessions and five B.C. First Nations and Indigenous Organizations Sessions were conducted between April 20 and May 5, 2022. A total of 16 formal written and five email submissions, along with 67 online feedback forms were received between April 13 and May 28, 2022.
The strategy is a multi-year project to create a financial assurance framework and ensure that owners of large industrial projects, not the people of B.C., pay the full costs of environmental cleanup if projects are abandoned. The Province continues to engage with Indigenous peoples and industry stakeholders in 2022.
The information in the What We Heard reports covered obligations for closure plans and financial assurance, simplification of cancellation previsions under the Environmental Management Act (EMA), authorize Statutory Decision Makers to require security under the EMA, expanding corporate liability of directors and officers of a corporation, enabling ability to register a lien, and enabling a pooled fund. Engagement also covered potential compliance/enforcement tools for the above obligations.
A web page will be developed later this year to provide project updates.