Joint Review Panel concludes public hearings...

CNW Telbec Newswire
Thurs., May 18, 2006

    SYDNEY, NS, May 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chair of the Joint Review Panel
today announced the conclusion of public hearings for the environmental
assessment for the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens Sites Remediation Project.
Panel Chair Lesley Griffiths indicated the Panel will now turn its attention
toward preparing its report.

    "As we close the public hearings, we do so with a commitment to submit
our report to the federal and provincial ministers on or before July 13. This
is in keeping with the terms of the joint panel agreement that established a
unified environmental assessment."

    The Panel heard presentations from many sectors of the community during
the three weeks of hearings. This began with a presentation from the Sydney
Tar Ponds Agency as the project proponent. The information gathering continued
with presentations from federal and provincial government departments,
organizations and individuals. The Panel will continue to receive information
until midnight on Friday, May 19.

    The proceedings provided many opportunities for the public to share
information and ask questions of presenters. Ms. Griffiths expressed gratitude
to the many presenters and citizens who took part in the hearings.

    "Exchanging technical information can be an intense activity. Many of you
have worked long and hard on this issue and feel passionately about the
outcome. So my colleagues and I want you to know that we have greatly admired
and appreciated your patience, courtesy, and good humour throughout the review
panel process."

    The close of hearings comes eight months after the Panel members were
appointed by the Federal Minister of the Environment and the Nova Scotia
Minister of Environment and Labour to examine environmental effects of the
proposed project.

    "We want the community to feel confident that the project has been given
an appropriate level of review, discussion and technical scrutiny. We hope you
will soon see the results of your diligence and commitment, and be able to
direct your attention toward implementation and a cleaner, greener future for
Sydney beyond the Tar Ponds."

    The Panel reviewed an extensive number of documents during its
deliberations. All materials considered during the joint review will continue
to be accessible through the Public Registry at (reference

For further information: Debbie Hendriksen, (902) 577-5357