Review panel wants written summaries

By Tanya Collier Macdonald
Cape Breton Post
Sat., April 8, 2006

Sydney - Members of an independent panel want to be furnished with written summaries of presentations 10 days before public hearings start into plans to clean up the tar ponds.

Although it's not a requirement, the panel recommends presenters submit presentations - or at least a summary - so it can review the information and prepare questions.

The hearings begin Saturday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will continue six days a week until Friday, May 19, with some day time and evening hearings planned.

The sessions will take place at the Victoria Park Armouries, Ogilvie Building in Sydney.

The first hearing day is set aside to give the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency an opportunity to present up to 90 minutes of opening remarks.

The panel reserved the following two hearing days to question the agency on its 3,000-page environmental impact statement, plus additional information requested to complete its comprehensive document. Other interested parties can submit questions to be asked of the agency.

Groups or individuals interested in making a presentation, up to 40 minutes in length, are asked to pre-register to secure a date and time by contacting the panel's office in Sydney or by calling 577-5357.

A schedule listing the order of registered presenters will be available on the opening day of hearings.

All documents will be posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's website (refer to CEAR reference number 05-05-8989), or visit the panel's website at

In a press release, panel chair Lesley Griffiths said hearings will be the last opportunity for the public to provide input on the environmental assessment of the project before the panel submits its findings to federal and provincial environment ministers.

Within 55 days of the last hearing, the review panel's report will be submitted.

Operational procedures for public hearings are available on the panel's website or contact its office.