VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Jan. 21, 2010 (Marketwire) -- Imperial Metals Corporation (TSX:III) reports in a decision released this morning the Supreme Court of Canada limited the right of Responsible Federal Authorities to make project review scoping decisions under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. However, the Court declined to set aside the Federal Government's environmental assessment of the Red Chris Project. As such the ruling is prospective and will not impact development of the Red Chris Project. Federal regulatory authorities remain authorized to issue approvals for mine development at Red Chris. Completion of mine development will be subject to compliance with the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations and habitat authorizations under the Fisheries Act.
At issue was the discretion of Responsible Federal Authorities to determine the scope of project review, a necessary component in achieving harmonization with Provincial environmental review processes, and avoiding unnecessary and costly duplication.
Both the comprehensive Provincial review and the Federal review of the Red Chris Project concluded that the project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. These conclusions were never challenged in the courts, which were asked to determine a pure question of statutory interpretation.
The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court was delivered by Mr. Justice Rothstein who stated, "...I can see no justification in requiring Red Chris to repeat the environmental assessment process when there was no challenge to the substantive decisions made by the RAs (Responsible Authorities)."