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NL Supreme Court to hear Grieg environmental assessment challenge this week

The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John's.
The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John's.

A challenge of the decision to release Grieg NL’s Placentia Bay aquaculture project from environmental assessment goes to court this week.

The case will be heard in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador on Thursday and Friday.

According to a news release from the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland (SAEN) on Wednesday, it will mark the first time a decision made by the minister of environment to release a project from environmental assessment will be contested in a court of law. 

Perry Trimper made the initial decision while he was still environment minister last July. Trimper is now minister of Service NL.

The challenge contends the Grieg NL proposal was released without requiring either an environmental preview report or environmental impact statement.

Owen Myers, a practicing lawyer, and the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) are the plaintiffs in the case.

Myers filed his challenge shortly after Trimper’s decision. ASF first appealed the minister’s decision as provided for under the environmental legislation. 

The appeal was denied in October and ASF, an international non-profit organization that promotes the conservation and wise management of wild Atlantic salmon, felt there was too much at stake to let the decision stand without a challenge, the release stated. 

ASF is being represented by Michael Crosbie. 

Grieg has standing for the case and two full days have been set aside.    

“The issue for the case is not whether or not the Grieg project should be approved and built as proposed by Grieg but whether or not Minister Trimper was acting properly within his discretion in making his decision,” the release stated.

“There are many interesting points of law which will be brought to bear as the case unfolds.”  

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