Glossary

The oil and gas industry is relatively new to Northwest BC, and with the industry comes a lot of new words. Here’s a few definitions to help you understand those words.

Click on a term below to see its definition.

B.C.’s environmental assessment (BC EA) process provides a mechanism for reviewing major projects to assess their potential impacts. The process is important to ensure that major projects meet the goals of environmental, economic and social sustainability. It is also needed to ensure that the issues and concerns of the public, First Nations, interested stakeholders and government agencies are considered.
The assessment process examines major projects for potentially adverse environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects that may occur during the life cycle of these projects. The process includes:

  • opportunities for the involvement of all interested parties;
  • consultations with First Nations;
  • technical studies to identify and examine potential significant adverse effects;
  • strategies to prevent, or reduce, adverse effects; and
  • development of comprehensive reports summarizing input and findings.

BC's Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) manages the assessment of proposed major projects in British Columbia as required by the Environmental Assessment Act (Act). 

British Columbia First Nations Energy & Mining Council. An organization established in 2006 by First Nations leaders to support and facilitate their efforts to manage and develop energy and mineral resources in ways that protect and sustain the environment forever while enhancing the social, cultural, economic and political well being of First Nations in British Columbia.

British Columbia Oil & Gas Commission. is an independent, single-window regulatory agency with responsibilities for overseeing oil and gas operations in British Columbia, including exploration, development, pipeline transportation and reclamation.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency coordinates the Government of Canada’s Aboriginal consultation activities during the environmental assessment process for most major projects in Canada. 

Community engagement can include a wide variety of government–community interactions ranging from information sharing to community consultation and, in some instances, active participation in government decision-making processes. Engagement can be formal or informal, direct or indirect. Some examples of community engagement strategies include community meetings, coffee houses, surveys and much more.

Cumulative effects are changes to the environment that are caused by an action in combination with other past, present and future human actions. Cumulative effects is now important in the context of Northwest BC as so many projects are being proposed that its important to look at the cumulative effects, the effects of all the projects on an area, not just the effect of one project.

After the application review stage in the BC Environmental Assessment process, the Minister of Environment may or may not issue an environmental assessment certificate. An EAC allows a proposed major project to proceed.

Also known as IBA, Impact Benefit Agreement. A contract made between a community and a company that provides Aboriginal consent or support for a project to proceed. IMBAs are not mandatory but are common between Aboriginals and companies in the natural resource sector. Once a First Nations signs an IMBA, they have agreed to support a project.

A strong effect on someone or something. An impact can be negative, positive or neutral and depend on a person’s perspective. For example, impacts of projects can range from more jobs in the community to pollution in the river.

Kitselas negotiates and signs Letters of Agreements with major projects proponents. An LOA does not mean Kitselas rejects or supports a projects. A Letter of Agreement is an initial cash infusion to cover costs to Kitselas associated with familiarizing Lands and Resources staff with technical aspects of the projects, and negotiating an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the proponent. 

Natural gas in its liquid form. A clear, colorless, odorless liquid.

A project with the potential to have significant impacts. Major projects currently proposed in and near Kitselas Traditional Territory include LNG facilities and pipelines, and some oil facilities and pipelines.

A Memorandum of Understanding is often the first stage in the formation of a formal contract with a major project proponent. An MOU is far more formal then a handshake and is given weight in a court of law should one party fail to meet the obligations of the memorandum. Kitselas usually enters into MOUs in the beginning of negotiations with a project proponent. MOUs does not mean support for a project. It’s a means to conduct studies about the project to find out more information. An MOU identifies financial contributions and a work plan for capacity development, Kitselas' involvement, engagement work plan and participation in the Environmental Assessment process(es), and commitments from both parties to enter into Impact Management Benefit Agreements. 

A long tubular conduit or series of pipes, often underground, with pumps and valves for flow control, used to transport crude oil, natural gas, water, etc., especially over great distances.

A person who advocates a theory, proposal, or project. In the case of Kitselas, proponents are either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or oil companies proposing projects in or near Kitseals traditional territory.  In the current projects proposed, there are often up to three proponents involved, many of whom partner together to reach the final stage of the project. For example, there can be one proponent who applies for the Environmental Certificate to build a facility, another proponent applies for a separate Environmental Certificate to build the pipeline, and maybe a third proponent will operates a gas supply. Proponents who operate facilities need to find a gas supply and pipeline to run the facility. By the same token, gas supply proponents need to find pipeline and facility proponents to transport their product.

A study conducted during the Environmental Assessment review of a major project. These studies cover the impacts to Kitselas community – impacts from increased work and rise in population in the area. Kitselas Department of Lands and Resources has retained the services of an expert in socio-economic issues. 

A study conducted during the Environmental Assessment review of a major project. TUSs include Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Traditional Land Use. Kitselas has employed a team of experts who work with the Department of Lands and Resources to write Traditional Use Studies.