Recent Master of Resource and Environmental Management graduate and future member of the Westwood Lab, Ben Collison, joined Dr. Alana Westwood in Vancouver, British Columbia from May 4 – 7 to attend the International Association of Impact Assessment Conference (IAIA 22) alongside hundreds of impact assessment specialists from around the world. The conference was hosted by the BC Environmental Assessment Office with many staff practitioners and policy-makers in attendance. Ben presented his newly published research article in the open-access science journal FACETS (with co-authors Patrick Reid, Hannah Dvorski, Mauricio Lopez, Alana Westwood, and Nikki Skuce) that exposed a worrisome potential loophole in BC’s environmental assessment (EA) laws, allowing companies to change their development projects after receiving environmental assessment approval through a process known as ‘amendments.’ 

Last week, the paper was covered by over 60 media outlets, including The Globe and Mail and CBC News. Ben, Alana, and the other co-authors remain hopeful that bringing this issue to light through journal publication, media coverage, and recent meetings with recommendations to the BC Environmental Assessment Office will create positive policy changes to help reduce environmental impacts from large development projects in BC and elsewhere.  

Citation: Collison, B. R., Reid, P. A., Dvorski, H., Lopez, M. J., Westwood, A. R., & Skuce, N. (2022). Undermining environmental assessment laws: post-assessment amendments for mines in British Columbia, Canada, and potential impacts on water resources. FACETS, 7(1), 611-638. https://doi.org/10.1139/facets-2021-0106. 

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