Nova Scotia First Nation challenging natural gas storage project

INDIAN BROOK, N.S. -- An aboriginal band in Nova Scotia is challenging the provincial government's recent decision to approve a new underground natural gas storage facility.

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The Indian Brook First Nation has issued a statement saying it will submit an appeal to the provincial environment minister, saying the Alton Natural Gas storage facility north of Halifax should not be built.

The band says the appeal is aimed at the industrial approval granted to Alton to operate a brine storage pond at Fort Ellis, N.S.

Environment Minister Margaret Miller says work will proceed while the appeal is being considered.

"The approval allowed for work to proceed immediately. It doesn't stop when there's an appeal," said Miller on Thursday following a cabinet meeting.

Miller says the deadline for appeals is Monday and she has 60 days to render a decision.

Last month, Energy Minister Michel Samson said the province believes the project is safe and doesn't threaten the environment.

Samson said the province granted approval after a thorough scientific assessment and consultations with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs and the Indian Brook First Nation.

The project was put on hold in late 2014 after Mi'kmaq protesters complained that the company had failed to consult with the local native community.



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