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BC’s auditor general say new environmental rules guidelines needed

B.C.’s auditor general says the government must do a better job of considering the long-term impacts of using natural resources for hundreds of projects worth billions of dollars.

Carol Bellringer says roadbuilding, logging and oil and gas exploration, for example, have environmental, social and cultural effects.

She has issued two reports saying the government must assign clear roles to natural-resource ministries managing such projects.

Bellringer makes nine recommendations, including calling on the government to accelerate plans to address the issue by 2021.

She also wants the province to consider legislation and policies that would allow it to co-ordinate management of all the effects of natural-resource projects.

She adds that the costs of conducting such an extensive environmental assessment could be costly.

The Forests Ministry says it is working on developing such a plan.

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