01/22/2013 03:59 EST | Updated 03/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Kitimat LNG Project Clears Federal Review, New Regulations

This Jan. 10, 2012 photo shows the Douglas Channel, the proposed termination point for an oil pipeline in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project at Kitamaat, British Columbia, Canada. Rio Tinto Alcans smelter is at left and the town of Kitamaat at upper right. The fear of oil spills is especially acute in this pristine corner of northwest British Columbia, with its snowcapped mountains and deep ocean inlets. People here still remember the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, and oil is still leaking from the Queen of the North, a ferry that sank off nearby Hartley Bay six years ago. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

VANCOUVER - The federal government has cleared the way for a liquefied natural gas export plant on the B.C. coast.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister John Duncan says new regulations will allow the Kitimat LNG plant to be built on the Haisla First Nation’s Bees Indian Reserve.

The federal and B.C. governments and Haisla Nation have also signed a deal that ensures provincial officials will have regulatory oversight for the plant.

Duncan says the plant will create jobs and give Canadian energy producers access to overseas markets, while Haisla Chief Councillor Ellis Ross says the project offers new economic opportunities his people are eager to embrace.

The plant, backed by Apache Canada Ltd. and Chevron Canada Ltd., has a license to export 10 million tons of LNG per year once it's operating.

The Kitimat LNG plant is one of three proposed LNG export facilities at Kitimat, which would be fed by gas pipelines from northeast B.C. for export to Asian and other markets.

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