Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund
Frequently Asked Questions

The Management Committee (MC) is comprised of Rio Tinto and the Province of BC. Decisions on how the funds will be used were determined by the MC. The MC is not a legal entity and therefore cannot enter into agreements with grant recipients. The NEEF Society was established in 2015 to act as an agent for the MC which includes reviewing and making decisions on proposals, entering into agreements with grant recipients and forwarding funds. The NEEF Society is governed by a Board of Directors, two of which are the NEEF MC members.

As part of the BC/Alcan 1997 Agreement between the Province and Alcan, Rio Tinto agreed to contribute up to $50 million to the NEEF Fund. 

Following a public consultation process, the NEEF MC made 10 decisions on how the NEEF funds were to be used. The 10 Decisions outline the timeframe and under what criteria funding can be granted. Any project proposals submitted must adhere to the criteria of one of the decisions.

Milestones related to decisions 2, 3 and 8 were not met. As such, as of January 1, 2014 those funds became available for a five year period to establish a legacy fund.  No party came forward to establish a Legacy Fund, and the Legacy Fund option expired on December 31, 2018.

In February 2020, NEEF MC amended the 2012 Decisions to allocate the unused funds.

The decisions can be found here

he NEEF MC Decisions identify the breakdown on the use of the $50 million dollars available for enhancement of the Nechako Watershed. If you plan to apply for funds, please first read through the Decisions to determine where your project might fit. Proposals must show a strong tie to a specific decision. 

Yes. NEEF funds are intended to be disbursed in equal annual allocation amounts over the period of time referenced in each of these decisions. It is possible the full annual allocation may be granted to a single project, meaning no funds are available to other projects for the rest of the year. There is also a possibility of multi-year projects. For example, a project under Decision 3 that is granted $850,000 per year for five years would mean funding under Decision 3 would not be available for other projects in this category until year 6.

The funding available under a decision, rather than the total amount being available in a single year, is available in equal amounts over the specified time period (either 5 or 10 years, depending on the decision). 

No. As outlined in the 10 Decisions, funds are available by way of an annual allocation on a matching fund basis. Matching funding from a source other than NEEF is required.

The decisions of the MC were arrived at after a lengthy public consultation process. The decisions are legally binding. The full report on the Decisions (NEEF Report September 2012) can be downloaded at