Flemish Pass Exploration Drilling Project and Eastern Newfoundland Offshore Exploration Drilling Project — Environmental Assessment Decision
April 17, 2019 — St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador — Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Canada is protecting the environment and growing the economy.
Today, the Minister of Indigenous Services, Seamus O'Regan, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced that the proposed Flemish Pass Exploration Drilling Project and the proposed Eastern Newfoundland Offshore Exploration Drilling Project are not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account.
The decision was informed by meaningful consultations with Indigenous Peoples, public input and scientific evidence, including Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions.
Both projects are subject to approximately 90 legally-binding conditions the proponents must fulfill. These conditions will reduce or eliminate potential effects of the projects on the environment.
For example, the proponents will be required to mitigate and monitor potential effects on marine habitat, including those related to the treatment of waste discharges, reduce supply vessel speed when marine mammals are observed nearby, verify underwater noise levels, and conduct a survey to identify and avoid corals or sponges at each wellsite.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing legally-binding conditions listed in the Minister's Environmental Assessment Decision Statements.
"The Government of Canada is working with Canadians across the country to protect the environment and grow the economy. By evaluating projects based on sound science and Indigenous knowledge, and putting in place legally-binding measures, we can protect our water and our air while supporting our communities."
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
"All Newfoundlanders and Labradorians know how important offshore oil and gas is for the future of our province. These exploration projects provide excellent opportunities for jobs while providing operators with critical information regarding the potential of their offshore plays. The Government continues its commitment to protect the environment while growing the economy, creating secure jobs for our country's middle class."
– The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services
The exploration drilling projects, proposed by Equinor Canada Ltd. and ExxonMobil Canada Ltd., are located approximately 460 kilometres and 265 kilometres, respectively, east of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Government's Interim Approach and Principles for environmental assessments ensures that project decisions are informed by meaningful consultations with Indigenous Peoples, public input and scientific evidence, including Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, and an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions.
This decision follows thorough and science-based environmental assessments conducted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency with the participation of Indigenous groups, the public, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, and federal departments including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Health Canada, and Transport Canada.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
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