Deep Panuke Environmental Assessment to Continue as Study

Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, announced that a comprehensive study is the most appropriate type of environmental assessment for the proposed Deep Panuke Offshore Gas Development Project.

The Minister based her decision on the report and recommendation submitted by the responsible authorities, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB), the National Energy Board, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada, Industry Canada and Transport Canada. The report contains information on the scope of the project, the factors to be considered in its environmental assessment and their scope, public concerns submitted to authorities, the potential of the project to cause adverse environmental effects and the ability of the comprehensive study to address issues relating to the project.

The six responsible authorities will now continue the comprehensive study and submit their final report to the Minister of the Environment. At that time, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the findings and recommendations of the report before the Minister renders her final decision.

Deep Panuke is a proposed offshore natural gas production project, located about 45 km west southwest of Sable Island or some 250 km southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The main project components include a Mobile Offshore Production Unit, subsea flow lines and wells and an export pipeline.

EnCana Corporation, the project proponent, is seeking approvals under the National Energy Board Act and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act. EnCana will likely also require authorizations under the Fisheries Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Radiocommunication Act. The National Energy Board (NEB) and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) are preceding with a coordinated and concurrent regulatory review of this project.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will act as the Federal Environmental Assessment Coordinator for this environmental assessment in order to coordinate the participation of federal departments.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of sustainable development.

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