Deep Panuke Project Gets Nod from Canada's Environmental Agency

The Honorable John Baird, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, announced that the proposed Deep Panuke Offshore Gas Development Project is not likely to cause any adverse environmental effects. The Minister has referred the project back to the responsible authorities, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, the National Energy Board, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Industry Canada and Transport Canada, for appropriate action.

The Minister based his environmental assessment decision on the following information:

- The comprehensive study report, including conclusions and recommendations, submitted by the responsible authorities;

- Public comments received during a 30-day consultation period, which ended on July 10, 2007, and the responses of the responsible authorities to the comments;

- The implementation of mitigation measures and a follow-up program.

The Minister recommends that the responsible authorities ensure the implementation of the mitigation measures described in the comprehensive study report. The Minister also recommends that the responsible authorities implement the follow-up program described in the report, in order to determine the effectiveness of the measures taken to mitigate any adverse environmental effects, and to verify the accuracy of the environmental assessment of the project.

A copy of the Minister's decision statement can be found on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry ( using reference number 06-03-21748.

Deep Panuke is a proposed offshore natural gas production project, located about 45 km west southwest of Sable Island and some 250 km southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The main project components include a jack-up mobile offshore production unit, subsea flow lines and wells, and an export pipeline. It would be the second offshore gas project in Nova Scotia waters, the other being the Goldboro Sable Offshore Energy Project.

The project was the subject of an eleven-month environmental assessment process which proceeded concurrently with a regulatory review that was held jointly by the National Energy Board and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board.

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.