Oil major BP has been told to proceed with the Scotian Basin Exploration Drilling project by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said on Thursday that the Scotian Basin Exploration Drilling Project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Therefore, the project can proceed.
BP is proposing to conduct an exploration drilling project located some 230 to 370 kilometers off the southeast coast of Nova Scotia. The project consists of up to seven exploration wells within Exploration Licenses 2431, 2432, 2433, and 2434. Drilling would take place over a three year period starting in 2018, pending required approvals.
In reaching her decision, the Minister considered the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s Environmental Assessment Report.
The report includes the Agency’s conclusions and recommendations on the potential environmental effects of the project, the proposed mitigation measures, the significance of any adverse environmental effects, and the follow-up program.
As part of the Environmental Assessment Decision statement, the Minister established legally-binding conditions, including mitigation measures and follow-up requirements that the proponent must meet throughout the life of the project. Implementing these conditions will reduce or eliminate the potential effects of the project on the environment.
BP is required to obtain the appropriate regulatory authorizations and permits before the project can be carried out.
Minister McKenna said: “The environmental assessment process for this project benefitted from meaningful consultation and input from indigenous groups and the public, as well as technical advice from federal experts across government. The legally-binding conditions set out in my decision statement will help keep our environment safe for future generations while ensuring the growth of Canada’s economy.”