News Release

BHP Canada, Central Ridge and West Flemish Pass Exploration Drilling Projects — Public Comments Invited

September 30, 2020 — Ottawa — Impact Assessment Agency of Canada

The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) is conducting federal environmental assessments for three proposed projects located approximately 350 to 375 kilometres offshore, east of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. These three projects are the BHP Canada, Central Ridge and West Flemish Pass exploration drilling projects.

The Agency invites the public and Indigenous groups to comment on the draft Environmental Assessment Report for each project. These draft Reports include the Agency's conclusions and recommendations regarding the potential environmental effects and their significance, the proposed mitigation measures, and follow-up programs.

The Agency also invites comments on the potential environmental assessment conditions for each project. Final conditions would become legally-binding on each proponent if the projects are allowed to proceed.

These projects have benefited from several public and Indigenous consultation opportunities. This is the final public comment period in the process.

The three projects have similar components and activities therefore for the most part, the draft Environmental Assessment Reports are similar in content and have consistent analysis and conclusions. In order to ensure an efficient and effective process, comments submitted on any of the above draft Environmental Assessment Reports and potential conditions will be considered across all three projects, as applicable.

Written comments in either official language will be accepted until October 30, 2020.

Comments can be submitted online by visiting the project home page on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry (reference numbers 80174 (BHP), 80175 (Central Ridge), 80161 (West Flemish Pass)). All comments received will be published online as part of the project files.

For more information on the projects, the review processes and alternative means of submitting comments, visit the Agency's website at

The Agency recognizes it is more challenging to undertake meaningful public engagement and Indigenous consultation in light of the circumstances arising from COVID-19. The Agency continues to assess the situation with key stakeholders, make adjustments to consultation activities, and is providing flexibility as needed in order to prioritize the health and safety of all Canadians, while maintaining its duty to conduct meaningful engagement with interested groups.

Following the public comment period, each draft Environmental Assessment Report and set of potential environmental assessment conditions will be finalized and provided to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, along with comments received. The Minister will make a decision on whether each project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

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Media Relations
Impact Assessment Agency of Canada

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Document Reference Number: 44

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