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News Release

Amended Federal Regulations to Include Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board

OTTAWA - January 31, 2001 - Canada's Minister of the Environment, David Anderson, today announced an amendment to the Federal Authorities Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act). The amendment was published today in Canada Gazette, Part II.

"As part of the Government of Canada's efforts to protect and improve the environment, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board has been designated as a federal authority under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act," said Mr. Anderson. "This will ensure that when land is leased by the Board to enable oil and gas development projects to proceed, such projects will be subject to an environmental assessment under the Act."

The amendment demonstrates the federal government's commitment to a more consistent and equitable approach to environmental assessments for offshore oil and gas development projects.

Minister Anderson noted that these regulations apply only to oil and gas development projects. Other regulatory amendments will be brought forward to require oil and gas exploration projects, such as seismic activities and exploratory wells, under the jurisdiction of both the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, to be subject to environmental assessments under the Act. This regulatory amendment process will include extensive consultations with all stakeholders.

The intended results of this process will be the establishment of a uniform environmental assessment process for all oil and gas exploration and development projects proposed for Canada's offshore areas, including the areas under the control of both boards.

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The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is a federal agency reporting directly to the Minister of the Environment. Environmental assessment is a planning tool used to identify the possible adverse effects of development projects on the environment, and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate these effects.

For more information, please contact:

  • Ian Ferguson
    Senior Policy Analyst
    Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
    Telephone: (819) 997-2217
    Fax: (819) 953-8592
    email: ian.ferguson@ceaa-acee.gc.ca
  • Bill Coulter
    Director, Halifax Regional Office
    Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
    Telephone: (902)426-6623
    Fax: (902) 426-6550
    email: bill.coulter@ceaa-acee.gc.ca