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The Government of Canada announces Environmental Assessment Decisions for three offshore exploration drilling projects

The Government of Canada is working to protect the environment while growing the economy and creating good jobs for Canadians.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that the proposed BHP Canada Exploration Drilling Project, Central Ridge Exploration Drilling Project and West Flemish Pass Exploration Drilling Project can proceed. The projects will allow the proponents to determine the presence, nature, and quantities of the potential hydrocarbon resources within their explorations licences located approximately 350 to 375 kilometres offshore east of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The projects will create secure jobs and benefit the economy, while supporting sustainable development and protecting the environment.

The decision on the projects follows thorough environmental assessments, which concluded they are not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account. The proponents, BHP Petroleum (New Ventures) Corporation, Equinor Canada Limited, and Chevron Canada Limited, respectively, can now proceed with obtaining any additional authorizations and permits from federal departments, as well as the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

The three projects are subject to legally-binding conditions the proponents must fulfill. These conditions include measures to protect fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, species-at-risk and the use of resources by Indigenous peoples.

“The Government of Canada believes that environmental assessments, which are based on science and meaningful consultations with Indigenous peoples and the public, are key to responsible resource development. These resources projects will provide economic opportunities for many Canadians and the legally-binding conditions imposed throughout the life of the projects will protect the environment for generations to come.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“These projects will create good jobs. They’ll also meet the highest standard of environmental protection. This is good news for our Offshore.”

– The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources Canada

Issued by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador on January 11, 2021