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Dr. Steve Bonnell the luncheon keynote at NOIA’s AGM

NOIA has announced that Dr. Steve Bonnell, Amec Foster Wheeler’s Environmental Assessment Practice Leader, will be its luncheon keynote speaker at the Association’s Annual General Meeting.

Presenting Oil & Gas Exploration in NL: Plans, Process and Potential, Dr. Bonnell will discuss the key environmental regulatory review processes that apply to proposed exploration programs in the province, and provide observations and recommendations on how these may be made effective and efficient for all participants.

Dr. Bonnell is a previous member of NEIA’s Board of Directors, and a frequent contributor to the Newleef conference.

ABSTRACT:

Proposed oil & gas exploration activities in Newfoundland and Labrador are typically subject to a range of environmental regulatory requirements, including review and approval under applicable federal (CEAA 2012), federal-provincial (C-NLOPB Accord Acts), and/or provincial (NL Environmental Protection Act) environmental assessment (EA) processes. EA is an important and widely used means of identifying and addressing the potential environmental effects of proposed development activities, and understanding and addressing these regulatory requirements in an effective and timely manner is an essential component of the planning and implementation of any proposed oil and gas activity. EA is often the first formal glimpse that governments and the public are given to proposed oil & gas projects, and it requires a proponent to “open up” its proposal to external review, scrutiny and eventual regulatory decisions about whether or not (and if so, how) their project may proceed. At the same time, the process also continues to function as an important planning tool for operators, where EA analysis and consultation can allow for the early identification and proactive management of key environmental issues and risks.

This presentation will initially provide an overview and evaluation of the application of EA requirements to proposed petroleum activities in Newfoundland and Labrador. This will include discussing a number of important regulatory and procedural issues and challenges that are often associated with these EAs, particularly as evidenced through recent experience under CEAA 2012, as well as some suggestions for improvement. From there, it will explore a number of available EA tools and approaches that offer significant potential to improve the EA review of future oil & gas projects and activities in this province. This includes the enhanced use of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), which offers considerable further potential for improving the focus and efficiency of the downstream, project-level assessments that come after them. It will also explore the potential application of Class EA processes in this sector, which involves the completion of a single, comprehensive EA for a particular type of activity (as opposed to doing so for each individual project), thereby reducing unnecessary inefficiencies and duplication.

The presentation will provide an overview of each of these EA approaches and tools and discuss their relationship to, and potential implications for, future oil & gas projects in this region,
particularly in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the EA review process for all participants.

DETAILS:

NOIA’s AGM taking place on Thursday, February 2 at The Delta St. John’s Hotel. Click here for more information.

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