Despite a public outcry, this province’s oil and gas regulatory body has given a thumbs up to oil exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has approved an application by Corridor Resources Inc. to carry out a geohazard survey in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The survey, including a four-day low energy seismic survey, will take about six days to complete.
A coalition of concerned Maritimers have been speaking out against the Halifax company's plan to explore for oil and natural gas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Members of the Save our Seas and Shores Coalition — inshore fishermen, concerned land owners, environmentalists and First Nations groups — say the plan to explore between Newfoundland and the Magdalen Islands should not go ahead because of the gulf's sensitive ecosystem.
In a press release the C-NLOPB said that as a result of the public’s concern their officials would be adding regulatory oversight to the survey, by having a Fish, Food, and Allied Workers union fisheries liaison on board the survey boat.
That liaison will also file a report at the end of the survey about the practices of the company.
The C-NLOPB says the company must follow certain rules while doing the survey to mitigate the impact of it on marine mammals in the area.
The company must gradually start the seismic airgun to discourage marine mammals from staying in the immediate area. As well, the company must ensure that the seismic airgun is shut down if a marine mammal, or sea turtle listed as Endangered or Threatened pursuant to the Species at Risk Act, is observed in the safety zone.
“As part of the environmental assessment process, the C-NLOPB consulted with experts at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada and other government agencies to advise on the possible environmental implications of the project,” the press release reads.
To read comments received about the proposal, you can visit the C-NLOPB’s website at www.cnlopb.nl.ca/env_project.shtml.