Natural Resources
August 30, 2019 

Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada Working Together to Strengthen Protection of the Offshore Environment

Today, the Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources, hosted a meeting to discuss the protection of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador offshore environment. The meeting took place in St. John’s with representatives from the provincial Department of Natural Resources, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) and Natural Resources Canada.

A detailed overview of environmental performance was provided to both governments by the C-NLOPB. The discussion also included a prevention roundtable that focused on the existing regulatory framework and structure of the offshore oil and gas industry, observation mechanisms that are currently in place, compliance and enforcement tools, and the options going forward to further strengthen the industry’s performance. The C-NLOPB has been requested to report back to federal and provincial representatives on a number of issues discussed during today’s event. Further meetings will be held to advance action items arising from the discussion.

Balancing environmental protection and responsible resource development is a shared priority for both the Provincial and Federal Governments – as it is for all those involved in the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. The operator is ultimately responsible for spill response. The C-NLOPB is a world-class regulator with more than 30 years’ experience in regulating the health and safety of offshore workers and protection of the environment. Currently, the C-NLOPB conducts detailed reviews of operators’ safety and environmental management systems prior to approving activities, monitors reports from offshore drilling and production operations on a daily basis, and conducts detailed safety and environmental audits offshore. Both governments are committed to working hand-in-hand with the C-NLOPB to implement concrete actions that strengthen the regulatory regime with a focus on oil spill response and incident prevention by operators.

“There have been four petroleum spills by operators in our offshore over the last 16 months and it is not to be tolerated - any amount of oil on the water in our offshore is unacceptable. Our discussion today was focused on reviewing the processes we currently have in place to prevent an oil spill from occurring. Protecting our offshore environment and the safety of our offshore workers are fundamental principles to everything we do. We will continue this vital dialogue and expect better of operators.”
Honourable Siobhan Coady
Minister of Natural Resources

“Recent spills in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador offshore area are very concerning to our government, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and all Canadians. I want to thank Minister Coady for welcoming representatives from Natural Resources Canada to St. John’s, as we continue working together to prevent these unacceptable incidents in the future, support the sustainable development of our resources to create well-paying jobs, and protect the marine environment for future generations.”
Honourable Amarjeet Sohi
Minister of Natural Resources Canada

“Operators have the fundamental responsibility when it comes to protecting workers and the environment. They know they need to do better to prevent incidents and we as the regulator will hold them to account for their obligations.”
Scott Tessier
Chief Executive Officer, C-NLOPB

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2019 08 30                                                    2:35 p.m.