Regulatory Context

The Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) regulates oil and gas activities in the Newfoundland offshore area pursuant to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Newfoundland and Labrador Act.

The C-NLOPB’s regulatory role includes the issuing of Exploration Licenses and approvals and authorizations pertaining to exploration activities. The C-NLOPB is also designated a Federal Authority under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Pursuant to recent amendments to CEAA’s Inclusion List Regulations, seismic surveys are included in the list of activities requiring federal assessment under the CEAA (Government of Canada 2003).

In addition to the C-NLOPB, a number of other federal agencies have an advisory role in the environmental assessment. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is responsible for the protection of fish and fish habitat. Environment Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, as well as discharges to the marine environment under Section 36 of the Fisheries Act. Other federal authorities include Department of National Defense, Natural Resources Canada and Transport Canada.