From the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. re: Conformity of Information Request Responses Related to the Environmental Impact Statement Round 1 (Part 1) (see reference documents #29 and #30)

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Suite 200
1801 Hollis Street
Halifax NS B3J 3N4

Agence canadienne d'évaluation environnementale
Bureau 200
1801 rue Hollis
Halifax, NE B3J 3N4

June 7, 2018

Sent by E-mail

Stephen Edwards
Safety, Security, Health, Environment and External Affairs Manager
ExxonMobil Canada Ltd.
Suite 1000, 100 New Gower Street
St. John's, NL A1C 6K3

Dear Mr. Edwards,

SUBJECT: Responses to Information Requirements (IRs) for the proposed Eastern Newfoundland Offshore Exploration Drilling Project

I am writing to inform you of the results of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's (Agency) review of ExxonMobil's responses submitted on May 15, 2018 to the Information Requirements (IRs) Part I, sent by the Agency on March 13, 2018. The Agency developed the IRs based on technical review by the Agency, other federal government experts, Indigenous groups and the public of the Eastern Newfoundland Offshore Exploration Drilling Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and associated EIS Summary.

As noted by ExxonMobil in the cover e-mail to your May 15, 2018 submission, responses were provided for all Part I IRs with the exception of IR-8 and IR-16. The Agency understands that responses for these IRs will be included in a subsequent response submission.

The Agency requires acceptable responses to IRs in order to complete its review of the EIS and to proceed with the preparation of its Environmental Assessment Report. The Agency has completed an initial review of ExxonMobil's submitted responses to Part I IRs to determine whether they are sufficient to proceed with a technical review and pose follow-up questions, as necessary. The Agency has identified seven responses that do not provide sufficient information:

  • IR-7
  • IR-15
  • IR-40
  • IR-53
  • IR-54
  • IR-55
  • IR-63

The Agency therefore re-iterates the requirements stated in the above-noted IRs. The Agency is available to meet with you to elaborate on what is missing from the responses.

In addition, please note that the conformity of IR-69, which requires spill modelling at a deep water site, will be determined after the additional spill modelling for exploration licence 1134 has been received and reviewed by the Agency and federal review team.

The Agency will commence a technical review of the remaining IR responses, during which it will seek input from government expert departments and Indigenous participants. The Agency may request further information based on the outcome of that review.

The timeline for the EA remains paused. Once you have submitted complete responses to all IRs, including information on EL 1134 as outlined in the Agency's letter of March 23, 2018, the Agency will take a period of between 15 and 30 days without the timeline resuming to form an opinion on whether the required information has been provided. If the Agency determines the responses to be complete, it will commence a technical review of the additional information and the timeline for the environmental assessment will resume the following day. If the responses are determined to be incomplete, you will be notified at that time. If the Agency has not come to a conclusion after 30 days, the timelines will resume the next day. For further information, please consult the Agency document Information Requests and Timelines


<Original signed by>

Project Manager – Atlantic Region
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Cc: Janna Kenny – ExxonMobil Canada Ltd.
Elizabeth Young, Canada - Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
Darrin Sooley, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Glenn Troke, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Allison Denning, Health Canada
Jason Flanagan, Transport Canada
Veronica Mossop, Natural Resources Canada
Carla Stevens, Major Projects Management Office

Date modified: