From the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. re: Conformity of the Joint Information Request Response Related to the Environmental Impact Statement Round 1 (Part 1 and Part 2) (see reference document # 31)

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

July 20, 2018

Sent by E-mail

Robert Stokes
Senior Regulatory Advisor
ExxonMobil Canada Ltd.
Suite 1000, 100 New Gower Street
St. John's, NL A1C 6K3
robert.e.stokes@exxonmobil.com

Dear Mr. Stokes,

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 Canada Ltd's (ExxonMobil) responses submitted to the Information Requirements (IRs) Parts I and II, sent by the Agency on March 13, 2018 and April 24, 2018, respectively. 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 conducted a conformity review based on the following:

  • May 15, 2018 submission consisting of responses to Part I IRs [IR-01 to IR-65 and clarifications CL-1 to CL-20 (common with Flemish Pass Offshore Exploration Drilling Project) and IR-66 to IR-70 and CL-21 (specific to Eastern Newfoundland Offshore Exploration Drilling Project)]. Responses to IR-08 and IR-16 responses were not included in this submission.
  • As communicated in the Agency's letter of June 7, 2018, seven responses in the May 15, 2018 submission were determined not to conform, requiring revision and resubmission.
  • July 5, 2018 submission which included Part II IRs (IR 16A, IR-78 to IR-89 and clarifications CL-24 and CL-25), as well as all outstanding Part I IRs (IR-08, IR-16 and the seven revised responses resulting from the Agency's previous conformity review).

The Agency has determined that the responses, with exception of IR-69, are sufficient to continue with a technical review. The Agency will review the IR responses and will seek input from government expert departments and Indigenous participants. Further information may be requested based on the outcome of the review.

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 ( EL 1134) has been received and reviewed by the Agency and federal review team.

Although the technical review is ongoing, the timeline for the EA will remain paused. When the requested information on EL 1134, as outlined in the Agency's letter of March 23, 2018, is received the Agency will take between 15 and 30 days to evaluate if the information provided is complete. If, at that time, 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 additional information is determined to be incomplete, you will be notified at that time. If the Agency has not come to a conclusion after 30 days, the timeline will resume the next day. For further information, please consult the Agency document Information Requests and Timelines https://www.canada.ca/en/environmental-assessment-agency/news/media-room/media-room-2016/information-requests-timelines.html.

Sincerely,

<Original signed by>

Shauna O'Brien
Project Manager – Atlantic Region
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Cc: Stephen Edwards – ExxonMobil Canada Ltd.
Janna Kenny – ExxonMobil Canada Ltd.
Elizabeth Young, Canada - Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
Kimberley Keats, 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

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