News Release
Due to Potential Significant Environmental Impacts – Federal Approval not Granted for Project

OTTAWA, November 30, 2012 – Canada's Environment Minister Peter Kent announced today that the Shallow Gas Infill Development Project proposed by Cenovus Energy at Canadian Forces Base Suffield National Wildlife Area in Alberta will not be granted federal approval to proceed.  The Government has decided that the significant adverse environmental effects that would be caused by the project are not justified in the circumstances. Today, the Government is issuing the first decision statement under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012.

"We make these environmental assessment decisions based on the best available scientific evidence," said Minister Kent.  "This decision is a clear indication of our Government's commitment to strengthening environmental protection as a pillar of our Responsible Resource Development initiative."

The project has undergone a thorough environmental review based on the best available scientific evidence by an independent Joint Review Panel under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. In making its decision, the Government of Canada took into consideration the recommendations of the Joint Review Panel, as well as subsequent identification of critical habitat in the area for species at risk, and agreed with the Panel's conclusions regarding the significance of the project's environmental impacts.

"This decision also indicates that Responsible Resource Development is not an automatic green light for all development projects, only those projects that meet our environmental rigor will be approved," added Minister Kent.

The Minister wishes to thank the Joint Review Panel Chair, Bob Connelly, and Panel Members Bill Ross and Gerry DeSorcy for their hard work and dedication in conducting a thorough and open environmental review.

The Minister's environmental assessment decision statement, a backgrounder and the Joint Review Panel Report are available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry, reference number 15620.

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Media may contact:

  • Adam Sweet
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of the Environment
    819-997-1441
  • Lucille Jamault
    Communications
    Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
    613-957-0434
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