Workshop Meeting Summary - 21 January 2011

Arctic Offshore Drilling Review

Workshop Meeting Summary

Date and Location
Date Location
Friday
21 January 2011
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Aklavik Council Chambers
Aklavik, NT

Purpose: Arctic Offshore Drilling Review workshop meeting with the Aklavik Hunters & Trappers Committee and the Community Corporation Members

Participants
Participants
William Storr
Evelyn Storr
Manny Arey
Annie B. Gordon
Don Storr
Dean McLeod
Andrew Gordon
Dean Arey
Wilson Malegana
Joe Arey
Michelle Gruben
 
Doug Esogak Inuvialuit Game Council
Steve Baryluk Joint Secretariat
Shawna Kaglik Joint Secretariat
Gaétan Caron Chair and Chief Executive Officer, NEB
David Hamilton Member, NEB
Brian Chambers Northern Advisor, NEB
Bharat Dixit Technical Leader, Conservation of Resources, NEB
Pamela Romanchuk Environmental Specialist, NEB
Susan Gudgeon Northern Coordinator, Arctic Offshore Drilling Review, NEB

Introductory Remarks (NEB):

  • An overview of the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review was provided, including the mandate of the NEB, the events leading up to the Review and the various phases of the Review.
  • The HTC and CC members were asked what can you tell us about your community, land and environment that offshore drilling may affect?

Dialogue with HTC and CC members:

In response to the question put forward, a number of areas of interest and concern were raised by HTC and CC members, including:

  1. Emergency Response and Preparedness:

    • Coordination is important as communities rely on each other
    • Spill containment plans need to have local people involved as they can provide some resources to respond to an emergency
    • Given the cost of cleaning up in the Gulf, companies should be prepared to have two ships - that is the cost of doing business in the Arctic

  2. General:

    • If an oil company puts in an application would they follow east coast or US standards?
    • When companies submit management plans it is one thing on paper but must be assured the personnel and equipment are in place
    • Drug and alcohol testing needs to be done on an ongoing basis
    • Everything is consistent at the start up but things sometimes slack off over time
    • Biggest concern looking at the area and size of the Beaufort is the long term effects - animals would be affected for a long time
    • How will the NEB test current and emerging technologies
    • Benefits to the people will be minimal and no benefits to those in some communities even though there are risks to them - need some reassurance even if it costs companies more - cost of doing business in the Arctic
    • Can't put a price on life
    • Need to make sure things are looked after for all Canadians, not just those in the Arctic
    • Rather than having set dates that drilling has to happen by, may need to take a step back and make sure things are in place
    • Industry needs to demonstrate to people the methods they will use (ie: if this the situation this is how and what they will do) and could be done by video as this gives a better understanding - NEB may want to make this a requirement
    • What is reasonable to industry is totally different to different groups of people
    • Must think of safety before money
    • Has directional drilling been considered?
    • It is important to approach matters the same way - companies should work together for consistency and this would give some comfort to people
    • Need to talk to students so they and learn and look ahead to the future

  3. Past Experiences:

    • Years ago people didn't meet like this - if they did things would have been different
    • How many people were hurt or died in the past because they were not trained?
    • Need to learn from past mistakes
    • Grew up listening to the elders - they know so much that we can learn from
    • In past listened to elder talk about the coastline and how we need to protect it. This was when there were people working on the DEW line - the elder said to wait until people go out on the big water. How did she know that way back then and now we hear and see it happening - people are out on the big water working

  4. Unique Arctic Environment:

    • There is different equipment out there and it isn't being shared - it is a tough environment and the best of the best needs to be used
    • Everything in the Arctic take a long time to grow and recover - one accident will have a great impact and make it tough to harvest
    • Last year caribou were going way out in the ocean for salt
    • There isn't as much traffic as in the Gulf to come for relief and support - may need the Canadian Coast Guard in Tuktoyaktuk
    • Ships can't move in certain ice conditions - there will need to be strict standards for ships
    • Ice is unpredictable - some years it is right to the shore and other years it is way out
    • If someone goes out there and gets stuck, who is going to go out there and pull them out - they need to do their homework before going out
    • Currents are really strong out there
    • It is important to protect the coastline - it is not just the fish but the muskrats and other animals
    • If there is a blowout no one is close to provide help
    • There have been lots of changes but ice is still the boss
    • Ice is changing - big ice at Shingle Point used to be right to the shore in the 60's, now it is not like that
    • There can be big ice and then in a few minutes the current comes and there isn't even the smallest bit of ice left
    • The ice and current are strong and can sweep a ship away


  5. Value of Resources:

    • People won't see any royalties
    • People rely on whales for food and even without a spill, increased traffic will affect them
    • Because of seismic work, whales aren't going to Shallow Bay
    • 70% of food is fish and whale - a blowout will hurt a lot of people's way of life

Concluding Remarks and Follow-up Matters:

  • NEB to provide copies of maps and pictures used
  • NEB encourages continued participation in the Review
Date modified: