Meeting Summary - 9 February 2011
Arctic Offshore Drilling Review
9 February 2011
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
|Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board boardroom
Purpose: Arctic Offshore Drilling Review meeting with the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board
|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, NEB|
Introductory Remarks (NEB and YESAB):
- An overview of the mandate of YESAB was provided
- 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 YESAB were asked what is on their minds when it comes to offshore drilling in the Arctic?
Dialogue with YESAB:
In response to the question put forward, a number of areas of interest and concern were raised by YESAB, including:
- Emergency Response and Preparedness:
- Is it technically possible to drill a well and relief well in the same season?
- Must be hearing about blow out preventers and that not being the only protection
- Even with redundancy after redundancy there are still failures
- The big questions are how to get at the oil, what to do with it and what it will do
- With respect to benefits agreements (on and offshore), what is INAC's role - if caribou in NWT are impacted, Yukon resources (porcupine caribou) will be used and therefore the Yukon (Vuntut Gwich'in) impacted
- North Slope/Yukon is complicated - key users are coming from the NWT and using Yukon resources (terrestrial and aquatic) - while everything is connected and linked, these are two different jurisdictions with different regimes
- NEB should talk to the Aklavik Hunters & Trappers Committee as well as look at the photos the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and Inuvialuit Game Council have - will get a sense of community being created (processing a whale)
- Northeast of Ivvavik - reverse onus clause (must demonstrate why a project can't be moved anywhere else)
- It is complicated on how definitions work and where Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act (YESAA) fits in
- Where would YESAB get involved in offshore drilling?
- When will the review be finalized?
- There is information available on the Arctic Net
- If an oil spill ended up in the Yukon, who would take care of it?
- What has the Yukon government said?
- How does the Yukon get involved - directly now or through particular projects?
- NEB should talk to the people of Old Crow - the Heritage Department has a great database (traditional use - Babic (sp?), Herschel, etc.)
- Families are tight between Canada and Alaska
- Unique Arctic Environment:
- Could refer to the Canadian Ice Service - shows how the Beaufort gyre works
- Does Greenland have the same challenges as in the Beaufort?
- Value of Resources:
- Beluga Management Zones are important and should be considered
- Is there potential for anything on Yukon land (facilities/infrastructure to support offshore) - national parks have strict land use restrictions
- How are the food chains working - maybe want the oil to go to the seafloor or maybe not - one big challenge is lack of ecological function information
- Great terrestrial information available re: Herschel Island
- Most tour operators for Herschel Island are based out of Whitehorse
Concluding Remarks and Follow-up Matters:
- NEB staff are available to assist YESAB with the process for the Review
- YESAB is interested in following the Review
- Date modified: