Meeting Summary - 10 February 2011

Arctic Offshore Drilling Review

Meeting Summary

Date and Location
Date Location
Thursday
10 February 2011
10:10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Government of Yukon Building
Whitehorse, YK

Purpose: Arctic Offshore Drilling Review meeting with the Government of Yukon

Participants
Participants
Premier Dennis Fentie
Minister Patrick Rouble
Gordon Steele
Dale Drown
Ron Sumanik
Kim Solonick
 
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):

  • 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.

Dialogue with Government of Yukon:

Following the introduction, a number of areas of interest and concern were raised by Government of Yukon, including:

  1. General:

    • Will this be the only opportunity for input into the Review?
    • There is only one planet - everything is connected
    • What is happening, what can happen and what can't happen with respect to the existing dispositions - need to understand this even though in the immediate future, those that currently have dispositions can't drill
    • How does CEAA fit in?
    • King Point would be a convenient harbour if drilling proceeds
    • It is important that there are no applications before the NEB at this time
    • Are there plans to transport by tanker?
    • Is consideration being given to Whitehorse for Phase 2 of the Review?
    • Who has jurisdiction for worker safety?
    • How much contact has there been with Alaska?
    • Where the majority of activity will take place is one thing but impacts are another - long term impacts will be felt far away from where activity is - Whitehorse is an appropriate location to inform the public - if something happens, misinformation will not muddy the waters if people are informed - this could be seen in the Gulf where there was misinformation
    • NEB should engage as much as possible on the ground
    • There are not many living along the shoreline in the Yukon but impacts will go inland for a long time

  2. Unique Arctic Environment:

    • Increased sense of responsibility given what happened in the Gulf - they already had access to infrastructure, hospitals, transportation - given the size of the area where it is isolated, cold, dark and has dynamic ice adds to the complexity but at the same time there is an increasing need for energy
    • When ice thaws a large volume of fresh water goes into salt water - how does this interact and how will oil disperse in this - this is different than in the Gulf
    • Because of the gyre, a spill will inevitably go to Yukon shores

Concluding Remarks and Follow-up Matters:

  • NEB staff are available to assist Government of Yukon with the process for the Review
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