Atlantic Canada’s offshore industry is committed to developing resources responsibly and strives at all times to mitigate potential impacts on the environment. The industry is governed by a robust regulatory regime and companies meet or exceed all environmental protection regulations while also adhering to global best practices.
Before any offshore oil and natural gas activity is undertaken, regulators may require an environmental assessment. This assessment considers possible environmental effects of proposed activities, and is then used as a planning and decision-making tool. As part of the environmental assessment process, operators identify mitigation measures that will be used to minimize environmental impacts.
Operators also develop and submit environmental protection plans to the appropriate regulatory authority. These plans outline measures that are proposed to prevent or mitigate potential effects on the environment and/or other ocean-based industries, like the fishing industry. As part of environmental protection planning, operators also develop contingency plans for environmental emergencies to ensure that adequate response measures, including trained workers and equipment, are in place in the event of an incident. While the industry’s focus is on prevention of environmental emergencies, proper response preparation is crucial.
Operators are committed to continuous improvement in environmental performance. Offshore operators regularly assess new research and technology as a means of identifying continuous improvement opportunities and funds research dedicated to further strengthening environmental performance.