CORNER BROOK The Western Environment Centre is urging anyone with an opinion on Shoal Point Energy’s plans to drill for oil in western Newfoundland to speak up.
Those plans for the Green Point shale area, which includes offshore areas near Lark Harbour and Sally’s Cove, call for the use of the controversial hydraulic fracturing technique.
According to a press release issued by the Western Environment Centre on Saturday, public opinion can be submitted to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board up until March 25.
“This information is not clearly posted on the CNLOPB website,” stated the centre’s press release in relation to the deadline for public input.
Responses can be made to two documents Shoal Point Energy and its partner, Black Spruce Exploration, have submitted and which have been posted on the CNLOPB’s website. Those documents — which can be accessed at http://www.cnlopb.nl.ca/environment/bsespe.shtml — include a project description and a draft scoping document.
The project description contains information about the three exploration licences involved in the project and plans for two wells this year and additional wells up until 2019. The draft scoping document, stated the press release, serves as a terms of reference for the future environmental assessment the partnering companies will conduct.
This comment period is important, stated the environmental centre’s release, because it will help guide how the environmental assessment will unfold.
“You may want to consider raising the concern that public consultations were not properly conducted on this proposed project,” said the release. “The meetings in November 2012 that the Shoal Point Energy held were not held under the direction of the CNLOPB. It is unacceptable for the companies to try to count those meetings as public consultations.”
The Western Environment Centre urged those interested in following this issue to refer to the centre’s Facebook page on the topic, found by searching for "Save Gros Morne and Our West Coast" for further updates and information over the coming days.