New Offshore Legislation on Environmental Protection Now in Effect

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OTTAWA, Feb. 26, 2016  – New measures to strengthen environmental protection and safety in Canada’s offshore will come into force today.

 Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources,Jim Carr, made the announcement in Ottawa. 

The Energy Safety and Security Act enshrines the polluter-pays principle in legislation and increases absolute liability in the offshore.

Operators’ liability will remain unlimited in cases of fault or negligence and increase to $1 billion regardless of fault. The legislation requires emergency planning, environmental plans and other documents to be made available to the public.

This will ensure that the public can review and understand the steps operators will take to prevent and respond to incidents.

Minister Carr also announced the publication of three new regulations necessary to fully implement the legislation. First, the Financial Requirements Regulations require applicants to demonstrate that they have the means to cover any claims in the event of an accident or spill.

Second, the Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations provide the offshore regulatory boards with an additional tool to strengthen compliance and enforcement with regulatory requirements. Third, the Cost Recovery Regulations establish a framework through which the Atlantic offshore regulatory boards will recover their operating costs from industry and reduce the cost for governments.

“The legislation ensures that companies operating in our offshore are prepared to cover their cleanup costs and that it is the polluter that pays for an incident and not taxpayers, ” said Minister Carr.

Transparency is also improved since the legislation requires emergency planning, environmental plans and other documents to be made available to the public.”

These amendments to the two Accord Acts and the associated regulations are the result of extensive collaboration between the Governments of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

Key Facts

  • The CanadaNewfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board are independent, joint agencies of the Governments of Canada andNewfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.
  • There are currently six projects, accounting for 11,000 jobs at peak in Newfoundland and Labrador and over 4,000 jobs in Nova Scotia.
  • Canada has collected $8.9 billion in royalties from the CanadaNewfoundland and Labrador offshore area and $1.9 billion in royalties from the CanadaNova Scotia offshore area and transferred equivalent amounts to the provinces.

 

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