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From the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to Nexen Energy ULC re: Conformity of the Environmental Impact Statement

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Suite 200
1801 Hollis Street
Halifax NS B3J 3N4

Agence canadienne d'évaluation environnementale
Bureau 200
1801 rue Hollis
Halifax, NE B3J 3N4

April 4, 2018

Sent by E-mail

Russell Morrison
Senior Environment and Regulatory Advisor
Nexen Energy ULC
80 1 – 7th Avenue SW
Calgary AB T2P 3P7
Russell.morrison@nexencnoocltd.com

Dear Mr. Morrison,

SUBJECT: Outcome of conformity review of the Environmental Impact Statement

On February 21, 2018, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) received the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and EIS Summary for the Nexen Energy ULC Flemish Pass Exploration Drilling Project (the Project) from Nexen Energy ULC (the proponent). The Agency reviewed the EIS and EIS Summary in consideration of the requirements of the Guidelines for the Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS Guidelines), issued to the proponent by the Agency on July 25, 2017.

The Agency has concluded that the EIS and EIS Summary conform to the EIS Guidelines and is commencing the technical review of the documents. The EIS and EIS summary will be posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet Site (http://www.ceaa.gc.ca). The public and Indigenous groups will be invited to comment during the comment period which will run between April 4, 2018 and May 4, 2018.

Please note that proceeding to a technical review and public comment period does not imply that the information in the EIS is adequate to support the completion of the environmental assessment (EA). The Agency will be issuing Information Requirements (IRs) to you based on the results of the technical review conducted by federal experts, and on input received from public and Indigenous participants. During the conformity review, federal authorities provided a number of comments on the EIS that may be developed into IRs following the technical review of the EIS. In particular, the Agency was advised that the duration of scenarios modelled to reflect worst-case accidental events was low. These comments will be forwarded for your consideration in a separate e-mail.

As of March 23, 2018, the federal legal timeline within which the Minister's decision must be made will resume. For more information the approach to managing federal environmental assessment timelines, please consult the Agency's "Operational Policy Statement: Information Requests and Timelines, February 2016" at https://www.canada.ca/en/environmental-assessment-agency/news/media-room/media-room-2016/information-requests-timelines.html. In accordance with subsections 27(6) and 23(2) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), the period that is taken by a proponent to respond to the IRs, when there is not sufficient information available for the purposes of conducting the EA, is not included in the calculation of the time limit within which the Minister's decision must be made.

This letter may be shared with Indigenous groups and posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet Site: http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

Should Nexen Energy ULC have any questions regarding the technical review of the EIS, please contact me at 902-426-8946 or via email at CEAA.NexenFlemishPas@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

Sincerely,

<Original signed by>

Cheryl Benjamin
Project Manager
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency - Atlantic Region

Cc: Elizabeth Young, Canada - Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
Kimberley Keats, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Glenn Troke, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Jason Flanagan, Transport Canada
Deborah Campbell, Natural Resources Canada
Carla Stevens, Major Projects Management Office

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