News Release Archive

ENVIRONMENT--Department Responds to Sable Report
Environment Minister Wayne Adams has released the departmental
response to the recommendations of the Joint Public Review Panel
on the Sable gas projects.

The panel concluded the Sable Offshore Energy Project and
Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline are unlikely to cause
significant adverse environmental effect, provided the panel's
recommendations are implemented and the terms and conditions of
release are followed.

Mr. Adams has accepted this conclusion. "I believe that the Sable
gas projects will bring in a new environmental and economic era
for the people of Nova Scotia," he said.

The environmental terms and conditions from the Nova Scotia
Department of the Environment cover the construction and
operation of the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline from Country
Harbour, Guysborough Co., to the New Brunswick border, the
natural gas liquids pipeline to the Strait of Canso, the gas
processing plant at Goldboro, Guysborough Co., and the gas
liquids handling facility. There are 68 terms and conditions
outlined covering various aspects of the projects.

"We intend to rigorously invoke the precautionary principle of
environmental protection," said Mr. Adams. "We want to ensure
that proper planning, construction and operating techniques are
employed to reduce as much as possible the chance of
environmental risk to Nova Scotia."

The approval to proceed with permit applications includes
specific protection for surface watercourses, domestic water
supplies, old growth forests, heritage and archeological sites,
unique flora and fauna, and the lifestyle of people living near
the projects.

The terms and conditions of release also include mitigation of
dust created by construction, protection against erosion, rigid
conditions for any blasting, vegetation clearing, acid drainage,
requirements for emergency response planning, and solid waste

To ensure Nova Scotia environmental laws are rigidly enforced
without adding budgetary pressure on the taxpayer, the minister
has decided the Sable Offshore Energy Project and Maritimes and
Northeast Pipeline shall cover the costs of all provincial
environmental inspection work.

The proponents will be required to pay for air service time,
lodging, travel and additional Environment Department staff
required to ensure rigid compliance with environmental law.

The Environment Act permits the minister to ensure that projects
are not only environmentally acceptable, but also
socioeconomically advantageous to Nova Scotia. To that end, Mr.
Adams has stipulated the Sable Offshore Energy Project work to
develop an industrial strategy to ensure Nova Scotians receive
the maximum economic benefits from the projects.

The proponent has been ordered to work with the Nova Scotia
Petroleum Directorate and Economic Development and Tourism to
outline options for a hydrocarbon industry in the province. The
condition compels the Sable Offshore Energy Project to design a
strategy to maximize environmental and economic benefits to the

The Sable gas projects proposals were scrutinized by the Joint
Public Review Panel established by the Nova Scotia Department of
the Environment, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency,
the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Natural
Resources Canada, the Canada/Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
and the National Energy Board.

The panel provided a single process for the environmental
assessment and regulatory review of the projects. It was
established under an agreement signed by the governments of
Canada and Nova Scotia. 


Contact: Paul McEachern
         Department of the Environment

NOTE TO EDITORS: Copies of the terms and conditions are available
at offices of the Department of the Environment. The Halifax
office is at 5151 Terminal Rd., fifth floor; phone: 902-424-5300.

sab                        Dec. 3, 1997          5:24 p.m.