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Report of the Terra Nova Development Project Environmental Assessment Panel

Appendix B: Terms of Reference

Definitions

In these Terms of Reference, "Environmental effect", "follow-up program", and "mitigation" have the same meaning as I Section 2 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act; and "Board", "Canada-Newfoundland Benefits Plan", "Development Application", "Development Plan", "Minister of the Environment", "Minister of Environment and Labour", "Minister of Natural Resources", "Minister of Mines and Energy", "Panel", "Project", "Proponent", and "Secretariat", have the same meaning as in Paragraph 1 of the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Environmental Assessment of the Terra Nova Development.

General

1. The Panel will conduct a review of the environmental effects of the Project, considerations of human safety incorporated into the proposed design and operation of the Project, the general approach to the development and exploitation of the petroleum resources respecting the Project, and the employment and industrial benefits that are expected to accrue to the Province, and to Canada, from the Project.

Scope of the Review

2. The Panel will include in its review consideration of the factors listed in Schedule 1 to this Annex.

Limitation

3. The Panel's mandate shall not include an examination of questions of energy policy, jurisdiction, the fiscal and royalty regime, or the division of revenues between the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Public Participation

4. The Panel shall conduct its review in a manner which shall promote and facilitate public participation.

Conduct of the Review

5. The review procedures to be set by the Panel will be generally consistent with Section 2.5 of the Board's 1988Development Application Guidelines, which are set out in Schedule 2, and will be published by the Panel prior to the commencement of hearings.

Panel to Monitor Preliminary Review of Application

6. During the Board's preliminary review of the Development Application, the Panel, its Secretariat, or both, will monitor the review process and, on invitation from the Board, will provide advice concerning the adequacy of the information contained in the Development Application for the purposes of public review.

Referral of Documentation to Panel

7. Following the board's determination that the documentation contained in the Development Application is complete and suitable for public review, the Board shall refer the documentation to the Panel for public review. The documentation will include, but not be limited to, an environmental impact statement, a socio-economic impact statement, a Development Plan and a Canada-Newfoundland Benefits Plan.

Additional Information

8. The Panel will gather any information it requires for the conduct of its review, including but not limited to:

  1. information on the Project;
  2. existing technical, environmental or other information relevant to the review;
  3. insofar as is appropriate, the conclusions and recommendations of the Hibernia Environmental Assessment Panel and information in response to those recommendations;
  4. supplementary information including a description of any Proponent-initiated public consultation program, its nature and scope, issues identified, commitments made and outstanding issues; and
  5. any proposed work plans, terms of reference or guidelines relating to the Proponent's preparation of its development application.

Distribution of Information

9. The Panel shall ensure that the information referred to in Paragraphs 7 and 8 is made available for public examination.

Comments on Information

10. Prior to announcing the schedule for public hearings, the Panel will request public comment to determine whether additional information should be provided before convening the public hearings. The time period for receipt of comments shall not be less than thirty (30) days and shall not exceed sixty (60) days.

Panel May Request Additional Information

11. Should the Panel identify deficiencies after reviewing the information referred to in Paragraphs 7 and 8, and in consideration of any comments which are received pursuant to Paragraph 10, it may request additional information from the Proponent. Any request for additional information shall be issued within fifteen (15) days following the expiry of the period for comment described in Paragraph 10.

Location of Hearings

12. The Panel will hold its hearings in St. John's and in such other locations that may be determined to be appropriate by the Panel.

Announcement of Hearings

13. The Panel will schedule and announce the start of its public hearings respecting the Project once the Panel is satisfied with the information provided. A minimum of thirty (30) days and a maximum of sixty (60) days notice will be provided prior to the start of the hearings.

Reporting

14. The Panel will prepare and submit to the Board, to the Minister of Natural Resources, to the Minister of Mines and Energy, to the Minister of the Environment,

and to the Minister of Environment and Labour a report on its review of the Project, including:

  1. the anticipated environmental effects of the Project;
  2. the efficacy of any mitigation measures which are proposed by the Proponent;
  3. comments which are received from the public; and
  4. the terms and conditions under which the Project may proceed in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner. The report shall be submitted at the earliest possible date but in no event later than two hundred and seventy (270) days following receipt of the information referred to in Paragraph 7 of this Annex. The report of the Panel will be published.

Specialist Advisors to Panel

15. The Panel may secure the services of independent specialists to provide information on and help interpret technical and scientific issues. The names of any specialists retained and their advice to the Panel will be made public. Specialists hired by the Panel may be requested to appear before the Panel.

Factors to be Considered During Public Review

The public review of the Development Application respecting the Terra Nova Project shall include a consideration of the factors described below, the temporal scope of which consideration shall include all phases (i.e., construction, installation, commissioning, operation, decommission-ing and abandonment) of the Project:

  1. The purpose of the Project;
  2. The need for the Project;
  3. Alternative means of carrying out the Project which are technically and economically feasible;
  4. The temporal and spatial boundaries, for environmental assessment purposes, of the Project area;
  5. A description of the existing environment, or components thereof, including the socio-economic environment, which may reasonably be affected by the Project;
  6. The effects of the environment upon the Project;
  7. The environmental effects of the Project, including those due to malfunctions or accidents that may be reasonably expected to occur in connection with the Project;
  8. Cumulative environmental effects of the Project that are likely to result from the Project in combination with other projects or activities that have been or will be carried out;
  9. The significance of the effects described in items 6 through 8;
  10. Measures, including contingency and compensation measures as appropriate, that are technically and economically feasible and that would mitigate any significant adverse environmental effects of the Project which are identified pursuant to item 9;
  11. The significance of adverse environmental effects following the employment of mitigative measures referred to in item 10;
  12. The capacity of renewable resources that are likely to be significantly affected by the Project to meet the needs of the present and those of the future;
  13. The need for, and the contents of, follow-up programs respecting the results of the environmental assessment;
  14. Measures which have been taken by the Proponent of the Project to identify, evaluate, and minimize risks to human safety which may be associated with the operation of the Project;
  15. The general approach to the development and exploitation of the petroleum resources respecting the Terra Nova oil field;
  16. The employment and industrial benefits that are expected to result from the Project and the general measures that are proposed or could be undertaken to optimize those benefits, particularly in the local and regional economies; and
  17. Comments from the public respecting any of the matters described above.