Strategic Environmental Assessment
The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB or Board) is currently coordinating a Strategic Environmental Assessment in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait (SEA). The purpose of the SEA is to understand the possible types of offshore oil and gas related activities that could one day be proposed in the Canadian offshore waters of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait and their associated risks, benefits, and management strategies. Unlike a normal NIRB review, the SEA is not focused on a proposed development project. Instead, it is focused on possible and hypothetical scenarios that outline possible activities and components of the oil and gas lifecycle that could realistically be expected to occur if oil and gas development was approved in the area. When the SEA is complete, the NIRB will provide a report and recommendations to the Federal Government to inform its future decision making processes.
In 2016 the Federal Government placed a moratorium on new oil and gas activities in all offshore Canadian Arctic waters and agreed to review this decision in 2021. The NIRB’s SEA report and associated recommendations are intended to inform this decision.
The NIRB held a Final Public Meeting in Iqaluit March 18-22, 2019 and will provide a Final Report and recommendations to the Federal Government by May 31, 2019.