Dalhousie Law Journal


Canada, Newfoundland, Atlantic Accord Implementaion Act, petroleum, resources, regulaton, offshore, Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose, public input, CNOPB, oil


Section 44(2)(b) of the provincial and federal Canada-Newfoundland Atlantic Accord Implementation Acts provides for a public review of proposed developments of petroleum resources as part of the existing regulatory approval process for the Newfoundland Offshore Area. To date, public reviews have been conducted for three offshore oil developments: Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose. This paper examines the effectiveness and efficiency of the public review process for the White Rose Project. The author concludes that the review process was effective in successfully gathering public input and reporting this information to the CNOPB. Despite CNOPB's failure to accept many of the report's recommendations, the review process' recommendations regarding provincial benefits were tacitly accepted by the project developer. Finally, the author argues that the process was efficient as it was conducted in a timely manner and at a low cost relative to total pre-production costs. Whether these same benefits would accrue to a smaller offshore project, however remains in doubt.