It’s our job to ensure that all oil and gas activity carried out in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area is done safely and in an environmentally responsible manner.
Proposing a program?
We strongly encourage operators to begin discussions about proposed activity prior to (minimum 10 months) a proposed program to ensure the regulatory process is fully understood and sufficient time is provided to our team to complete our review.
Every operator that wants to conduct activities in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area must submit an application and an authorization must be granted before this work can begin. Depending on the type of activity, additional approvals may also be required. The application must meet our standards to ensure the work will be conducted in a manner that prioritizes the well-being of personnel working offshore, protection of the environment, and co-existence with other ocean users and industries (e.g. fishing, shipping, etc.). We go to great lengths to ensure that strict requirements are met before an authorization may be granted, which includes:
- Ensuring all necessary equipment, systems, operating plans and procedures are in place
- Appropriately trained personnel are in place
- All reasonable precautions are taken to protect safety and the environment
Our Authorization Process
One of the first steps of the authorization process is the completion of an Environmental Assessment. Depending on the type of activity, we may lead a project-specific environmental assessment or the Impact Assessment Agency may lead an impact assessment to support our review of an application pursuant to the Accord Acts. Depending on the legislative requirements for a proposed specific activity, an environmental assessment or impact assessment process can be completed between approximately six months to three years. This process must be completed before an application for an authorization for offshore activities may be approved.
Before an operator proposes an activity, the operator must prepare and compile documentation related to the proposed project, in addition to the environmental assessment process. The operator must also apply for an operating licence which is valid for one fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) and reapply after the licence has expired. Once an operating licence has been issued, the operator cannot transfer the licence to another company.
When the operator is preparing to submit documents for an activity authorization, we will assign a coordinator to facilitate the review completed by our team. Reviewing an activity authorization is a collaborative effort across our organization.
Once all documents are reviewed and an authorization is granted, our role transitions to Monitoring and Compliance. This is to ensure activities are conducted in compliance with all regulatory requirements and commitments made as part of the application for the activity. We also ensure the activity is conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner for the duration of the project.
Learn more below about activity authorizations and operator expectations.