Due to Potential Significant Environmental Impacts, Federal Approval not Granted for Project

Due to Potential Significant Environmental Impacts, Federal Approval not 
Granted for Project 
OTTAWA, Nov. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada's Environment Minister Peter Kent 
announced today that the Shallow Gas Infill Development Project proposed by 
Cenovus Energy at Canadian Forces Base Suffield National Wildlife Area in 
Alberta will not be granted federal approval to proceed. The Government has 
decided that the significant adverse environmental effects that would be 
caused by the project are not justified in the circumstances. Today, the 
Government is issuing the first decision statement under the Canadian 
Environmental Assessment Act 2012. 
"We make these environmental assessment decisions based on the best available 
scientific evidence," said Minister Kent."This decision is a clear 
indication of our Government's commitment to strengthening environmental 
protection as a pillar of our Responsible Resource Development initiative." 
The project has undergone a thorough environmental review based on the best 
available scientific evidence by an independent Joint Review Panel under the 
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. In making its decision, the Government 
of Canada took into consideration the recommendations of the Joint Review 
Panel, as well as subsequent identification of critical habitat in the area 
for species at risk, and agreed with the Panel's conclusions regarding the 
significance of the project's environmental impacts. 
"This decision also indicates that Responsible Resource Development is not an 
automatic green light for all development projects, only those projects that 
meet our environmental rigor will be approved," added Minister Kent. 
The Minister wishes to thank the Joint Review Panel Chair, Bob Connelly, and 
Panel Members Bill Ross and Gerry DeSorcy for their hard work and dedication 
in conducting a thorough and open environmental review. 
The Minister's environmental assessment decision statement, a backgrounder and 
the Joint Review Panel Report are available on the Canadian Environmental 
Assessment Registry at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca , reference number 15620. 
The Project
Cenovus Energy Inc. (formerly EnCana Corporation) proposed to drill up to 
1,275 new shallow gas wells within the boundary of the Canadian Forces Base 
(CFB) Suffield National Wildlife Area over a three-year period, essentially 
doubling the existing 1,154 gas wells installed before the area was declared a 
National Wildlife Area (NWA). The proposal would have included pipelines, 
access trails and other infrastructure.The NWA is located 50 km northwest of 
Medicine Hat in Alberta. 
The Area
The CFB Suffield NWA was created in recognition of its ecological integrity 
and the diversity and abundance of native plant and animal species. It is one 
of the few large blocks of dry mixed-grass prairie remaining in Canada and 
accounts for about 30 per cent of all the protected grasslands in Alberta. The 
NWA encompasses 458 km(2) of prairie grassland and hosts over 1,100 catalogued 
species including 19 terrestrial species listed under the Species at Risk Act. 
The Review Process
The Joint Review Panel was appointed on November 16, 2006, by the Minister of 
the Environment and the Chair of the former Alberta Energy and Utilities Board 
(predecessor to the Energy Resources Conservation Board), to conduct an 
assessment of the project. In addition to written submissions, a public 
hearing provided an opportunity for the Panel to receive and question 
information on the views of participants. 
Public hearings were held from October 6 to 31, 2008 in Calgary and Medicine 
Hat. Participants who provided evidence at the hearing, in addition to the 
proponent, included the Government of Canada, the Environmental Coalition, the 
Suffield Environmental Advisory Committee, the Suffield Industry Range 
Control, members of the public, environmental groups, energy companies, and 
Panel experts.The Panel released its report on January 27, 2009. 
Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012, the Minister set a 
timeline for the Government decision for this project to be made by December 
3, 2012. 
Additional details and environmental assessment documents are available in the 
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency registry at www.ceaa.gc.ca , 
reference number 15620. 
Media may contact: 
Adam Sweet Press Secretary Office of the Minister of the Environment 
Lucille Jamault Communications Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency 
SOURCE: Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency 
To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
CO: Government of Canada
ST: Ontario
-0- Nov/30/2012 14:00 GMT
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