ARCHIVED – Open House Summary Notes – 21 January 2011

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Arctic Offshore Drilling Review

Open House Summary Notes

Date and Location
Date Location
21 January 2011
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Aklavik Council Chambers
Aklavik, NT

Purpose: the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review to the residents of Aklavik

Residents of Aklavik
Doug Esogak
Steve Baryluk
Shawna Kaglik
Gaétan Caron Chair and Chief Executive Officer, NEB
David Hamilton Member, NEB
Brian Chambers Northern Advisor, NEB
Bharat Dixit Technical Leader, Conservation of Resources, NEB
Pamela Romanchuk Environmental Specialist, NEB
Susan Gudgeon Northern Coordinator, Arctic Offshore Drilling Review, NEB

Introductory Remarks (NEB):

  • An overview of the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review was provided, including the mandate of the NEB, a description of the Review and the events leading up to the Review.
  • The question was posed asking "what do you want to see answered before the NEB looks at an application for offshore drilling?"

Dialogue with residents of Aklavik:

In response to the question put forward to the residents of Aklavik, a number of areas of interest and concern were raised, including:

  1. Emergency Response and Preparedness:

    • Don't hear much about oil response – it is not talked about
    • Spills may not be reported that are happening now
    • Before drilling in deeper water, vessels that can recover oil quickly are needed
    • If there is an oil spill in Alaska it will come to Canada – who will clean up?
    • A recovery vessel should be built – could rent it out when it is not needed
    • Need to know who to contact if there is an incident – no finger pointing between government departments
    • Are relief wells needed?
    • What is NEB's position on dispersants?
    • Don't have response capabilities
    • There should be response equipment at whaling camps (Shingle Point) – people know how to operate boats and haul whales, they could do the job – this would help protect the shoreline
    • Need to see a recovery vessel – this would give some comfort
  2. General:

    • Does anyone have experience with the application turned down years ago (1991)?
    • How many drill sites will there be in deeper water?
    • Will artificial burms be built up?
    • What would it take to change Significant Discovery Licence laws – get an SDL then sit on them forever?
    • Should develop near shore before deep offshore
    • How is compensation dealt with?
    • Matters regarding benefits go through INAC/IRC
    • A strong message should be sent to industry to develop near shore first
    • If industry went broke, is it the responsibility of Canada?
    • What is the percentage of recovery from the Alaska spill – what is the rate of recovery of animals?
    • Need more testing and follow-up
    • Need to do clean up
      • Sumps all over (200 in this area)
      • Imperial at Bar C – huge mess and stuff left behind
      • Johnson Point
      • Imperial Oil – rig still sitting on the bottom of the Beaufort
      • Shingle Point – barrels have been there for years and years as well as garbage left from the DEW line
    • A spill here would be ten times worse than in the Gulf
    • Should have to clean up first, work near shore and then deep offshore
    • Saw radiation effects from Chernobyl in the area
  3. Inspections and Monitors:

    • Always knew with COGLA inspectors were coming – would dump stuff overboard – need NEB inspectors on rig 24/7
  4. Past Experience:

    • Would not speak up if saw something being done wrong on rig – would be fired from job

  5. Unique Arctic Environment and Currents:

    • It would be a different scenario if drilling occurred in the winter rather than the summer

  6. Value of Resources:

    • No one can put a dollar value on the land
    • Community Conservation Plans show critical areas – NEB should review these plans
    • Science does have good data about the leads for beluga/bowheads and the impact from oil
    • Depend on all species – lifestyle will be affected
    • Caribou are unhealthy from the contaminants on the land

Concluding Remarks and Follow-up Matters:

  • NEB is available to assist residents of Aklavik with the process to prepare for Phase 2 of the Review and be comfortable to come to the table
  • Will NEB come back to Aklavik and let people know what is happening?
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