OPERATIONS OF THIS INDUSTRY WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE
Montréal, March 8, 2011. – Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Pierre Arcand announced that he has released the report issued by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) on the sustainable development of the shale gas industry in Québec. In so doing, the minister announced that he looks favourably on the BAPE report and will immediately take action on its main recommendation and move forward with the strategic environmental assessment.
“The commissioners have produced a rigorous report that sheds valuable light on this issue. I welcome its main recommendations, and I can state that it will guide our future actions,” declared Minister Arcand.
The main recommendation: a strategic environmental assessment
In its report, the BAPE puts forth 43 observations and issues 101 opinions that are chiefly addressed to the Government of Québec. These recommendations target three main directions for intervention:
In order to immediately follow up on the report’s main recommendation (move forward with a strategic environmental assessment on shale gas), the minister announced that a committee of experts and representatives from government, municipalities and industry would be soon created.
The BAPE recommends that development be controlled during the strategic environmental assessment process. Transitional regulations will be required, and will be adopted in the short term. New drilling will only be authorized when required to advance scientific knowledge for the strategic environmental assessment.
“The government is committed to ensuring that this industry develops properly, or else close down. The people of Québec need to know that we will abide no compromise on matters of health, safety or respect for the environment, and that we will take all the time needed to ensure that these conditions are fulfilled,” the minister concluded.
Highlights of the report (French)
- 30 -