Hearing Participation - Projects in Canada’s North - Questions and Answers

Depending on where a project is located in the North, different legislative and regulatory environmental assessment requirements may apply. The content below will help you better understand how you can participate.

Projects being considered under the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act

  1. What type of projects fall under COGOA?
  2. Can I participate in the review of a COGOA project?
  3. How would the NEB decide if I am ‘sufficiently impacted’?
  4. How would the NEB decide if my participation would assist its decision making?
  5. How can I participate in the review of a COGOA project if there is no hearing?

Projects being considered under the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

  1. What type of COGOA projects fall under CEAA 2012
  2. How can I participate in an environmental assessment under CEAA 2012?

Projects being considered under the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act

1. What type of projects fall under COGOA?

The National Energy Board (NEB) has regulatory responsibilities for oil and gas exploration and production in some parts of the North. Some of the activities that the NEB regulates under COGOA are:

  • Seismic Operations;
  • Offshore Drilling; and
  • Construction and Operation of a Production Facility.

Find out more about where the NEB regulates under COGOA.

2. Can I participate in the review of a COGOA project?

Should the NEB determine that a public hearing will be held for a project, a public announcement will be made that will include information on the hearing process and how people can participate.

In determining who would be able to participate, the NEB may rely on established guidance for hearings under the National Energy Board Act. This guidance states that you will be allowed to participate if you are sufficiently impacted by the Board’s decision or may be allowed to participate if your participation will assist the Board in making its decision.

3. How would the NEB decide if I am ‘sufficiently impacted’?

The Board decides on a case-by-case basis who is sufficiently impacted. The Board will consider the nature of your interest and whether you have specific and detailed interest, rather than a general public interest. Examples of interests that could support participation, depending on the type of application, are:

  • commercial, property or other financial interest (including employment);
  • personal use and occupancy of the land or offshore area and resources; or
  • use of the land or offshore area and resources for traditional Aboriginal purposes.

4. How would the NEB decide if my participation would assist its decision making?

The NEB considers, on the facts of each case:

  • the source of your knowledge (for example, local, regional, or Aboriginal);
  • your qualifications (for example, if you have specialist knowledge and experience);
  • the extent to which the information you have relates to the application; and
  • how much your participation will add value to, or assist the Board in making, its decision.

5. How can I participate in the review of a COGOA project if there is no hearing?

For projects that do not involve a hearing, you may wish to share your views in a written letter of comment. Your submission should include information explaining to the NEB how you are personally and directed affected or impacted or what relevant information you want to provide.

Projects being considered under the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

1. What type of COGOA projects fall under CEAA 2012

An environmental assessment is required under CEAA 2012 if a proposed project is listed in the Regulations Designating Physical Activities. One of these projects is the drilling, testing and abandonment of offshore exploratory wells in the first drilling program in an area set out in one or more exploration licenses.

2. How can I participate in an environmental assessment under CEAA 2012?

When conducting an environmental assessment of a COGOA project under CEAA 2012, the NEB will provide members of the public with an opportunity to comment and may also offer additional participation options, depending on the nature of the project. A public announcement will be made that will include information on the environmental assessment process and how people can participate.

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