Following correspondence between the Inuvialuit Game Council and the Minister of Environment, in June 2004, relating to their concerns regarding the environmental assessment of offshore oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea, discussions began between the federal government and the Inuvialuit which resulted in a workshop held March 2005 in Inuvik launching the process to develop the BSStRPA.
The outcome of the workshop was recognition that the Beaufort Sea Strategic Regional Plan of Action must take a community-based approach to the identification of regional needs with respect to planning for future offshore oil and gas development (including the coastal transition zone), and the actions needed to address them.
Using this approach, the BSStRPA will recommend specific priority actions and implementation plans to effectively prepare for oil and gas exploration and development in the Beaufort Sea and coastal transition zone, based on the collective perspective of the Inuvialuit communities and organizations, government, industry and others. The recommendations in the BSStRPA will facilitate the protection of environmental quality, the building of sustainable communities (including social, economic and cultural dimensions), and responsible economic development within a sound environmental management framework. The development of the process is to be completed by March 31, 2007.
The BSStRPA Steering Committee involves Inuvialuit Settlement Region organizations, federal and territorial governments and industry
. To be specific, the Inuvialuit Game Council and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation represent the Inuvialuit Settlement Region; the Government of Canada includes Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada , Environment Canada, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency , Natural Resources Canada and the National Energy Board.
Both the governments of the Northwest Territories (Government of the Northwest Territories - Home Page), and Yukon (Home Page - Government of Yukon ) are members; and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) Home), ConocoPhilips (About ConocoPhillips Canada ) and Devon Canada (Devon Canada Corp) represent the oil and gas industry.
The Inuvialuit Game Council is the chair and there is also a Coordinator for the process. Seven technical advisory committees report to the Steering Committee.
The BSStRPA will take a community-based approach to the identification of regional needs with respect to planning for future offshore oil and gas development (including the coastal transition zone), and the actions needed to address them. The outcome of this process will be a Strategic Regional Plan of Action for the Beaufort Sea and coastal transition zone in preparing for the subsequent induced development from the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project.
The BSStRPA will address the Beaufort Sea and the adjacent near-shore transition zone. It will include those areas of the offshore Beaufort and coastal transition zone where the next wave of hydrocarbon activity is likely to occur.
Offshore, the boundary takes into account Indian and Northern Affairs’ hydrocarbon leases, potential methane hydrate areas, as well as those areas planned for seismic work by GX Technology Corporation (www.i-o.com), and ExplorData Ltd. (www.explordata.com).
Onshore, the area includes the Yukon Coastal Plain, the northern Mackenzie Delta and the Tuk Peninsula.
Of course, the area of impact will be much greater depending, for instance, on the influence of offshore infrastructure on the stability of soil or, subsidence onshore in places such as the Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary. It will also include those communities that could be directly affected by hydrocarbon development including the communities of Aklavik, Holman, Inuvik, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour and Tuktoyaktuk within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. The ongoing development and refinement of future development scenarios identifying the location and timing of activity will assist in further delineating the geographic and temporal scope of the plan, as well as the issues and challenges to be addressed. The area of interest is shown in Figure 1.
Click on map below for larger image.