PEI Minister of Environment concerned over drilling (CBC)

P.E.I. environment minister concerned over drilling June 2, 2010

CBC News

Prince Edward Island’s environment minister is calling for caution over plans to drill an exploratory oil well in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

A Halifax-based company, Corridor Resources, holds exploration licenses in an area, or prospect, known as Old Harry.

The area falls under the jurisdiction of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, and is thought to be one of the largest undrilled prospects in eastern Canada.

Richard Brown, provincial Minister of the Environment, said the drilling could have direct effects on Prince Edward Island.

“If there was a spill or if there was a leak like the one in the United States it would affect our north shore of Prince Edward Island and it would affect our many industries,” he said, “so we’re concerned about it.”

Brown said the National Energy Board would have to approve the plan before the company could drill an exploratory well.He said he has written to the board and the government of Quebec asking that public consultations take place and proper contingency plans be put in place before any drilling occurs.

“Canada is going to be under more pressure to issue offshore permits because the Americans are basically canceling all their permits,” Brown said. “I think nothing should be done until we have an overall plan here.”

Brown called on the energy board to review existing regulations to ensure any action taken is environmentally responsible.