May 8, 2006

EnCana shallow gas infill project to undergo EA by review panel

OTTAWA, ONT-A shallow gas infill development project proposed by EnCana for the Canadian Forces Base Suffield National Wildlife Area (NWA) has been referred for environmental assessment (EA) by an independent review panel. Federal Environment Minister Rona Ambrose said that, based on based on a track report and recommendation by the Department of National Defence (DND), "...a review panel is the most appropriate type of environmental assessment for this project." The proposed project would continue Encana's development of shallow gas infill wells throughout the NWA in order to extract sweet shallow gas from reserves found in this area during previous drilling activities. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act requires the Environment Minister to decide whether the EA should continue as a comprehensive study or be referred to a review panel. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is discussing the possibility of a joint EA with the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB). The two agencies will provide information on the timing of next steps and public involvement once they have determined how they should proceed. Participant funding will be made available to facilitate public participation in the EA process for this project. The DND track report may be requested from Eric TrĂˆpanier, senior environmental advisor with DND, 613/945-0398, E-mail trepanier.ep@forces.gc.ca. More information on the project is available through the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry, www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca, reference No 05-03-15620.

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