Science Advisory Report 2011/065
Technical Review of Baffinland’s Mary River Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
- Baffinland’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) does not contain sufficient information to support the Proponent’s conclusions about Project effects on the marine environment.
- The proposed year-round shipping through Foxe Basin and Hudson Strait is unprecedented and these areas are important for bowhead whale, narwhal, beluga, and walrus stocks.
- The results of baseline studies presented are inadequate to assess potential Project effects or to be used to monitor Project effects in the marine environment.
- Many key components of the ecosystem get limited or no consideration in the report. For example, there are no credible marine organisms other than marine mammals included as Valuable Ecosystem Components, which means there is no discussion of indirect or trophic effects.
- There is potential for significant residual impacts from the Project on the marine environment that have not been adequately assessed in the draft EIS. Vessel traffic and icebreaking, oil spills, ballast water, wave action, sediment redistribution, shipping and aircraft noise are not adequately assessed in the report. There was no discussion of fuel spills in ice, sub-lethal effects or delayed mortality resulting from Project effects, or quantitative cumulative effects analysis.
- The information presented in the draft EIS and the methods applied by the Proponent do not support the rejection of an eastern Baffin port based on the assessment of environmental impacts at this stage.
- The draft EIS lacks a thorough assessment of alternative shipping routes, the extent of area directly impacted by the Project, and transboundary effects.
- An alternative eastern Baffin port location may result in fewer impacts on marine mammals and, therefore, represent a better option for current and future development of industrial activities on Baffin Island.
This Science Advisory Report is based on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, regional advisory meetings of 7 March 2011 and 19 September 2011 for the Science Review of Baffinland's Mary River Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Additional publications from this process will be posted as they become available on the DFO Science Advisory Schedule.
This document is available in PDF format. If the document is not accessible to you, please contact the Secretariat to obtain another appropriate format, such as regular print, large print, Braille or audio version.
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