In August 2014, Aurora LNG bypassed a federal environmental assessment. At this time, the Grassy Bay site was the focus of their investigation and the public was told that Nexen was looking at that site. In late 2014, the community of Dodge Cove, and the public were told that Nexen was now switching their focus to the Digby Island location, within a 1/2 kilometre of our community boundaries.
Public comments relating to this substitution were open until July 28, 2014, months before the public was aware that Nexen was going to drop their lease on the Grassy Bay site and only focus on the Digby Island location, so close to human residential area. This public comment period regarding the Federal environmental assessment process was closed months before the community of Dodge Cove was approached by Nexen representatives to have their first meeting together regarding Nexen’s plans for Digby Island. During this first meeting in Nov. 2014, Digby Island residents were told that Nexen was looking at both locations still but that Digby Island looked more positive than the Grassy Bay site. There was not much information given at that meeting, and no maps were provided.
One week later, Nexen released the news that they were letting their lease go on Grassy Bay and focusing only on Digby Island.
“August 21, 2014 – The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency commenced an environmental assessment and the Minister of the Environment approved the substitution of the federal environmental assessment process by that of the Government of British Columbia for this project.”