Frequently Asked Questions about the Hebron Public Review

 What is the purpose of the Commission?

The Commission is mandated by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) to provide an independent public review of the Hebron Project Development Application.

Who is the Commission?

The Hebron Public Review will be conducted by Commissioner Miller Ayre, assisted by a team of professionals and independent specialists. 

What aspects of the development will the Commission examine?

Aspects of human safety, environmental protection, the general approach to the proposed development and resource exploitation, and the proposed benefits plan will be reviewed in accordance with the Commission’s Terms of Reference as set by the C-NLOPB.

Why does the Project need a Public Review?

Quite simply, an independent Public Review is a requirement for each major offshore development as mandated by the Atlantic Accord. A review conducted by a Commissioner independent of industry or government also ensures that the proposed development is in the best interest of the public. A public review also provides a platform for groups and individuals to give their informed opinions about this mega project.

A Hebron Benefits Agreement was signed in 2008. Why do you need to review another benefits plan?

The signed 2008 Benefits Agreement outlined some terms between the partners and the Provincial Government. A full benefits plan and analysis, covering the entire life of the Project from construction to production, are still required as part of the Development Application and need to be reviewed prior to project approval.

Why did you request information from the operator?

The Additional Information Request was conducted as part of the Initial Review, whereby additional information is requested from the operator, ExxonMobil, regarding their Development Application. Once this information was received, accepted and made public, the Commissioner announced the schedule of the Public Review Sessions to discuss the merits of the project. The information presented during these review stages will inform the Commissioner as he writes his report.

Where and when will the Public Review Sessions be held?

The Public Review Sessions will be held in St. John’s, Marystown and Clarenville from November 21 to December 8. Further details are available on our website. Please note that this schedule is subject to change.

How can I make a presentation at the Public Review Sessions?  

Those wishing to participate in these sessions should pre-register with the Commission as soon as possible. The deadline to submit written presentations and/or speaking notes is November 14. The submissions will be posted to the Commission’s website upon receipt. A schedule listing the order of presentations will be available before the beginning of each day, and made available on the Commission’s website. Participants should note that the Commission will try to accommodate session preferences.

A group or individual who is not pre-registered may also speak at a Session, provided there is time to do so after all of the pre-registered participants have presented. Please refer to Section 4 of the Commission’s Operational Procedures for more information and guidance on presenting at the Public Review Sessions.

When will the Commission’s report be released?

The report of the Hebron Public Review Commission will be submitted to the provincial Minister of Natural Resources, the federal Minister of Natural Resources and the C-NLOPB in late February or early March. We cannot comment on the release of a Final Decision by the C-NLOPB as this is outside of our Terms of Reference.