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CEF and its staff offer long track records in completing successful, cost-effective environmental impact assessments of:

  • highways

  • offshore and onshore oil and gas projects

  • coal and gold mines

  • thermal and hydroelectric power plants

  • dredging projects

  • marine and land-based pipelines

  • sewage discharge outlets

  • airport runoff

  • aggregate quarries

  • landfills, and

  • coastal structures (wharves, breakwaters, etc.)

We have particular expertise in marine, wetland and aquatic impact analysis; our notable recent marine projects include many offshore seismic surveys, and the biophysical assessment of the Sable Offshore Energy Project. On land, we have reviewed the impacts of linear corridors, like the new Trans-Canada Highway in north-western Nova Scotia, and single-site projects, such as the Coalburn strip mine in Pictou County. We completed the risk analysis for salvage of the Irving Whale, a sunken oil barge; this began the process of its recovery from the depths of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

CEF staff are thoroughly familiar with provincial and federal environmental regulations, and we assist our clients with piloting projects through the regulatory process from beginning to end. We follow a balanced, scientifically valid approach to environmental assessment, based on impact pathways. Our approach takes into account both the need for sustainable development, and the protection of valuable ecosystems and natural biodiversity. We follow up our assessments with thorough mitigation and monitoring plans.

If you're contemplating a resource development in Nova Scotia or offshore, CEF can help guide your project through the full environmental approvals process.

CEF Projects

This coal strip mine in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, is surrounded by valuable wetlands; important trout streams run beside it. The mine received regulatory approval after a thorough assessment by CEF, including an ongoing effects monitoring program. CEF's rapid and thorough response to migratory bird issues raised by the Canadian Wildlife Service allowed the mining company to get permission to clear the site during a normally sensitive time of year.

The Trans-Canada Highway ties Nova Scotia to the rest of North America. The two-lane road from Truro to Oxford passed through a narrow, ecologically sensitive valley. CEF helped the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation choose a new path for a four-lane road among four possible routes, reviewing the environmental consequences of each. We then carried out a detailed assessment of the chosen routing, with particular care for the protection of wetlands and salmonid habitat. The new toll highway has dramatically cut travel time between Halifax and New Brunswick, while implementing our innovative designs for wetland conservation.

The $2 billion Sable Offshore Energy Project is the first major natural gas development on the Scotian Shelf, and Nova Scotia's largest construction project ever. CEF coordinated the biophysical impact assessment for the project, including offshore wells around Sable Island, a 200 km subsea pipeline, and the gas and liquids processing plant. CEF also completed numerous follow-up reports on issues ranging from the how fishing gear and the pipeline could interact, to impacts of oil-based muds on the scallop fishery. We assisted Sable throughout the public hearings, and later implemented the environmental effects monitoring program for the nearshore zone.

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