April 2, 2009
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - The government today released its response to 19 recommendations outlined in the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) report on tidal energy.
The Strategic Environmental Assessment of In-Stream Tidal Energy Generation Development in New Brunswick's Bay of Fundy Coastal Waters was submitted to the province by the Marine Energy Working Group of the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership (BoFEP), in November 2008.
The report contained 19 recommendations to be considered if the province moves forward with developing in-stream tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy.
The departments of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment have jointly responded to BoFEP's recommendations, after consultations with the departments of Fisheries and Agriculture and Aquaculture.
"In forming the province's response, the five departments focused on the net benefits of in-stream tidal energy in New Brunswick, and considered the interests of all residents and the environment with respect to this relatively unknown technology," said Energy Minister Jack Keir. "The province is committed to engaging the community, industry associations and traditional users of the Bay of Fundy in the development of future tidal energy policies. This commitment is very much reflected in our response today."
The Department of Energy has been looking into opportunities associated with in-stream tidal energy for several years.
In 2007, the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia governments announced that they would be completing SEAs in relation to ocean energy in the Bay of Fundy, with a specific focus on in-stream tidal applications. The assessments included a background report completed by Jacques Whitford in January 2008, which was co-funded by the Department of Energy and the Offshore Energy Environmental Research Association, on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia. Stakeholder consultation was also a component of the SEA, and a series of open house events was held in seven communities along the New Brunswick side of the bay in April 2008.
The province's response to the recommendations made in the strategic environmental assessment report on tidal energy may be found on the Department of Energy website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Bonnie Doyle, Department of Energy, 506-658-2410.