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    The Ordre des ingénieurs is satisfied with the decision of the Québec government to perform a strategic environmental assesment

    jeudi 10 mars 2011
    • The Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ) welcomes the decision of the Québec government to perform a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) following the tabling of the report by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) on the sustainable development of the shale gas industry.
    • The brief that the OIQ submitted to the BAPE last fall was entitled "For a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Shale Gas System" and discussed the need to answer questions about the potential impacts of exploiting this resource in Québec. Maud Cohen, Eng., President of the OIQ, salutes this decision: "The BAPE report fully confirms our view and the government made a wise decision for Quebecers. We are convinced that it must first be determined whether exploiting shale gas in Québec is sustainable and beneficial for Quebecers. For example, no large-scale engineering project could see the day without first being the subject of a study! That is essential in our profession."
      The two other recommendations in the OIQ's brief are the following:
      • the SEA of the shale gas system should cover the entire life cycle of natural gas, from its extraction in the shales to its use within Québec's energy mix. The SEA should also cover the activities related to exploration and the development of exploitation methods.
      • the SEA of the shale gas system should be published and be the subject of a public debate sponsored by the BAPE, which will publish its consultation report and its recommendations to the government.
      Rather than a moratorium, the OIQ proposed that "the activities related to exploration and the development of extraction methods should be subject to a special system of authorizations issued by the MDDEP," a proposal that is also one of the recommendations in the BAPE report. The brief (in french) and press release of the OIQ can be read on its Web site.
      Shale gas is certainly a resource with potential. But is it really the extraordinary solution that some want us to believe it is? We should take the time and use the proper methods to find out. The availability of natural gas on potentially advantageous terms could change the future of energy consumption in Québec and possibly increase the use of methane in Québec's energy mix. From now on, this major factor should be included within the scope of analysis.
      "Naturally, we will closely follow this issue and the weight given to shale gas within Québec's energy mix, and we will provide the Government with constructive assistance during the consultations conducted by the BAPE," concluded Ms. Cohen.
      About the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec
      Founded in 1920, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec has a membership of more than 60,000 engineering professionals in all fields, except forest engineering.
      The mission of the OIQ is to ensure the protection of the public by supervising the practice of the profession within the framework of its constituent laws and ensure that the profession serves the public interest.

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