A non-compliance order issued last week by the Quebec Ministry of Environment is preventing TransCanada from resuming exploratory work for a deep-water port at Cacouna, north of Rivière-du-Loup on Lower St. Lawrence River. The port would receive and ship oil from the proposed Energy East pipeline.
TransCanada had planned to continue seismic testing this week, after a temporary court injunction expired. But the province questioned whether the company would keep noise levels low enough to protect threatened beluga whale population, and also ordered the company to limit boat traffic to the port.
“Since the permit was given under conditions that I describe as absolutely illegal and illegitimate, it should simply be abandoned and the company not allowed to resume drilling,” said Pierre Béland, Scientific Director of Quebec’s St. Lawrence National Institute of Ecotoxicology.