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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Circularity / Newfoundland Hydrogen Project Scheduling

How can circularity help with scheduling for the proposed Newfoundland Hydrogen Project?


Prime Minister Trudeau has stated that Hydrogen will be flowing to Germany from Newfoundland by 2025. Is this a situation where there is “hope on a wing and a prayer,” or can the timeline be achieved? Scheduling may be seen as a small item in the global scope of what is required; however, within stakeholders, knowing what, when, where and how things will proceed can do a lot to reduce tension.

Looking at scheduling through the lens of a circular economy is a mindset that pushes you to look at every aspect, and our recommendation from Sustainable Circular Economy is do it up front and do it now.

Scheduling Issues

In an interview, Nova Scotia billionaire John Risley, a director at World Energy GH2, the project proponent listed a number of things that need to happen in order to start shipping hydrogen to Europe before the end of 2024. All the issues can be boiled down to the issue of scheduling of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Nothing else will occur, we suggest, without approval of the Environmental Certificate for the project. From Sustainable Circular Economy, our recommendation is, focus on an agreement of the scheduling with the stakeholders. Why? Because it is a start to build relationships, transparency and trust.

We have seen the opposite side of all of this too; it creates conflict and delays, and makes it very difficult to get to where the stakeholders may wish to go. A focus on project development through circularity can help identify and resolve the issues in a manner that considers the people, the planet and profit.

Technical and Other Issues

In general terms the following steps are required:

  1. The Minister to appoint an Assessment Committee, comprised of technical experts from both provincial and federal government departments with an interest in a given project.

  2. Proponent prepares an Environmental Preview Report. An EPR will focus on the main unanswered questions in the registration, based on EPR Guidelines. EPRs typically rely on existing information and original fieldwork is not usually required.

  3. Proponent prepares an Environmental Impact Statement. An EIS will focus on key issues relating to the effects of the project on both the bio-physical and socio-economic environments, based on EIS Guidelines. Original research is often required on the existing environment and anticipated effects.

One or more component studies may be required in the preparation of an EIS. This is typically done when data is needed on existing valuable ecosystem components (such as caribou, fish or rare plants), which may be significantly affected by the project. Component studies, although part of the EIS, are distinct documents with separate guidelines, public review and approval. The Minister has directed the proponent to undertake a number of these.

In the course of gathering data for an EIS, the proponent is required to implement a public information program for the area affected by the undertaking. A public informationprogram may also be required during the preparation of an EPR

The EIS approval process includes a number of steps that could lead to, if there is strong public interest or concern regarding an undertaking, Cabinet to appoint anenvironmental assessment board for the purpose of conducting public hearings.

Does this appear to be a process that can be completed to have hydrogen flowing by 2025? All the more reason to suggest EIS design using the principles of circularity, which will capture and involve the impacts on people, the planet and profit.

Following are some of the issues that should to be addressed:

  • First Nation goals, objectives and issues

  • List of Stakeholders and their participation

  • Communications

  • Summary of studies required and study design

  • Timelines for studies

  • Who to participate in studies?

  • Funding Agreements

  • Information sharing from studies

  • Participation Agreements and schedules

  • Public meeting sched

For a full review of the requirements, the reader is directed to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Environmental Assessment... A Guide to the Process

What Has Happened Already?

Two important issues have occurred, which do not bode well for development of the project;

1. The proponent has come out complaining about the process not moving fast enough.

2. Some of the stakeholders have come out complaining that they are concerned the

project EIS is moving too fast.

One too fast, and one too slow – and the project assessment has not even begun. Is there a better way? If one continues to do what one has always done, the result will be what they have always got. And, in the end that could be court challenges, blockades, and a potentially lost opportunity.

Why not turn to Sustainable Circular Economy, as an independent and objective party to work with the stakeholders to develop an inclusive process based upon the principles of circularity that includes a focus on the people, the planet and profit?

Don’t let this opportunity go to waste; embrace the circular economy and what it can do for the development of this Newfoundland Hydrogen Project. And at Sustainable Circular Economy, we are here to help.

Sustainable Circular Economy -Who Are We?

At Sustainable Circular Economy, we are a boutique firm and we see discussion about how we are going to get to true sustainability as critical, or all the commitments just become questionable to languish on paper when the people who made them are long gone, and we are left holding the bag.

We are 100 percent supportive of establishing goals to reduce our global carbon footprint and helping companies and individuals to do their part. Our business is helping to do the world a world of good, by offering a pathway through the circular economy principled upon people, the planet and profit.

Together we can do this, but it will take knowing what is required, a new mindset, discussion and commitment about how we are going to get there considering the people, the planet and profit – the basis for the circular economy.

Let’s have the discussions. Ask the questions, and if you wish to know how to get there in your business, call on us at Sustainable Circular Economy. We offer a free consultation to discuss how we can help you seize an era of opportunity and innovation in the new environmental landscape.

Best wishes from all of us at Sustainable Circular Economy

Sustainable Circular Economy

Vancouver, Canada

+1 604 788 7261

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