DFO abrogates responsibilities, set scientists up for failure

Well, isn’t that sweet.

It appears that some scientists form DFO have been set up for failure by their management. You see, Shell wrote a risk assessment for some off-shore drilling that they want to do, and the scientists were given all of 7 days to review it.

Yep. 7 days.

7 days seems to me to be insufficient to simply read and understand the assessment. If the scientists were to do silly things like, oh… I dunno…., validate the assumptions, methods, and data used for the report - you know, the sort of thing that a regulator should do instead of simply taking the companies word for things - well, that would take weeks.

Not convinced? Well, let me do a thought experiment to outline things that I could see needing addressing:

- assess weather patterns in the area (especially extreme weather)
- assess ice cover conditions
- assess currents at and around the drilling sites
- assess the vulnerabilities of the flora and fauna in and around the drilling sites
- assess the vulnerabilities transient fauna expected in the area
- assess the nature of the sea bed in and around the drilling area
- assess the nature of the oil that they would be expecting to extract
- assess the equipment being used
- assess experience and training of the teams doing the drilling and operations
- assess the operational procedures of the company and contractors
- assess the emergency procedures, plans, and equipment
- assess the emergency preparedness of the surround municipalities, as well as provincial and federal resources
- assess the economic impact and cleanup costs of any accident

Now, that is just for a single site. Now multiply that by 7 - ‘cuz thats how many drilling sites there are supposed to be - and predict things over the 4 years of drilling that they propose.

7 days? Not even close to acceptable folks.

The real irony? The lack of a thorough review will actually increase the risk of something untoward happening.

Bet you that *that* risk is not covered in Shell’s assessment.