The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change says the proposal it received from the company on Wednesday is unsatisfactory and will not yet allow TransCanada to continue seismic testing.
Environment Minister David Heurtel says the ministry is waiting for a new proposal from TransCanada before it will allow the company to continue drilling.
TransCanada had said that it expected to resume exploratory work Thursday for its planned construction of a deep-water oil-shipping port to connect the Energy East pipeline, now that a temporary court injunction has expired.
On October 2, TransCanada submitted its first report on preliminary noise surveys.
Based on this document, the company was asked to adjust its work plan in order to minimize possible impacts on beluga whales in the St. Lawrence through reducing noise levels.
Cacouna is just outside of Rivière-du-Loup and is near the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The St. Lawrence estuary is fertile breeding ground for the beluga whale population, a species at risk of extinction and protected under the Species At Risk Act.
The Energy East pipeline stretches 4,600 kilometres from Alberta and Saskatchewan to New Brunswick, running straight through parts of southern Quebec.
The pipeline is expected to carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil a day, once it is built in 2018.