CALGARY, Dec. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Joint Review Panel (the Panel) for
the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Project today recommended that
the federal government approve the project, subject to 209 required
conditions. Based on a scientific and precautionary approach to this
complex review, the Panel found that the project, if built and operated
in compliance with the conditions set out in its report, would be in
the public interest.
The Panel also recommended that the Governor in Council determine that
the construction and routine operation of the project would cause no
significant adverse environmental effects, with the exception of
cumulative effects for certain populations of woodland caribou and
grizzly bear. In these two cases, the Panel found that cumulative
effects as a result of this project and other projects, activities or
actions are likely to be at the low end of the range of possible
significance. The Panel recommended that these effects be found to be
justified in the circumstances.
The Panel concluded that the environmental burdens associated with
project construction and routine operation can generally be effectively
mitigated and that continued monitoring, scientific research and
adaptive management could further reduce adverse effects.
The Panel stated that "the environmental, societal and economic burdens
of a large oil spill, while unlikely and not permanent, would be
significant." The Panel found that Northern Gateway had taken steps to
minimize the likelihood of a large spill through its precautionary
design approach and its commitments to use innovative and redundant
safety systems. The Panel also found that, after mitigation, the
likelihood of significant adverse environmental effects resulting from
project malfunctions or accidents is very low.
The Panel found that "opening Pacific Basin markets is important to the
Canadian economy and society." The Panel also found that "the project
would bring significant local, regional, and national economic and
After weighing all of the oral and written evidence, the Panel found
that Canada and Canadians would be better off with the Enbridge
Northern Gateway project than without it.
The Panel's conditions, which would be enforced by the National Energy
Board, include requirements for Enbridge Northern Gateway to:
Develop a Marine Mammal Protection Plan;
Implement the TERMPOL Review Committee Recommendations;
Prepare a Caribou Habitat Restoration Plan;
Develop a Training and Education Monitoring Plan;
Prepare an Enhanced Marine Spill Trajectory and Fate Modelling;
Develop a Research Program on the Behaviour and Cleanup of Heavy Oils;
Conduct Pre-operations Emergency Response Exercises and Develop an
Emergency Preparedness and Response Exercise and Training Program.
The decision on whether or not this project should proceed will be made
by the Governor in Council. If this project is approved, the National
Energy Board must issue its certificates of public convenience and
necessity within seven days of the Governor in Council's order.
The Enbridge Northern Gateway Project is a proposal to build and operate
two pipelines and a marine terminal. The pipelines would run 1,178
kilometres from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia, where
the marine terminal would be built.
One 914 mm (36 inch) outside diameter line would carry an average of
83,400 cubic metres (525,000 barrels) per day of oil west to Kitimat.
The other line, a 508 mm (20 inch) outside diameter pipeline, would
carry an average of 30,700 cubic metres (193,000 barrels) of condensate
per day east to Bruderheim. Condensate can be used to thin bitumen for
pipeline transport. The Kitimat Marine Terminal would have two tanker
berths, three condensate tanks and 16 oil storage tanks. Costs for the
project are estimated at $7.9 billion.
About the Joint Review Panel
The Joint Review Panel for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project is an
independent body, mandated by the Minister of the Environment and the
National Energy Board. The Panel assessed the environmental effects of
the proposed project and reviewed the application under both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and the National Energy Board Act.
The report, this news release, a backgrounder on the hearing process and
a list of frequently asked questions can be found on the Panel's
website at: www.gatewaypanel.review.gc.ca
SOURCE: Government of Canada
For further information:
Sarah Kiley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
National Energy Board