Monday , August 15 2022

NEB to release the new Trans Mountain report on potential sea effects


The latest episode in the Trans Mountain pipeline saga will be written on Friday as the National Energy Board states the conditions for moving forward the controversial project should the federal government choose to do so.

Nearly six months after the Federal Appeal Court stops the construction of the $ 7.4 billion pipe expansion effectively, sending the NEB back to compile a board to assess the impact that more tanker traffic would be has a marine life, including the whales that murder southern residents.

The aim of the pipeline project that is for taxpayers is to load a more diluted bitumen from Alberta's oils to tanker terminals at Burnaby, B.C., but it has met political and environmental resistance.

The list of NEB's conditions and recommendations would shape how the project will be developed, but the federal government will continue to decide whether to proceed, who bought the project last year for $ 4.5 billion.

Most experts predict that the NEB will yet recommend that the federal government continue to follow the project.

"The review will really address the concerns raised by the Federal Court of Appeal," said Lori Williams, a professor of political science at the Royal Royal Academy of Calgary. "Albertans will take some encouragement from it."

Effects of examining project

A list of draft conditions, the regulator released in January is a marine flooding plan, and also recommends possible restrictions on the number of whale watching boats in the area.

Warren Mabee, director of the Institute of Energy and Environmental Policy at the Queen's University, said the final conclusions of the NEB were important to many people concerned about the marine life of the West Coast.

"Many people are worried about the Western Coast, we're talking about people from every different strip – native people, people in Vancouver," said Mabee.

"Looking at what those effects might look really important … That's crucial to moving that project forward."

Pipeline Marker for the Trans Mountain pipeline as he passes a playground near the Coldwater River and Coldwater River at B.C. (CBC)

The ruling at the Federal Court of Appeal last August decided that the NEB project assessment was flawed and could not be relied upon by the federal cabinet when it gave a final approval to proceed in November 2016.

The NEB Friday recommendations arise from the court's concerns about how the regulator dealt with the potential environmental effects of marine vessels, resulting in the re-doing of that work.

The board investigated the subject extensively before its initial assessment and openly recognized maritime traffic would have a "significant" impact on the whale population of slaughter B.C.

But this was not considered when the NEB approved the project first. NEB said that this issue was outside and other agencies and government already regulate marine traffic.

Aerial view of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain marine terminal that fills an oil tanker at Burnaby, B.C. (Jonathan Hayward / Canadian Press)

The court found that the NEB should include those environmental effects in its decision. Like that, the federal government would have had a clearer picture of the implications of all the pipeline.

The government had instructed the board in September to complete another assessment, which also included three weeks allocated to receive oral oral evidence from members of indigenous communities in Alberta and B.C.

More consultations

Draft recommendations announced in January include potential noise reduction targets for a regular ferry. Draft conditions included a requirement for Trans Mountain to file a marine mammal protection program with the NEB at least three months before the start of operations.

As well as the NEB review, Amarjeet Sohi Natural Resources Museum ordered a new round of consultations with indigenous communities to address the concerns of the court that was not sufficiently done the first time.

There is no deadline for those consultations to get involved.

However, the federal government says that its consultation teams have already met with more than three-quarters of all inherent communities affected by the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Whale vaccine who lives a woman swimming at Puget Sound near Washington State. (The Associated Press)

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