B.C. Rejects Northern Gateway Over Environmental Concerns

July 2013, Vol. 240 No. 7

British Columbia has made its final written submission to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel, stating it cannot support the project as presented because Northern Gateway has been unable to address British Columbians’ environmental concerns.

“British Columbia thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence and submissions made to the panel and asked substantive questions about the project including its route, spill response capacity and financial structure to handle any incidents,” said Environment Minister Terry Lake. “Our questions were not satisfactorily answered during these hearings.”

“We have carefully considered the evidence that has been presented to the Joint Review Panel,” said Lake. “The panel must determine if it is appropriate to grant a certificate for the project as proposed on the basis of a promise to do more study and planning after the certificate is granted. Our government does not believe that a certificate should be granted before these important questions are answered.”

The provincial government has established, and maintains, strict conditions in order for British Columbia to consider the construction and operation of heavy-oil pipelines in the province.

Successful completion of the environmental review process in the case of Northern Gateway would include: a recommendation by the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel that the project proceed; world-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.’s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil pipelines and shipments and world-leading practices for land oil spill prevention.