(The following press release from the Province of British Columbia,
Canada, was received by e-mail and was reformatted. The sender verified the
For Immediate Release
May 31, 2013
Ministry of Environment
B.C. makes final written argument to Northern Gateway Panel
VICTORIA - British Columbia has made its final written submission to the
Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel. In the submission, the
Province states that it cannot support the project as presented to the
panel 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 currently 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, that would mean 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;
* World-leading practices for land oil spill prevention, response and
recovery systems to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil
* Legal requirements regarding Aboriginal and treaty rights are addressed,
and First Nations are provided with the opportunities, information and
resources necessary to participate in and benefit from a heavy-oil
* British Columbia receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic
benefits of a proposed heavy-oil project that reflect the level, degree
and nature of the risk borne by the province, the environment and
"Northern Gateway has said that they would provide effective spill
response in all cases. However, they have presented little evidence as to
how they will respond," Lake said. "For that reason, our government cannot
support the issuance of a certificate for the pipeline as it was presented
to the Joint Review Panel."
In April 2012, the Joint Review Panel released 199 potential conditions
that could form part of an authorization for the Northern Gateway Pipeline
project if it received federal approval. In preparing the final argument
submission, the Province's legal and technical experts analyzed the
conditions and determined that they must be strengthened to meet B.C.'s
interests and requirements.
The position adopted by B.C. on the Northern Gateway Pipeline project as
currently proposed is not a rejection of heavy-oil projects. All proposals
- such as Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion or the Kitimat
Clean project - will be judged on their merits. The Province's five
conditions would still apply.
British Columbia will be presenting oral final arguments to the Joint
Review Panel when hearings recommence in Terrace on June 17, based on
B.C.'s final written submission.
The Province's submission to the Joint Review Panel can be viewed at:
Ministry of Environment
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect
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