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Key Issues Remain Unaddressed in Draft Conditions on Trans Mountain Pipeline

Media Release – August 12th 2015
Key Issues Remain Unaddressed in Draft Conditions on Trans Mountain Pipeline
For Immediate Release

Victoria B.C. – Today the National Energy Board today released 145 draft conditions for the Trans Mountain Pipeline. While highlighting a number of existing deficiencies in the application, the conditions fail to address several key concerns with the project.

“There appears to be no reference to the unique properties of diluted bitumen and its fate and behaviour in the marine environment,” said Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay Gordon head and Deputy Leader of the BC Greens. “We still have very limited scientific understanding as to what would happen if a diluted bitumen spill were to occur in our coastal waters. But published evidence suggests that a spill clean up would be much more difficult than in the case for traditional crude, if it is possible at all.”

Back in 2013, the NEB’s draft conditions for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline included a requirement to fund a research program to study the behaviour of heavy oil (diluted bitumen) spills in freshwater and marine environments. Yet today there was no mention of any requirement for such a study.

One of the conditions released today touches on the need to expand the existing oil spill response capacity. However it fails to acknowledge the fact that there is evidence to suggest that Trans Mountain has in some cases overstated the existing response abilities.

“I am pleased that the NEB is requiring Trans Mountain to have a plan to respond to bigger spills faster. But the fact remains that under numerous weather conditions, a spill response would be impossible or severely constrained. Furthermore, there is a substantial difference between actual recovery rates and spill response capacity.” said Weaver

“It’s hard not to draw comparisons back to the Enbridge review panel, where 199 conditions were released and cross examination ensured that the risks of the project were far more rigourously examined and questioned,” noted Andrew Weaver. “The review process for the Trans Mountain project was degraded to a paperwork exchange, and many critical issues with the project remain unaddressed to this day.”

Dr. Weaver’s final argument will be available in early September when it is submitted to the National Energy Board.

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Media Contact

Mat Wright
Press Secretary – Andrew Weaver, MLA
Cell: (1) 250 216 3382 Email:
Mat.Wright@leg.bc.ca

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