It has been nearly two years since I became an Intervenor in the Trans Mountain National Energy Board Hearing. My team and I spent many hundreds of hours pouring over a 15,000 page application; we submitted nearly 600 questions; we made countless motions arguing that Trans Mountain had not, in fact, answered our original questions; we’ve written numerous blog posts highlighting our concerns over the Trans Mountain pipeline proposal.
Today we submitted our 50-page final argument to the National Energy Board. As you will see from the Media Release, reproduced below, I firmly believe that the NEB should dismiss the application due to the existence of “substantive deficiencies”.
Thank you to the numerous constituents, colleagues and citizens of British Columbia who responded to our surveys, attended our town halls and emailed my office with information. I am especially grateful to the staff I had the distinct honour of working with over the lengthy intervention process: Taylor Hartrick, Evan Pivnick, Judy Fainstein, Teresa Hartrick, Claire Hume, Aldous Sperl and Mat Wright.
My final participation the hearing process will occur at 13:30 on Wednesday, January 20, at the Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre, 4331 Dominion Street, Burnaby, British Columbia. There I will be giving an my oral summary argument directly to the National Energy Board.
Media Statement: January 8, 2016
Final Arguments on Trans Mountain Pipeline Hearings Submitted by Andrew Weaver
For Immediate Release
Victoria, B.C. – Today Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay Gordon Head and Leader of the B.C. Green Party submitted his Final Argument in the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Hearing Process.
As an intervenor, Andrew Weaver argued that Trans Mountain had failed to adequately and accurately represent the full scope of risks and impacts that a diluted bitumen (dilbit) spill would have. He also stated that Trans Mountain had failed to represent a clear and satisfactory ability to respond to a dilbit spill.
“It is critical that we understand just how unprepared we are for a dilbit spill on British Columbia’s coast,” said Andrew Weaver. “This isn’t just hypothetical – we already have heavy oil tankers in our coastal waters.”
Andrew Weaver’s final argument noted that due to these “substantive deficiencies,” the application should be dismissed by the NEB.
Of particular concern in this process was Trans Mountain’s ability to respond to a spill of heavy oil. Trans Mountain based much of their analysis on the faulty assumption that dilbit would float. What little science there is available examining this issue has found that bitumen has the ability to sink in the presence of suspended particles, of which there is no shortage in British Columbia’s coastal waters.
“Trans Mountain consistently failed to provide scenarios that could sustain even the most basic scrutiny,” said Andrew Weaver. “This project needs to be halted until we better understand the science of heavy oil in marine environments and British Columbia’s spill prevention and response capabilities are greatly updated.”
A report issued by US authorities in April, 2015 warned that Canada’s major oil spill clean up protocol is decades behind their own.
Andrew Weaver applied to participate in the hearing process as both a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Oak Bay Gordon Head, and as a scientist with a doctorate in applied mathematics with a specialty in physical oceanography, atmospheric and climate science.
Andrew Weaver will be presenting his oral summary argument to the National Energy Board on Wednesday January 20th 2016 at the Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre.
Press Secretary – Andrew Weaver MLA
Cell: 250 216 3382
Victoria BC V8V 1X4