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Archived - Conditions of Approval for Northern Gateway Project
In its report of December 2013, the Joint Review Panel (JRP) for the Northern Gateway Project recommended approval of the project, subject to 209 legally-enforceable conditions. These conditions are requirements for the project and will form part of the certificates that the National Energy Board (NEB) will issue and enforce.
The Panel, as an independent tribunal, used its expertise to determine the most appropriate conditions. The conditions are based on the evidence on the record, and include commitments made by the proponent and feedback received from participants.
In addition, the Panel included in its conditions a requirement that Northern Gateway comply with all of the more than 400 voluntary commitments made by Northern Gateway Pipelines Limited Partnership during the JRP process. These include requirements such as making the pipeline walls 20% thicker in sensitive areas than current standards; increasing the frequency of in-line inspections beyond current standard practices; requiring the use of two escort tugs through the Douglas Channel; and deployment of additional radar to monitor marine traffic. In its report, the Panel found that the proponent’s voluntary commitments exceeded those typically proposed for pipeline projects, including the marine regulatory requirements related to navigation, safety, and oil spill preparedness and planning.
The proponent’s ability to satisfy all of these conditions will determine the timeline for the project to become operational.
Before the project can be built, the proponent must develop and provide the NEB with detailed plans addressing requirements for environmental monitoring of pipelines, marine environmental effects, and habitat restoration. These include the development of a Pipeline Environmental Effects Monitoring Program; preparation and implementation of a Caribou Habitat Restoration Plan; development of a Marine Mammal Protection Plan; and the implementation of the TERMPOL Review Committee recommendations for marine tanker traffic and enhanced oil spill response.
Before the project is in operation, the proponent must also satisfy a number of conditions including undertaking scientific research and developing plans to address areas such as navigation, safety, and oil spill preparedness and planning. Specifically, the proponent must prepare an Enhanced Marine Spill Trajectory and Fate Modelling Plan for the Kitimat terminal and marine tanker traffic; develop a research program on the behaviour and cleanup of heavy oils; and conduct pre-operations Emergency Response Exercises.
Additional consultations with Aboriginal communities are also required under many of the conditions and as part of the process for regulatory authorizations and permits.
Once in operation, the proponent will continue to have obligations to satisfy a number of ongoing requirements, including conducting regular emergency response exercises; scheduled pipeline inspections; and regular reporting to the NEB on project monitoring programs.
The NEB is responsible for verifying and enforcing compliance with each condition that is attached to the project. There is a range of enforcement tools available to the NEB.
For more information on the 209 conditions in the Panel report, please visit: http://gatewaypanel.review-examen.gc.ca/clf-nsi/dcmnt/rcmndtnsrprt/rcmndtnsrprt-eng.html.
Media may contact:
Office of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
Natural Resources Canada
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