Trans Mountain CEO says pipe construction could restart in 2019 on NEB timeline

CALGARY — The president and CEO of Trans Mountain Corp. says its sidelined pipeline project could be back on track by next year under a new National Energy Board hearing schedule, setting it up for a possible 2022 opening date.

The timeline unveiled by the federal pipeline regulator on Wednesday is “reasonable and fair,” said Ian Anderson, the former CEO of Kinder Morgan Canada who became head of the resulting Crown corporation when Ottawa closed its $4.5-billion purchase of the pipeline and its expansion project in early September.

He told reporters in Calgary it’s possible construction that was halted when the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the expansion project’s NEB approval in late August could be restarted in 2019.

“Sure, it’s possible,” he said. “If things go according to the timeline that’s been now started with the NEB and they have a recommendation by the middle of February and the government takes a few months for additional consultation, an order-in-council could be as early as next summer.”

He added construction is expected to take about 30 months, depending upon seasonal adjustments, which would mean the pipeline could be operational in 2022, about two years later than the most recent predicted in-service date.

The federal government approved the Trans Mountain expansion project in November 2016, following a recommendation by the NEB.

But the court cited insufficient consultation with Indigenous communities and a failure to assess the environmental impact of additional oil-tanker traffic in overturning that ruling.

Last week, the federal government ordered the NEB to go back and conduct a review of tanker traffic, paying special attention to the affect on killer whales, and issue its report no later than Feb. 22.

Environmentalists were quick to criticize the NEB’s schedule, which calls for public comments by next Wednesday on draft factors for the environmental assessment, the draft list of issues to be considered in the hearing and on the design of the hearing process itself.

Indigenous groups who are affected by the marine shipping issues but weren’t allowed to engage in the previous NEB process because of scope limits might have a difficult time preparing submissions in time, said Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada.

“Indigenous consultations are inextricably intertwined with review of marine impacts — orcas have important cultural significance — so charging ahead on this before sorting out the Indigenous consultation piece seems like a mistake,” he added.

Furthermore, the process is tainted by the fact that the government insists the project it now owns will be built no matter what, Stewart said.

The expansion will include a new pipeline running roughly parallel to the existing, 1,150-kilometre line that carries refined and unrefined oil products from the Edmonton area to Burnaby, B.C.

It will nearly triple the capacity to 890,000 barrels a day.

The NEB named Lyne Mercier, Alison Scott and Murray Lytle to the panel that will conduct its reconsideration of the project.

The Canadian Press

[SOURCE]

 

 

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First Nation Questions Relationship with Canada Following Court Ruling

Myeengun Henry, then a band councillor for Chippewas of the Thames. – Marta Iwanek / Toronto Star

Meaningful engagement with Chippewas of the Thames First Nation includes securing our free, prior, and informed consent when any government proposes to take actions that impact our rights, including our lands, territories and resources

by Myeengun Henry

I write on behalf of my First Nation in relation to the recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada regarding .Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v. Enbridge Pipelines Inc., 2017 SCC 41, which leaves our members questioning the meaning of an ongoing nation-to-nation relationship with the Canadian government.

This decision, which allows Enbridge to reverse the flow and increase capacity of crude oil on the Line 9 Pipeline, significantly impacts our community and its members, and as you may expect, has not been well received.

Though the National Energy Board failed to fully recognize and respect our Aboriginal and treaty rights, the Supreme Court upheld the NEB process nonetheless. The question the court failed to address is what recourse does our nation have to protect its rights going forward?

What if a tribunal, such as the NEB, improperly addresses or fails to recognize an Aboriginal right with no Crown oversight. As a final decision maker, what recourse would a First Nation have to then protect its rights? A decision from the NEB can effectively extinguish an Aboriginal and/or treaty right.

It is clear the courts are not prepared to protect our constitutionally entrenched rights. And now we must question what the government is prepared to do? Offering our nation an opportunity to participate in fundamentally inadequate consultations does not preserve the “honour of the Crown” and completely ignores our historical treaty relationship.

The decision of the Supreme Court has an immediate and chilling effect on our nation. We are currently inundated with applications on numerous resource development projects. We are most concerned that the Crown will fully adopt the reasoning of the Supreme Court and completely rely on any and all regulatory processes to satisfy its duty to consult. Such a result is not acceptable.

The Supreme Court’s ruling allows the Canadian government to delegate a nation-to-nation relationship to resource companies who are now empowered to determine the potential impacts of our nation’s constitutionally protected rights without any direct Crown involvement.

This is extremely troublesome and was not the intention of our people when we agreed to share in the protection and management of our land and resources as set out in our Treaties including the Longwoods Treaty of 1822; the London Township Treaty of 1796; the Sombra Treaty of 1796; Treaty No. 29 of 1827; and the McKee Treaty of 1790.

Justice Minister and Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, recently released the Government of Canada’s 10 principles to assist in achieving reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through a “renewed, nation to nation, government to government, and Inuit-Crown relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.”

Specifically, Canada stated, “Canada’s constitutional and legal order recognizes the reality that Indigenous peoples’ ancestors owned and governed the lands which now constitute Canada prior to the Crown’s assertion of sovereignty. All of Canada’s relationships with Indigenous peoples are based on recognition of this fact and supported by the recognition of Indigenous title and rights, as well as the negotiation and implementation of pre- Confederation, historic, and modern treaties.”

This principle is intended to honour historic treaties as frameworks for living together, including the modern expression of these relationships. In accordance with the Royal Proclamation of 1763, and the accompanying Treaty at Niagara, 1764, many Indigenous nations and the Crown historically relied on treaties for mutual recognition and respect to frame their relationships.

The treaty relationship between the Chippewas nation and the Crown is a foundation for ongoing co-operation and partnership. The spirit and intent of both Indigenous and Crown parties to treaties, as reflected in oral and written histories, must inform constructive partnerships, based on the recognition of rights, that support full and timely treaty implementation.

To protect our rights and way of life the Chippewas of the Thames have developed our own consultation law (Deshkan Ziibiing/Chippewas of the Thames First Nation Wiindmaagewin), which is now being enforced within our traditional territory.

Our own consultation law will now be provided to any and all developers operating or intending to operate within our traditional territory. Further to the Canadian government’s guiding principles our nation will be asserting our own self-determination with respect to consultation within our territory.

Meaningful engagement with our nation includes securing our free, prior, and informed consent when any government proposes to take actions that impact our rights, including our lands, territories and resources. It is through the assertion and enforcement of our own laws that we can guarantee our lands and territory are properly protected for the enjoyment of future generations.

– Myeengun Henry is chief of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation

Article originally published in the Toronto Star on Aug. 11, 2017

[SOURCE]

NEB Approves Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

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By Red Power Media, Staff, May 19, 2016

NEB approves Kinder Morgan pipeline with 157 conditions

The National Energy Board is recommending the federal government approve the company’s more than $5-billion twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The announcement came down today (Thursday), after more than two years of hearings and a record number of intervenors participating.

The National Energy Board (NEB or the Board) issued a 533-page report recommending Governor in Council approve the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, subject to 157 conditions.

The 157 conditions include regulatory and/or overarching requirements as well as requirements pertaining to project engineering and safety; emergency preparedness and response; environmental protection; people, communities and lands; economics and financial responsibility; and, project-related marine shipping.

The NEB review included an environmental assessment, as per federal regulations.

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project proposes to expand the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton, AB and Burnaby, B.C., increasing the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline System from 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 890,000 bpd.

The pipeline route from the Burnaby Mountain tank farm to the Westridge Marine Terminal is still not clear, as noted in the report. If Kinder Morgan can’t go through Burnaby Mountain, the line will likely run through the city’s Westridge neighbourhood.

The City of Burnaby has been fighting against the Trans Mountain pipeline for years and First Nations vow to kill the expansion with lawsuits.

Here are the main reasons the board said yes to the pipeline:

1.     Increased access for Canadian oil

2.     Hundreds of long term jobs, and thousands in construction

3.     Development for Indigenous communities

4.     Benefits from spending on pipeline materials

5.     Considerable government revenue

The board’s approval means the pipeline’s fate now rests with the Liberal cabinet, and the final decision will likely be announced in December.

Kinder Morgan has said construction will begin in 2017 and should be finished by 2019. The NEB says Kinder Morgan has until 2021 to start building the pipeline.

KINDER MORGAN HEARING: 35 Drop Out From Speaking Up At ‘Rigged’ Pipeline Review

Protesters and police in a stand-off on Burnaby Mountain. CP file photo

Protesters and police in a stand-off on Burnaby Mountain. CP file photo

Kinder Morgan’s $5.4-billion proposal would triple the bitumen-carrying capacity of the Trans Mountain line, increasing the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet from five to 34.

Dozens of participants have dropped out of the controversial National Energy Board review of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, saying they can no longer support a “biased” and “unfair” process.

Thirty-five commenters and interveners, including the Wilderness Committee and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, sent a letter to the board today announcing their immediate withdrawal.

“It’s a sad day. We do not like to fly in the face of regulatory processes,” said Wilderness Committee climate campaigner Eoin Madden in a phone interview. “But we can’t abide by the system any more. It’s too flawed.”

The news came as the energy board was to release its draft conditions for the pipeline expansion. Commenters have six days to respond to the conditions, which are legally-required and do not mean the board has made a decision yet.

The latest departures are in addition to the earlier withdrawal of two other high-profile interveners. Economist Robyn Allan announced her exit from the “rigged” process in May, while former BC Hydro chief executive Marc Eliesen called it a “farce” when he pulled out last year.

Spokesperson Tara O’Donovan said the board was disappointed the participants had chosen to withdraw.

“As interveners and commenters in the process they had an opportunity to add their voice to the record, and work to influence the decision of the board,” she said in a statement.

The review includes about 400 interveners, who can provide evidence and testimony, and 1,300 commenters, who can submit letters. O’Donovan said the board will consider all submissions and it is committed to a thorough and fair environmental assessment.

“Our processes are fair and guided by legislation. We are also bound by the rules of natural justice, and our decisions are subject to review by the federal Court of Appeal.”

Kinder Morgan’s $5.4-billion proposal would triple the bitumen-carrying capacity of the Trans Mountain line by laying almost 1,000 kilometres of new pipe between Edmonton and Metro Vancouver, increasing the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet from five to 34.

The letter, signed by two environmental groups and 33 citizens, states the board has discounted evidence from experts and First Nations, ensuring an “unbalanced and ill-informed” hearing.

It chastises the board for not considering the project’s impact on climate change, shutting out the vast majority of citizens who applied to participate and excluding cross-examination.

Peter Wood, terrestrial campaigns director for Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, said his group’s voice would be best heard outside the process.

“We will still be able to voice our concerns. The NEB will no longer be able to cite our participation as an example of legitimacy or buy-in by the environmental community.”

The society is especially concerned about five parks that the proposed pipeline would cut through, including Lac Du Bois Grasslands Protected Area near Kamloops and Bridal Veil Falls Park in Chilliwack.

Wood called on the B.C. government to conduct an independent review of the project that considers climate change and potential oil spills.

A number of citizens who withdrew today live in the Gulf Islands. Sandra Leckie, a former park ranger who moved to Salt Spring Island six years ago, said a tanker spill would completely shut down the region’s tourist economy.

“It doesn’t take long for salt water to become part of your blood,” she said. “I think many people who live on the Gulf Islands have a visceral reaction to the image of an oil spill here.”

Source: http://tinyurl.com/nve9y7s