National Energy Board wants marine protection program from Trans Mountain pipeline builder

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The Nationwide Vitality Board would require the creation of a marine mammal safety program for the Trans Mountain pipeline in a sequence of draft situations it has laid out earlier than it considers the challenge.

The main target of the evaluation is to use the Canadian Environmental Evaluation Act and the Species at Danger Act to project-related marine transport, the board says within the doc.

The situations mitigate potential dangers to the setting and defend the general public, it says.

READ MORE: Group making ready Trans Mountain authorized problem argues authorities’s thoughts already made up

Releasing these draft situations and proposals is just not a sign of the board’s forthcoming advice to the federal authorities to both approve or deny the challenge, it says.

The board, which has to have its remaining suggestions in by Feb. 22, additionally recommends numerous measures be taken to offset the elevated underwater noise and potential threat posed by ship strikes of marine mammals together with southern resident killer whales.

Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the transportation minister, had mentioned earlier the southern resident killer whale is an important a part of Canada’s native marine ecosystem.

“The survival of this iconic species is a precedence of our authorities and certainly a precedence for all Canadians,” he mentioned.

The Federal Courtroom of Attraction quashed the federal government’s approval of the challenge in August, citing the power board’s failure to look at impacts on the ocean ecosystem, together with B.C.’s endangered southern resident killer whales. It additionally discovered Canada did not meaningfully seek the advice of with First Nations through the remaining section of discussions.

READ MORE: B.C. First Nation tells pipeline hearings its individuals ‘face uncertainty’ with potential impression of Trans Mountain

The board can also be seeking to restrict the variety of whale watching boats and the period of time they spend on the water.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s authorities, which bought the pipeline and enlargement challenge for $four.5 billion, ordered the power board to evaluation the challenge’s marine transport results inside 155 days.

READ MORE: Canada’s Trans Mountain buy is seeing a return of as a lot as four.four%: economist

Federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson mentioned Thursday the draft suggestions and situations are an “essential step in direction of assembly the affordable timeline that we supplied, and the kind of progress that Canadians anticipate to see.”

“The Nationwide Vitality Board is an unbiased regulator and is accountable for overseeing the evaluation on marine transport,” he mentioned. “We are going to fastidiously evaluation them and supply remark, as crucial.”

The board is in search of touch upon its draft situations.

Trans Mountain couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

The Trans Mountain marine safety plan ought to be in place three months earlier than it begins operations and may describe the way it will incorporate Indigenous traditions and information in growing its packages, the board says.

The federal authorities ought to evaluation and replace its marine transport oil spill response necessities and take a look at together with Indigenous Peoples and native communities in response planning, it recommends.

The pipeline enlargement would triple the quantity of oil being carried from the Edmonton space to a marine transport terminal in Burnaby, growing the variety of tankers in Metro Vancouver waters seven-fold.

It additionally wish to see a regulator framework for making enhanced tug escort necessary within the Salish Sea for oil tankers.

The federal authorities ought to implement a marine fowl monitoring program to higher perceive impacts of vessel use on avian wildlife together with species in danger, it says.

Greenhouse gasoline discount measures associated to marine transport ought to be accelerated and carried out, the board recommends.

 

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