On May 27, 2010, Northern Gateway Pipelines Limited Partnership filed an application with the National Energy Board (NEB) to construct and operate a 1,170 km, 525,000 barrel per day crude oil pipeline and a 193,000 barrel per day condensate pipeline between Bruderheim, Alberta, and Kitimat, British Columbia, and a marine terminal at the port of Kitimat. The Joint Review Panel (JRP) for the Northern Gateway Project was an independent body established by the Minister of the Environment and the National Energy Board on January 20, 2010 to assess the environmental effects of the proposed project and review the application under both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the National Energy Board Act.
The scope of the Panel’s review included the construction and operation, decommissioning and abandonment of all components of the project (i.e. oil pipeline, condensate pipeline, marine terminal, marine transportation.) The Panel considered the following factors: environmental effects, risks of accidents or malfunctions, design and safety of facilities, effects on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities, economic benefits, and the need for the project.
In carrying out its work, the Panel conducted a rigorous, independent, science-based review and a public hearing process that provided opportunities for the public to submit their views and comments on the project directly to the Panel to inform its recommendation.
Community hearings were held at locations along the proposed pipeline route to accommodate oral statements and evidence from those potentially affected by the project and to enable Elders and Aboriginal groups to share their oral history and traditional knowledge. Support to facilitate the participation of Aboriginal groups in the process was also provided through the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s Participant Funding Program.
As a result of the process, the Panel heard from over 1,450 participants in 21 different communities at various locations in Alberta and British Columbia, reviewed over 175,000 pages of evidence and received 9,000 letters of comment.
Following nearly three years of work, in December of 2013 the Panel released its report, which found that environmental risks can generally be effectively mitigated and that construction and operation of the project, in full compliance with the Panel’s conditions, is in the public interest. The Panel found that after mitigation, the likelihood of significant adverse environmental effects resulting from project malfunctions or accidents is very low.
For more information on the Joint Review Panel process, including the Terms of Reference, please visit:
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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