Nature Canada

Mackenzie Gas Project Delayed, Wildlife Wins Reprieve

Wildlife in the Mackenzie River Valley have gained a reprieve as plans to industrialize their habitat have been delayed by at least a year. From Reuters:

A regulatory panel weighing a proposal for a $16.2-billion pipeline to ship gas from Canada’s Arctic will not complete its report for one year, spelling another in a long list of delays for the embattled project.

The Joint Review Panel, which is examining the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, said it will release its report in December, 2009, months later that expected.

More reporting here and here.
The Joint Review Panel has a huge job ahead, and the delay in producing a final report, we hope, means that panel members are seriously weighing the significant environmental impacts of what would be Canada’s largest pipeline project ever. If allowed to proceed, the project would:
    • fragment habitat for bears, caribou and wolves.

 

  • harm fish and fish habitat by increasing sediment deposition into the rivers and streams of the valley from constructing pipeline crossings.

 

 

  • permanently damage important breeding or staging areas for millions of geese, tundra swans and other migratory birds.

 

 

  • cause forests to be clear cut and heavy machinery deployed to construct the infrastructure and the new underground pipelines which would tunnel under or cross 580 rivers and streams along the way.

 

 

  • trigger a rush of oil and gas development in the Mackenzie Valley, which would accelerate further damage to wildlife and ecosystems.increase greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels by heavy equipment and from the cutting of boreal forests, destruction of wetlands, and melting of permafrost.

 

For these reasons and more, Nature Canada has opposed the project as presented by the proponents, and have called on Canada to keep the Mackenzie wild. Though the oil companies may moan about the loss of natural gas to expand their tar sands operations, the birds of Kendall Island are relatively safe, for now.

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