NEB Jumps the Gun with Incomplete Energy East Application
Nature Canada is deeply troubled that the National Energy Board is launching hearings for the proposed Energy East pipeline despite huge information gaps in Trans Canada’s application and without having made a decision on interveners at the hearings.
Jumping the gun with an incomplete application and without providing Canadians an opportunity to comment reflects badly on the Liberal government’s commitment to restore public confidence in the NEB’s environmental assessment process.
Nature Canada maintains that the Energy East application is seriously deficient in three areas
- No information on how and where the pipeline will cross the Ottawa River, and incomplete information on other river crossings;
- No information on the potential impacts of oil spills on important ecosystems during the later stages of the project.
- Insufficient information on how spills of different kinds of oil in various environments will be managed, the impacts of oil spills on future “locations of interest”, the impacts of various crude oil spills on poorly understood environments, or the effectiveness of spill response methods when spills do occur.
Nature Canada also argues that it is unfair that the hearings are starting without interveners in place. Nature Canada applied for intervener status following NEB rules 16 months ago and the NEB still is unable to say whether or not our organization qualifies—and Nature Canada was an active intervener in previous pipeline hearings such Trans Mountain and Northern Gateway.
In the upcoming hearings, Nature Canada and Nature NB will be focusing on the risks of tanker oil spills in the Bay of Fundy and adverse impacts on birds and other wildlife, and Important Bird Areas.