Ottawa hands over fisheries protection along pipelines to National Energy Board

The responsibility for protecting fish and fish habitat in areas affected by pipelines and other energy projects regulated by the National Energy Board (NEB) will now fall to the NEB and not to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The transfer of responsibility was announced quietly in a Memorandum of Understanding between the two bodies on December 16, 2013, just days before the Joint Review Panel released its recommendation on the Northern Gateway Pipeline project. It’s a decision that places the protection of fish and fish habitat into the hands of an oil-friendly regulatory body, a move that has alarmed environmental groups and conservationists.