National Energy Board Launches Energy East hearings with incomplete application

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, ON (June 16, 2016)― Nature Canada does not support the National Energy Board’s decision today to launch the hearings for Energy East because of the huge information gaps in Trans Canada’s application and a lack of a decision to include interveners at the hearings.

“Making this decision to launch the hearings without providing Canadians an opportunity to comment reflects badly on the NEB’s environmental assessment process” says Stephen Hazell, Director of Conservation and General Counsel at Nature Canada.  “The Energy East application is seriously deficient in at least three important areas.” These include:

  • No information on how and where the pipeline will cross the Ottawa River.
  • No information on the potential impacts of oil spills on important ecosystems during the later stages of the project. Only eight “locations of interest” have been identified to evaluate the potential impacts of an oil spill. The criteria used to identify these locations of interest do not take into account the state of the ecosystems in 30 to 40 years when the aged pipeline is far more likely to spill and the ecosystems have endured the stresses of many more years of climate change.
  • Insufficient information on how oil 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. TransCanada stated that it will not determine if specific geographical response plans will be required for a given area until a detailed design of the pipeline is completed.

“In addition, it is hugely unfair that the hearings are starting without interveners in place” adds Hazell.  “Nature Canada applied for intervener status following NEB rules 16 months ago and the NEB is still unable to tell us whether or not our organization qualifies.”

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About Nature Canada
Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of more than 45,000 members and supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country, with affiliates in every province. Nature Canada focuses on effecting change on issues of national significance including bird conservation,  citizen science initiatives, urban nature initiatives, building a national network of conservation organizations, building a network of volunteers to care for critical natural habitat sites across Canada and being a voice for nature at the federal level.