Nature Groups to Focus on Bay of Fundy in Energy East Intervention

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 23, 2015 (Ottawa, Fredericton) — Nature Canada and Nature NB have applied to be interveners at the National Energy Board hearings on the Energy East Project, focusing on the risk of oil tanker spills, potential impacts of spills on migratory birds and Important Bird Areas, and cumulative effects on Bay of Fundy ecosystems.

“A major spill of oil sands crude from a tanker into the Bay of Fundy would be unacceptable” said Stephen Hazell, director of conservation at Nature Canada. “Saint John may be Energy East’s sole marine terminal with greatly increased oil tanker traffic in the Bay of Fundy now that the Cacouna terminal in Quebec has been abandoned. Nature Canada’s intervention would provide expert evidence at the hearings on the risks of oil spills in the Bay of Fundy and propose requirements for tanker operating standards, oil spill prevention and response, and financial warranties. Energy East should not proceed unless and until the risk of a spill can be kept to an absolute minimum by virtue of these and other measures imposed by the National Energy Board.”
“The Bay of Fundy is hugely important for migratory birds as well as whales and other wildlife, and Energy East tankers would traverse or come close to eight Important Bird Areas (IBAs) with globally, continentally or nationally significant concentrations of birds” said Vanessa Roy-McDougall, executive director of Nature NB. “Nature NB’s intervention would provide expert evidence on the potential impacts of an oil tanker spill on migratory birds and these invaluable IBAs to ensure that the Board’s environmental assessment is based on the best science available.”
Nature Canada and Nature NB have retained Halifax-based East Coast Environmental Law and Lisa Mitchell, a Nova Scotia lawyer associated with East Coast Environmental Law, to provide legal representation at the hearings.

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Media Contacts

Stephen Hazell
Director of Conservation and General Counsel, Nature Canada
(613) 562-3447 ext. 240

Vanessa Roy-McDougall
Executive Director, Nature NB
(506) 459-4209

Lisa Mitchell
Lawyer, East Coast Environmental Law
(902) 670-1113

About Nature Canada
Nature Canada is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year as a national charity devoted to being Canada’s voice for nature, focusing on connecting Canadians to nature and protecting wildlife species and habitats. Nature Canada is the Canadian co-partner in BirdLife International, a global partnership of conservation organizations that conserve birds, habitat and global biodiversity.

About Nature NB
Nature NB is a non-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to celebrate, conserve and protect New Brunswick’s natural heritage through education, networking and collaboration. Founded in 1972 as the New Brunswick Federation of Naturalists, the organization is presently comprised of a dozen naturalist clubs and hundreds of members across the province.

About East Coast Environmental Law
Established in 2007 as a non-profit, charitable organization, ECELAW responds to community inquiries, carries out legal and policy research and presents educational resources and opportunities to increase public awareness of environmental laws in Atlantic Canada. ECELAW’s objective is to build capacity in the public and among legal practitioners so that we can work together to ensure that environmental laws are effectively used and strengthened.