VICTORIA, B.C.- The Government of British Columbia is standing firm on the 5 conditions that need to be met before any heavy oil pipelines are built in B.C., despite the National Energy Boards recommendation today that the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project be built.
Environment Minister Mary Polak reinforced the conditions today in a teleconference call. Those conditions are as follows:
- Successful completion of the environmental review process. In the case of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, that means a recommendation by the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel that the project proceed.
- World-leading marine oil-spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.’s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil pipelines and shipments.
- World-leading practices for land oil-spill prevention, response and recovery systems to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil pipelines.
- Legal requirements regarding Aboriginal and treaty rights are addressed, and First Nations are provided with the opportunities, information and resources necessary to participate in and benefit from a heavy-oil project.
- British Columbia receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits of a proposed heavy-oil project that reflects the level, degree and nature of the risk borne by the government, the environment and taxpayers.
Polak said that she is glad to see that some of the NEB’s conditions match British Columbia’s conditions for the process to move forward. Polak also noted the project does require a provincial environmental assessment certificate.
The Province also says they must be satisfied that Kinder Morgan has met it’s constitutional duty to consult with First Nations. Polak said it won’t be that easy for the requirements to be met.
“Meeting all 5 conditions certainly will be a challenge. We have set the bar high for a reason.”