B.C.’s five conditions set out for Trans Mountain pipeline approval

B.C.'s five conditions set out for pipeline OK

VICTORIA — British Columbia Premier Christy Clark said Wednesday that all of her government’s conditions had been met for approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. Here is a list of the conditions the premier unveiled in 2012.

1. Successful completion of the environmental review process.

B.C. initially planned to rely on the National Energy Board’s review of the expansion. The B.C. Supreme Court ruled last year that the province couldn’t simply depend on federal reviews, and the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office launched its own review last April.

The province announced Wednesday that it had given environmental approval for the pipeline with 37 conditions.

The energy board recommended last May that the federal government approve the project, subject to 157 environmental, safety and financial conditions.

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2. 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.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $1.5-billion ocean-protection plan late last year. He said the money will be spent over five years starting in 2017 and includes funding to create a marine-safety system, restore ocean ecosystems, and develop new methods and research to clean up oil spills.

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3. World-leading practices for land oil spill prevention, response and recovery systems to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy oil pipelines.

Clark’s government introduced legislation last February to establish a new, “world-leading” spill preparedness and response regime to address environmental emergencies, including land-based spills. The regime includes requirements for spill preparedness, response and recovery and new offences and penalties.

The energy board considered protection of the land and pipeline safety in its review and several of its conditions addressed this issue.

One of the 37 conditions in the B.C. environmental review is that research be conducted on the behaviour and cleanup of heavy oil spills in fresh water and marine aquatic environments to provide Trans Mountain and spill responders with improved information.

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4. 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 project.

Clark indicated late last year that the condition had been met, though several First Nations on B.C.’s south coast remain adamantly opposed to the project, most notably North Vancouver’s Tsleil-Waututh Nation, which has filed a court challenge against the energy board’s recommendation.

An earlier challenge filed by the nation arguing the Crown had breached its duty to consult was dismissed in September. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the First Nation had declined opportunities for consultation leading up to and during the review.

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5. 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 province, the environment and taxpayers.

Clark announced Wednesday her government has signed an “unprecedented agreement” with Kinder Morgan to receive up to $1 billion. The company would pay the province between $25 million and $50 million every year for 20 years.

She said all of the revenue would be dedicated to a new B.C. Clean Communities Program, allowing communities to apply for grants for projects to protect and enhance the environment.

In 2013, Clark said she had agreed with the Alberta government that none of Alberta’s royalties from oil pipelines would go to B.C.

The Canadian Press

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