The BC Government has granted environmental assessment approval for the province’s portion of the Trans Mountain Expansion project.
The 987 km pipeline will run between Edmonton, Alberta, and Burnaby, BC.
Last November, Justin Trudeau announced his approval of the Trans Mountain project to increase the capacity of the existing pipeline. In response to the decision, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Vancouver to protest the expansion.
BC Premier Christy Clark and the provincial government stuck by the demands that the pipeline project meet five conditions before commencing:
- Successful completion of the environmental review process;
- World-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for BC’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; and
- BC 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.
“We want to make sure we get a fair benefit,” Clark said in November. “My job is to make sure [the decision] meets the five conditions.”
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In a release, BC’s Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman acknowledged, “that the National Energy Board has the primary responsibility for ensuring the project is developed, constructed, and operated in a manner that is safe and secure, protects people, property and the environment.
With files from Jenni Sheppard.