Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says Ottawa is not assuming the National Energy Board will again approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as he asks it to go back and reconsider the environmental effect of increased oil tanker traffic off the coast of B.C.
The Liberals are giving the board 22 weeks to conduct a full assessment on effect of increasing the number of oil tankers in the Burrard Inlet to about 35 a month from five. The board is to provide its finding to cabinet by the end of February on whether the pipeline should be approved again and if so, what additional conditions must be met.
The NEB approved the expansion in the spring of 2016, but the Federal Court of Appeal last month overturned that, ruling it was given without a proper review of the environmental effect of increased shipping, in particular, whether it poses additional risks to the endangered southern resident killer whales.
Sohi said Friday the court decision to tear up the federal approval of the pipeline was “disappointing, but by no means insurmountable.”
Canadian Press – September 21, 2018.