Final Enbridge Northern Gateway hearings begin in Terrace today
The final stage of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel hearings will begin in Terrace today, as proponents and opponents make their case about the controversial proposed oil sands pipeline. A live audio broadcast in English and French can be heard at the Joint Review Panel website.
Around 200 people gathered in Terrace on Sunday to protest the proposed $6 billion pipelines, which would carry oil sands bitumen from Alberta through BC to a tanker terminal in Kitimat. Another pipeline would carry natural gas condensate, used to dilute bitumen, from Kitimat east to Alberta.
In the oral portion of final argument, both parties will have the opportunity to respond to the written argument of others as well as the oral argument of those who presented before them. The BC government recommended against approving the Northern Gateway pipeline in the written portion of its final argument, saying that Enbridge failed to prove it had a comprehensive oil spill response system in place. Critics, however, noted that the 99-page submission left a lot of room for the government to approve a revised proposal from Enbridge in the future.
The pipeline has raised strong concerns in Northern BC communities, where an oil spill could damage an existing fishing economy. In April, Terrace-based BC Conservative candidate Mike Brousseau expressed his opposition to the pipeline, saying his Michigan-based relatives were living in the area affected by a large Enbridge pipeline spill in 2010 and that he did not want the same situation in BC.