ORA supports the Panel’s broad strokes Vision in general, and applauds it for the recommendations of an accessible, inclusive, open, transparent and user-friendly process. However, there are several areas where we feel the recommendations fall short of its goals…
Earlier this year a new Hearing Panel (Panel) was assigned to review the Energy East and Eastern Mainline Applications. At that time both applications were voided, including all decisions made by the previous Panel. It is our understanding that the Panel must now determine whether the Applications are complete, and a new list of issues created – in effect, the process is starting over. Additionally, there is no longer a list of valid participants, although persons and groups that have already submitted Applications to Participate (ATP) and have been approved, are not required to refile. The Panel will also reconsider each ATP filed to date, including those groups that were previously denied standing.
The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is requesting that the National Energy Board (NEB) significantly increase the amount of funding available to participating intervenors in the Energy East Pipeline review.
The NEB has proven to be an industry friendly structure aiming to support and promote energy markets for the oil and gas and pipeline industry – yet the NEB is also charged with regulating, approving, monitoring and enforcing compliance of this same industry. ORA submits that this is a conflict of interest, and raises real questions about the independence and objectivity of the NEB, and just how well the environment and public safety is being protected. The federal government’s reliance upon tax revenues and the need for job creation from the energy industry has led to a significant lack of environmental rigor in its decision making.
The recent NEB ruling of reasonable apprehension of bias in favor of TransCanada, came as a result of the NEB panel’s inappropriate conduct in relation to their meeting with Jean Charest while he was acting as an advisor to TransCanada. This conduct only came to light through a Freedom of Information Application. Confidence in energy projects can only come when we have an open, transparent and accountable government. Continue reading →
The National Energy Board Modernization Review Panel provided an held a public consultation in Gatineau, on 22 February 2017. Dr. Alan Hepburn represented the Ontario Rivers Alliance with recommendations as follows:
The Ontario Rivers Alliance commissioned this 3-D Flyover of the Energy East Pipeline corridor across Ontario to graphically show the waterbodies that would be at risk if a oil spill or rupture were to occur. The pipeline intersects more than 1,850 streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands along its route through Ontario. To provide perspective, the thick white lines indicate a 15 km area on either side of the pipeline.
Dr. David Suzuki was amazed there was no jail time over this.
Mileage 111.6 and 88.7 are respectively synonymous with February 14th and March 7th of 2015. These significant numbers represent the locations and dates of the largest train derailments in the history of the province of Ontario. Two CN trains carrying Alberta tar sands crude oil derailed and exploded into huge fire balls one week and 23 miles apart, releasing millions of liters of bitumen crude oil into the environment. The first derailment, occurring in a remote wooded area, and the second at the bridge crossing the Makami River, less than 2 km from the Town of Gogama. Continue reading →
The Chair of the Ontario Rivers Alliance presented to the Expert Panel on the Review of the Environmental Assessment Process, on Thursday, 3 November 2016, in Sudbury, and also made a detailed written submission below:
Our experience in Ontario is that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans defer to the will of the provincial regulators, which should be the other way around. We need our federal government to set a high standard that will be followed by the provincial players. Both the federal and provincial governments have gone through an intensive streamlining process which has undermined confidence in their ability to effectively review applications and Environmental Reports, let alone adequately monitor and enforce the conditions of approvals. Consequently, environmental protections have become very lacking in these streamlined and broken processes.
A presentation made by Dr. Alan Hepburn, PhD., P.Eng., representing the Ontario Rivers Alliance at the Breach of Trust event, hosted by Stop Energy East, at Nipissing University, on Thursday, October 27, 2016.
Today I am writing to draw your attention to an issue that was quite concerning. Rather than make an Application for Review under the Environmental Bill of Rights, I am reaching out to you in the hopes that you will withdraw a recent amendment to the FIT 5 Rules. Continue reading →