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Ontario Rivers Alliance on the termination of the Energy East Pipeline

MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release: 6 October 2017

Ontario Rivers Alliance on the termination of the Energy East Pipeline

SUDBURY – The Ontario Rivers Alliance says that TransCanada Corp. (TC) cancelled its controversial $15.7-billion Energy East Pipeline proposal because “It saw the writing on the wall.” It proposed to convert its 3,000 km natural gas pipeline and construct another 1,500 km of new pipeline, to carry 1.1 million barrels per day of dirty Tar Sands oil from Alberta to New Brunswick.

“TC’s decision was likely due in large part to a continuing decline in the demand for crude oil in a world on a fast-track to decarbonize.” The scientific evidence is clear, that climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time.  “So, the National Energy Board’s recent ruling to consider the potential increase in upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the project was no surprise, but an impossible hurdle to overcome, and likely the final nail in the coffin.”

“Termination of the project can also be chocked up to pure ‘People Power’. The Ontario Rivers Alliance was only one of 337 applicants that were granted intervenor status in the review; however, the level of collaboration and cooperation between the intervenors working to protect the environment and rally against the project was unprecedented.  These were grass-roots organizations, municipalities, First Nation communities and individuals coming together to oppose a risky project that posed a threat to literally thousands of aquifers, creeks, rivers, lakes and wetlands across its 4,500 km span.”

“We can finally breathe a sigh of relief today. Congratulations and a big thank you to all those who fought so hard to protect communities, and the environment”, said Linda Heron, Chair of the Ontario Rivers Alliance.

Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is a Not-for-Profit grassroots organization acting as a voice for several stewardships, associations, and private and First Nation citizens who have come together to protect, conserve and restore healthy river ecosystems.

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 Contact:

Linda Heron
Chair, Ontario Rivers Alliance
OntarioRiversAlliance.ca

 


Energy East Pipeline – Draft List of Issues & Scope – ORA Comments

 The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is a registered Intervenor in the review of the Energy East Project and Asset Transfer. ORA is writing in response to the National Energy Board’s (NEB) request for input on the Draft List of Issues (List) and Draft Factors and Scope (Scope) on the Application for the Energy East Project and Asset Transfer (Project).

ORA makes the following recommendations for your consideration:

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Additional Financial Support for the Energy East Pipeline Review Intervenor Funding – ORA Comments

 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. 

Access to adequate levels of intervenor funding is essential to hire high quality independent expert and legal assistance to help inform our project review and allow for meaningful participation in the hearing process.

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NEB Modernization Review – ORA Submission

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


Modernization of the National Energy Board – ORA Comments

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…

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Take a 3-D Flight over the Energy East Pipeline Corridor

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.


Panel Review of the Environmental Assessment Process – ORA Presentation

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:

Download (PDF, 7.05MB)

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.

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