UPDATE | Enbridge asked to submit scathing U.S. report

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Click here for an update to a story The House brought you last Saturday, Aug.11, 2012.

 

Last week, Robyn Allan, the former senior economist of the B.C. Central Credit Union told The House a scathing U.S. report into an Enbridge U.S. oil spill was not part of their submission into the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

Allan said:

    • The findings of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) July report here and here looking into the Enbridge oil spill in the Kalamazoo River, Mich. had yet to be entered as evidence into the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline hearings. "So far, it's as if Kalamazoo never happened," Allan said.

 

    • Two interveners had tried to have the U.S. report submitted into written evidence but citing Section 36 of the National Energy Board Rules of Practice and Procedure (Rules) the Joint Review Panel (JRP) rejected their request here and here on the basis that they did not meet the criteria outlined in the rules, i.e. the interveners did not have a hand in crafting the report and therefore could not confirm the accuracy of its findings.

 

    • Enbridge had not updated their risk analysis to include the U.S. oil spill in the Kalamazoo River, Mich., therefore underestimating the risk posed by the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.


 

We put the findings of the U.S. government report to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.

 

Oliver told us he'd spoken to GaƩtan Caron, the Chair of the National Energy Board, about the U.S. report and the two agreed that the U.S. oil spill in Kalamazoo, Mich., was "an issue" that Canada had to learn from.

  • "What we have to do is learn what we can about what happened elsewhere and see what implications it has for Canada, particularly when the company making the decisions is a Canadian company."

 

  • "We feel that the company [Enbridge] has to focus on some of these management issues and the National Energy Board which has direct oversight responsibility is very much attuned to that and is going to pursue it in an objective, independent, and scientific way," said Oliver.

 

When we asked Oliver if the U.S. report should be submitted as written evidence into the JRP, Oliver said:

    • "I don't want to in any way get into the specifics of what the panel is looking at. First of all, it's inappropriate and it's also a slippery slope. I think it's up to the NEB, to the chair who oversees it, and to the panel to make these decisions."

 

On Monday, Aug. 13, our story got picked up here and on Tuesday, Aug. 14 it got picked up here .

 

In a letter dated Aug.14, the JRP demanded that Enbridge submit the U.S. report as evidence into the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline hearings. Enbridge will have an opportunity to present its case before the JRP in September.

 

Also worth noting:

When we asked Oliver why the federal government appeared to be changing its tune with respect to the Enbridge proposed NG pipeline, the minister said:

    • "I personally, have not said that this pipeline should go through."
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