Reports on the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Reports on the Northern Gateway Project

The following is a collection of reports on the topic of the Northern Gateway Project and related issues.

Pembina Institute

Opening the Door to Oilsands Expansion 

highlights the climate, land, water and air impacts that would occur as a result of this project. It recommends that before further steps are taken to develop the Enbridge oilsands pipeline, the environmental management concerns of the oilsands need to be addressed and a public inquiry that could engage communities in the full range of impacts be concluded.

Pipelines and Salmon in Northern British Columbia

proposed pipelines would cross and at times run parallel to important salmon habitats in the Upper Fraser, Skeena and Kitimat watersheds. This report provides an overview of salmon resources in the affected watersheds and examines how pipeline construction and operation would impact salmon; the likelihood of spills; and the impacts of a spill on salmon.

Oil and Salmon Don’t Mix (fact sheet)

highlights the importance of salmon in northern British Columbia and gives an overview of the risks posed to salmon by the Enbridge oil sands pipelines.

Pipeline to Nowhere?

aims to address these uncertainties and unanswered questions, such as: Is there a demonstrated demand for this pipeline? Is there a need for more export pipeline capacity? And does the Joint Review Panel have enough information to make an informed decision?

Pipeline and tanker trouble: The impact to British Columbia’s communities, rivers, and Pacific coastline from tar sands oil transport

examines the environmental risks associated with transporting oilsands through the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, and includes policy recommendations

Oilsands Solutions: Solving the Puzzle

outlines 19 specific solutions available to help the Alberta government adequately address the environmental impacts of oilsands operations.

The uncertain prospect of oilsands exports to Asia

reviews the status of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, the possibility of expanding the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline, a range of perspectives on Asian demand for oilsands, and the prospect of transporting oilsands by rail to the West Coast.

Natural Resource Defense Council

Tarsands Pipeline Safety Risks

pipelines transporting tar sands crude oil into the United States are carrying diluted bitumen or “DilBit”—a highly corrosive, acidic, and potentially unstable blend of thick raw bitumen and volatile natural gas liquid condensate—raising risks of spills and damage to communities along their paths. The impacts of tar sands production are well known…. Less well understood, however, is the increased risk and potential harm that can be caused by transporting the raw form of tar sands oil (bitumen) through pipelines to refineries in the United States.

Tar Sands Pipelines: Presenting Unaddressed Hazards to Public Safety

Tar sands crude oil pipeline companies may be putting the American public’s safety at risk by using
conventional pipeline technology to transport a highly corrosive, acidic and potentially unstable blend of
thick raw bitumen and volatile natural gas liquid condensate called DilBit.

Alberta Innovates Energy and Environment Solutions

Comparison of the Corrosivity of Dilbit and Conventional Crude 

Pipeline expansions for the transportation of Canadian crude to refining markets in the United States has caused a considerable amount of environmental concern.  A key debating point is the potential of corrosion in pipelines transporting diluted bitumen (or dilbit)…. Based on chemical and physical characteristics of dilbit, Dr. Been concludes that the characteristics of dilbit are not unique and are comparable to conventional crude oils during pipeline flow.

Enbridge Northern Gateway Project

Dilutent Fact Sheet

Diluent is a thinning agent made up of a mixture of organic compounds containing the lighter hydrocarbons. Hydrogen and carbon make up the basis of almost all petroleum products refined from crude oil such as gasoline, jet fuel, asphalt and the petrochemicals that go into many consumer products.

Northern Gateway Project Technical Data 

 Index of technical information for the project

Building The Pipeline: Fact Sheet

The Northern Gateway Project began the route selection process by hosting community open houses to which Aboriginal groups and stakeholders such as landowners and community members were invited. At the open houses Northern Gateway shared information about pipelines facilities, and discussed possible routes and any associated concerns.

Watercourse Crossing: Fact Sheet

The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline system route traverses many watercourses, from very small brooks to large rivers. Most of the water crossings are technically straightforward and have minimal environmental impacts. The Project has established a strategic watercourse crossings team to conduct detailed site surveys at difficult crossings to ensure they can be built responsibly and with minimal impacts. The pipelines will cross 773 identified watercourses with defined bed and banks; 669 of the crossings are fish-bearing.

Benefits to British Columbians, Albertans, Canadians, Effected landowners & Aboriginals

Provides infographics, statistics and descriptions of economic and social benefits to communities effected by the Northern Gateway Project.

Pipeline Regulations, Canada: Fact Sheet

In Canada, a number of government agencies regulate pipelines to ensure safety, security and environmental protection. In general, though, pipeline regulation can be divided into two categories: provincial regulators for intraprovincial pipelines, and federal regulators for pipelines that cross provincial or international boundaries.

Project Application Process: Fact Sheet

When a company is considering building a pipeline the size and significance of the Northern Gateway Project (NGP), the company is required to submit an application to the National Energy Board (NEB). One part of the application is an environmental and socio-economic assessment. When the NEB receives an application, NEB staff review a range of issues related to the application, including environmental, socio-economic and land issues. For larger or more complex projects such as Northern Gateway, the NEB will hold a public hearing to hear the views of the public. In this case, the Joint Review Panel (JRP) will review the application and hold a public hearing on behalf of the NEB and the Minister of Environment.

National Energy Board &  Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Application

The National Energy Board (NEB) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) will lead a Joint Review Panel for Northern Gateway. The review panel will be established by the NEB and the federal Minister of Environment. Other government agencies, such as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada will be involved in the review panel.

Marine Safety: Fact Sheet

The goal of our marine safety program is to reduce the chances of a shipping incident to as close to zero as we can. The Northern Gateway Project is committed to ensuring that tankers will be operated to the internationally recognized safety and environmental standards. The safe passage of vessels will be achieved through the following comprehensive strategies that bring together the best people, technology and planning

Pipeline Integrity & Safety: Fact Sheet

From building and testing to monitoring and maintaining – pipelines are one of the safest and most efficient energy transport systems. To protect the public and the environment, safety is built into every step of the Northern Gateway pipeline construction and operations. All applicable industry standards and government regulations will be met or exceeded. The Northern Gateway Project will maintain an aggressive pipeline integrity maintenance program and continual pipeline monitoring to ensure the environmentally responsible and safe operation of all its pipelines.

Bulkley Valley Centre for Natural Resources

Hillslope and Fluvial Processes Along the Proposed Pipeline Corridor, Burns Lake to Kitimat, West Central British Columbia

Hydrocarbon pipelines are currently proposed to cross west central British Columbia (B.C.) to access a deepwater port at Kitimat. The geology and geomorphology of the area is complex and destructive landslides are common. The northwest trending rugged topography poses serious challenges for pipeline development. Only certain valleys and passes are suitable for east–west oriented infrastructure. The terrain across west central B.C., with steep unstable rock masses and weak soils, places considerable constraints on pipeline development.

West Coast Environmental Law Center

Legal backgrounder- The Crown’s approach to First Nations consultation on the Enbridge Gateway Pipeline

The proposed 1,170 kilometre-long Enbridge Gateway Pipeline project would stretch from the Alberta tar sands to a marine terminal at Kitimat and would result in an estimated 225 crude oil and condensate tankers a year travelling through the territories of coastal First Nations. The project proposal engages the jurisdiction and lawful authority of dozens of First Nations, from the Dene and Cree peoples of the Athabasca River basin in the east to the Haida in the west, as well as the nations who rely on the health of the Fraser, Skeena, and Mackenzie Rivers and their tributaries.

Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline – Getting the Decision Right

The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project is a massive undertaking. If it proceeds it will involve two parallel 1,170 kilometre pipelines that will facilitate the expansion of the Alberta tar sands and open our northern coastal waters to oil tanker traffic. The Enbridge Gateway pipeline project raises significant environmental, social, legal and economic issues. It demands a decision-making process comparable in scope – one that honours the laws and responsibilities of First Nations, addresses the perspectives of affected communities, and considers the pipeline in the context of the much larger policy issues it raises. There are serious concerns as to whether the review process proposed for the project is up to the task. This publication outlines the issues and makes recommendations for a better path forward. In doing so, lessons from past experience with environmental assessment and proposed pipeline development are instructive.

Joint Review Panel’s Decision on the Scope of the Environmental Assessment for Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines

On January 19, the federal Joint Review Panel released its decision on the List of Issues to be covered in the environmental assessment of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines, and what additional information Enbridge must provide to the Panel. The Panel rules that Enbridge has failed to provide adequate information on the risks of pipeline oil spills created by building this pipeline in challenging, remote terrain and sensitive ecosystems, and how it plans to deal with those risks.

Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline risks for downstream communities and fisheries

The pipelines will cross over 1,000 streams and rivers, including the headwaters of the Fraser River (crossing the Stuart, Endako and Salmon Rivers) and the headwaters of the Skeena River (crossing the Morice and Bulkley watersheds). Each of these stream crossings will require two pipeline crossings, as the project consists of twinned pipelines. The project has the potential to seriously affect First Nations downstream of these crossings. The toxic effects of a spill could be felt for hundreds of kilometres, stretching down the entire length of the Fraser River to the sea.

Legal Comment on Coastal First Nations No Tankers Declaration

In making the March 23rd Declaration, Coastal First Nations exercised their ancestral laws, rights and responsibilities over the lands and waters of their territories. A federal government decision to allow the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project and related tanker traffic, contrary to the Coastal First Nations declaration, would infringe on their constitutionally-protected Aboriginal Title and Rights and breach Canada’s international law obligations. The Coastal First Nations Declaration opens any company who facilitates the transportation of Tar Sands crude oil through Coastal First Nations territories to potential enforcement action grounded in these nations’ respective laws and customs. Furthermore, the large number of impacted nations, the strength of opposition to the project, and weaknesses in the Crown’s proposed review process create a volatile legal situation and a high probability of litigation by one or more First Nations that could delay or potentially derail the project.

The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline: Do British Columbians Stand to Gain

Northern communities and First Nations first began to learn the details of the proposed Enbridge Gateway pipeline project in 2005. In late 2006, however, Enbridge requested that the regulatory review process for the project be delayed indefinitely. In June 2008 Enbridge wrote to federal regulators, indicated that it was resuming activity on the project and requested that the environmental assessment process be started again.

Forest Ethics

Enbirdge Northern Gateway Pipelines: Community Opposition and Investment Risk

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline proposal poses unprecedented risks to the company. A First Nations legal case is almost guaranteed. “ere have been political commitments toward a federally legislated crude oil tanker ban, backed by strong public support in British Columbia. A crude oil tanker ban for B.C.’s inside coastal waters would effectively put an end to Northern Gateway. “e review process for the project is likely to be expanded in scope and include impacts from the tar sands. And this is the first time in the history of the National Energy Board that an application has been submitted with no signed contracts. Enbridge’s recent oil spills as well as the high risk of an oil spill to the coast, underscores the need for a liability and financial risk assessment from the company.

Northwest Institute for Biological Research

Potential effects of an oil pipeline rupture of an oil pipeline rupture on reach 2 of Morice River: a submission to the Enbridge Northern gateway Project Joint Review panel 

This report examines the implications of a pipeline rupture and subsequent clean-up efforts to river
processes, fish and fish habitat.  The submission relies on data presented in the Enbridge 2010 application including impact pathways and spill volumes associated with a pipeline rupture in the Morice Watershed. As well, it relies on a rich background of fish and geomorphology information collected in the Morice Watershed during the past 40 years, observations from recent oil spill events in North America, and years of personal field experience in this watershed. On this basis, the potential consequences of a diluted bitumen spill into Morice River have been evaluated.

Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives

Enbridge Pipe Dreams and Nightmares: The Economic Costs and Benefits of the Proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline

The study finds that Enbridge’s job creation estimates are based on flawed modeling and questionable assumptions. Estimates assume that workers would otherwise be unemployed, and a large share of the estimated jobs come from induced employment, i.e. the economic impact of expenditures by Enbridge workers and governments. These “induced” impacts are particularly difficult to estimate and notoriously easy to overstate.

Alberta Federation of Labour

An Economic Assesment of  the Northern Gateway Pipeline 

Building a pipeline to send millions of barrels of raw bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries in China will make some oil companies richer – but those riches will come at the expense of consumers and non-energy businesses across Canada. That’s the main conclusion of a detailed report prepared by Robyn Allan, an economist and prominent businesswoman who was once named one of Canada’s top 200 CEOs. The report was filed this week as evidence to the federal panel currently considering Enbridge Inc.’s application to build the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline. In her report Allan projects that the Northern Gateway pipeline, if approved, will reduce Canada’s GDP, increase unemployment and put downward pressure on personal incomes because it will impose a two-to-three-dollar per-barrel increase in the price of oil – something she describes as a “price shock” that the Canadian economy can ill afford at this time.


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