The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. If approved by Ottawa, the regulator says it will impose 156 conditions on the project. It has also made 16 new recommendations for the federal government.
1. Develop a plan to assess the effects on the Salish Sea and a long-term strategy to manage those effects.
2. Release a public, annual report on the Salish Sea and any gaps in measures to address effects.
3. Develop a marine bird monitoring and protection program.
4. Expedite a study for establishing a Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and create it if feasible.
5. Develop a program to offset increased underwater noise and increased strike risk posed to marine mammal and fish species.
6. As part of an offset program: consider slowdowns in shipping routes, limits on whale watching boats, noise reduction of ferries and incentives and requirements for quiet vessel design.
7. Review and update federal marine shipping oil spill response requirements.
8. Develop a regulatory framework for making enhanced tug escort mandatory in the Salish Sea for tankers related to the pipeline.
9. Consider a Canada/United States Transboundary Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment.
10. Develop measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as supporting the use of low-carbon alternate fuels for marine vessels and providing economic incentives for the use of energy efficient technologies.
11. Seek feedback for the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee on a marine safety system in conjunction with the Canadian Coast Guard.
12. Continue engagement with Indigenous communities, recreational boaters and vessel operators about navigation safety to prevent collisions with larger vessels.
13. Accelerate the development of the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative and the proposed extension of the Automatic Identification System to smaller passenger vessels.
14. Look at new paths to deliver grants and contributions for financial incentives to promote innovation, such as new oil recovery technologies.
15. Have Transport Canada review federal marine oil spill compensation regimes with regards to compensation for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities that may be impacted by a marine oil spill.
16. Develop a complaint resolution program that gathers community feedback about port-related impacts and resolves complaints about marine vessels docked at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority managed anchorages.
© 2019 The Canadian Press