This post was authored by Ivan Giesbrecht, communications manager for Northern Gateway.
In a recent blog on this site, Rafe Mair gets some basic facts wrong in re-stating his well-known opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline.
For example, Mr. Mair called the Joint Review Panel process "a fraud." Not true. The Joint Review Panel (JRP) was the most comprehensive environmental review of its kind in Canadian history. The JRP collected 175,000 pages of scientific evidence, held 180 days of hearings and heard from 63 subject matter experts -- including experts at Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Mr. Mair also said that spill response is not possible. Again, Mr. Mair is wrong. In truth, Northern Gateway has raised the standards when it comes to spill response and environmental protection. And, most importantly, our project is taking leading steps to ensure a spill never happens.
For example, Northern Gateway will incorporate increased in-line and right-of-way inspections -- as well as 24/7 staffing at the pump stations -- to become one of the most monitored pipelines in North America, if not the world. On the water, we are committed to using double-hulled tankers, tethered tugs and the exclusive use of B.C. Coast Pilots.
And, to prepare for the very unlikely event of a spill, Northern Gateway has incorporated leading measures to ensure an immediate response, both on land and on water. These include added isolation valves, dual leak detection systems and spill response capabilities that are three times better than required by existing regulations.
Mr. Mair also claimed that British Columbia's five conditions "make no sense." They may not make sense to Mr. Mair, but I think they are pretty clear to most everyone else. And they reflect the high standards British Columbians and the rest of Canada expect from major economic development projects like Northern Gateway.
The truth is that Northern Gateway is important to both British Columbia's and Canada's future. It will open up new markets for our most valuable resource, creating thousands of jobs and new opportunities for British Columbians and Canadians.
And, by incorporating leading measures for safety and environmental protection, we are designing a project that delivers these benefits while also protecting our environment.
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