Re: Protestors disapprove pipeline decision (The News, June 20)
While pipeline protesters are ideologically opposed to resource development, I think most people will agree that the only rational way for governments to deal with major development projects is to base those decisions on facts and expert scientific advice.
That is why, four years ago, the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency created an independent Joint Review Panel (JRP) to review the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal.
The panel heard from over 1,450 participants, and reviewed over 175,000 pages of evidence and 9,000 letters of comment.
In December 2013, the panel’s report concluded: “Based on a scientific and precautionary approach to this complex review, the panel found that the project, if built and operated in compliance with the  conditions set out in its report, would be in the public interest.”
After a careful review of the JRP’s report, our government has accepted the recommendation to impose those 209 conditions on this pipeline project. These include requirements such as in sensitive areas, making the pipeline walls 20 per cent thicker than current standards, increasing the frequency of in-line inspections beyond current practices, requiring the use of two escort tugs through the Douglas Channel, and deployment of additional radar to monitor marine traffic.
It’s important to note that before the project can be built, the proponent must provide the National Energy Board with detailed plans addressing the requirements for environmental monitoring of pipelines, marine environmental effects, habitat restoration, and oil spill preparedness, to list just a few.
Natural resource development can transform communities by creating jobs and stimulating economic growth, but it must be done safely.
Our government’s role is to ensure that the regulatory system for energy transportation is world class. It is now up to the company to accept the 209 stringent conditions and demonstrate that they can meet our world class standards.
(Source: Letter to the Editor of The News, by Randy Kamp, MP, Pitt Meadows–Maple Ridge–Mission B.C.