Trans Mountain pipeline: NEB releases conditions on marine protection

The National Energy Board would require the creation of a marine mammal protection program for the Trans Mountain pipeline in a series of draft conditions it has laid out before it considers the project.

The focus of the review is to apply the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Species at Risk Act to project-related marine shipping, the board says in the document.

The conditions mitigate potential risks to the environment and protect the public, it says.

Releasing these draft conditions and recommendations is not an indication of the board’s forthcoming recommendation to the federal government to either approve or deny the project, it says.

The board, which has to have its final recommendations in by Feb. 22, also recommends a number of measures be taken to offset the increased underwater noise and potential risk posed by ship strikes of marine mammals including southern resident killer whales.

Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the transportation minister, had said earlier the southern resident killer whale is a vital part of Canada’s local marine ecosystem.

“The survival of this iconic species is a priority of our government and indeed a priority for all Canadians,” he said.

An oil tanker passes a floating chain link fence topped with razor wire at the Kinder Morgan marine terminal in Burrard Inlet just outside of metro Vancouver on May, 1, 2018.Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press

The Federal Court of Appeal quashed the government’s approval of the project in Aug....

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