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June 17, 2013

ELC Executive Director Chris Tollefson appeared before the Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel (JRP) in Terrace, BC, this week to deliver an oral reply argument on behalf of clients BC Nature and Nature Canada.

Arguing that Northern Gateway's application is incomplete and should be rejected, Tollefson noted it neglected to properly assess impacts on SARA-listed woodland caribou, failed to provide a detailed baseline inventory of wildlife species impacted by the project, did not analyze consequences of oil spills on marine bird populations, and failed to properly estimate the likelihood of an oil spill from tankers along the BC coast.

In total, the ELC conducted over 20 hours of hours of cross-examination over five days. In November, Tollefson cross-examined Northern Gateway in Prince George on pipelines impacts on endangered caribou; in December, he questioned the company in Prince Rupert on their analysis of impacts on birds and marine mammals associated with routine project effects. In May, the ELC filed a written argument for submission.

The JRP’s decision is expected by the end of 2013.

The ELC hearing team on the Northern Gateway file includes articling student Tasha Gooch, summer co-op student Anthony Ho, and ELC Litigation Director Mark Haddock. Collaborations with a variety of scientists and scholars have also greatly benefited the ELC’s work on this file.

For more information, see:
BC Nature and Nature Canada's Media release: Reject Northern Gateway as Incomplete Say Nature Groups (Jun17.13)

Review panel should toss entire pipeline plan: nature groups (Jun18.13 Prince George Citizen)

RELATED WORK:
ELC Concludes Third Northern Gateway Cross-examination (Feb14.13)
ELC's Joint Review Panel Hearings work featured in Canadian Lawyer Magazine (Dec14.12)
ELC calls on governments to provide latest caribou evidence (Nov9.12)
BC's decision to call no evidence at Enbridge hearings raises questions (Jun15.12)

For more information, contact Chris Tollefson, ELC Executive Director; Hakai Chair in Environmental Law & Sustainability; Professor of Law, University of Victoria: ctollef [at] uvic.ca.