Following the Trudeau government’s approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Project, the Province’s clear, consistent and principled position on its five conditions has resulted in tangible and significant investments that will protect British Columbia’s environmental and economic interests.
“The five conditions is an articulation of the way we do business in British Columbia,” Premier Christy Clark said. “We set the bar high to stand up for B.C. to protect our coast and environment, ensure opportunities for First Nations participation and secure a fair share of economic benefits for all British Columbians.”
Protecting B.C.’s Coast
The Trudeau government has taken action on B.C.’s second condition related to world-leading marine spill prevention, response and recovery with a $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan. A commitment to a world-leading system is an ongoing commitment for continuous improvement with additional investments as required in the future. B.C. will work closely with Canada to confirm we have a world-leading system in place on our coast prior to Trans Mountain commencing operations, as early as December 2019.
B.C. has identified 10 areas where action is required on our coast to achieve a world-leading system. The Federal Government’s commitment to taking action on all 10 areas through the Ocean Protection Plan means the largest share of the $1.5 billion investment would be made on the British Columbia coast. That includes First Nations and community training, new technology, staff and equipment including two new salvage tugs capable of rescuing and towing large vessels.
Additionally, Trans Mountain has committed to significant enhancements consistent with B.C.’s condition 2. These include a commitment that tankers will be escorted by a tug for the entire transit up to Race Rocks, and a $150 million investment that will result in a doubling of spill response capacity and halving response times along the Salish Sea.
The Oceans Protection Plan insures B.C. against any cost associated with a potential spill by providing a guarantee of unlimited funds available for clean-up and compensation, allowing dollars to get quickly into the hands of first responders and those affected by oil spills. This backstops B.C.’s polluter-pay principle, which ensures those who are responsible for spills are also responsible for cleaning them up.
B.C.’s Fair Share
British Columbia’s fifth condition related to a fair share of fiscal and economic benefits has resulted in an agreement that:
- has British Columbians first in line for jobs of the more than 75 ,000 person-years of employment;
- will boost B.C.'s GDP by $19.1 billion during construction and operations over 20 years; and
- generates over $2.2 billion in tax revenue for provincial and local governments.
In addition, B.C. has achieved an unprecedented agreement with Kinder Morgan to receive a significant investment worth up to $1 billion. The company will pay the Province between $25 million and $50 million annually for 20 years. This is the first time in B.C. that a company will share revenue from a large industrial project directly with the Province.
All of these revenues will be dedicated to a new BC Clean Communities Program. Under this new program, community groups across B.C. will be able to apply annually for grants to invest in protecting and enhancing B.C.’s environment (more details in Backgrounder 3).
Conditions 1, 3 & 4
The remaining conditions have either been, or are being satisfied. The first condition requiring environmental approval has been met at both the federal and provincial levels. B.C.'s EA certificate added another 37 conditions to further protect wetlands, wildlife habitat and caribou and grizzly populations.
The third condition requiring world-leading, land-based spill response is addressed through provincial legislation passed last year, which will establish a world-leading spill preparedness and response regime. Regulations will be enacted in 2017.
The fourth condition requiring opportunities for First Nations as well as addressing legal and treaty rights is being addressed by both the federal government and the company.
Approving interprovincial pipelines is a federal responsibility. In May 2016, the National Energy Board recommended approval of the Trans Mountain project with 157 conditions. In November 2016, the Trudeau government gave federal approval for the project.
Three backgrounders follow.
To learn more about the Environmental Assessment Certificate for the B.C. portion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017ENV0001-000047
To read Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman's statement, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017ENV0002-000048