VICTORIA - Following the December 19, 2013 Joint Review Panel report release, Environment Minister Mary Polak confirmed the proposed NGP project is part of the way to meeting the first condition (successful completion of the environmental review process), but there are four other conditions that need to be met before British Columbia will consider support for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, or any heavy oil pipeline.
Since 2012, the province has made it clear that B.C. will only consider support for heavy oil pipelines if five conditions are satisfied:
- Successful completion of the environmental review process. In the case of NGP, that would mean a recommendation by the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel and subsequent approval by federal cabinet that the project proceed;
- World-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.'s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil pipelines and shipments;
- World-leading practices for land oil spill prevention, response and recovery systems to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil pipelines;
- Legal requirements regarding Aboriginal and treaty rights are addressed, and First Nations are provided with the opportunities, information and resources necessary to participate in and benefit from a heavy-oil project; and
- British Columbia receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits of a proposed heavy-oil project that reflects the level, degree and nature of the risk borne by the province, the environment and taxpayers.