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PostPosted: June 27th, 2013, 4:42 pm 
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Finally, urban folks are starting to realize how the good existing environmental protection has been dismantled by a government that is beholden only to commerce.
Toronto's Now magazine describes the implications for the Humber River that is under threat of oil pipeline work. And they probably realize it ain't just a river that's at risk - it's everything downstream including Toronto's source of drinking water, Lake Ontario.
Quote:
....
One would imagine that this vital waterway touching the lives of thousands of city people would warrant a supreme level of eco-protection. Once it did, but not any more.
There’s been a lot of fuss around the sweeping changes made to the Navigable Waters Protection Act in Bill C-45 and its effective deregulation of contamination in resource country, but there’s been little focus on the bill’s implications for urban rivers.
Enter the Respect Our Rivers campaign. On Saturday morning, June 8, in Etienne Brulé Park, NDP MP Peggy Nash, Parkdale-High Park councillor Sarah Doucette, artist/ecologist Madeleine McDowell and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority board member Mike Mattos gathered to promote private member’s Bill C-502 seeking the reinstatement of Humber protection in the act, and to launch a matching petition.
The legislative bid, introduced by MP Mike Sullivan in April, proposes amendments to the Conservatives’ Navigation Protection Act (which replaces the Navigable Waters Protection Act of 1882), a rejigged law that, according to enviros, excludes 99 per cent of Canada’s waters from environmental regulation.
“There was no consultation. No one was asked about the pros and cons of taking this river out of the act,” says Nash. “We’ll be going door to door to raise the profile of this issue.”
As part of its connection to Lake Ontario, the Humber from its mouth to Bloor is still protected under the new act; it’s the river from there north to Dufferin County that will have no federal oversight.
What this means is that if a company wants to build on or near the river outside the protected section, it no longer needs an environmental assessment – part of the Conservatives’ program to streamline industrial development. Then there’s Enbridge’s plan to reverse the flow of Line 9 to send oil sands crude east from Sarnia to Montreal, a pipeline that crosses the Humber.
Under the old act, projects such as this would trigger an approval study in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.....


http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=193307

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PostPosted: June 28th, 2013, 10:27 am 
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The legislative bid, introduced by MP Mike Sullivan in April, proposes amendments to the Conservatives’ Navigation Protection Act (which replaces the Navigable Waters Protection Act of 1882), a rejigged law that, according to enviros, excludes 99 per cent of Canada’s waters from environmental regulation.

“There was no consultation. No one was asked about the pros and cons of taking this river out of the act,” says Nash. “We’ll be going door to door to raise the profile of this issue.”

As part of its connection to Lake Ontario, the Humber from its mouth to Bloor is still protected under the new act; it’s the river from there north to Dufferin County that will have no federal oversight.



Ummm... for federal oversight, the Federal Fisheries Act may still provide some protection, especially for the upper Humber tributaries where water quality and river habitat are good enough to sustain native brook trout. The situation for the middle Humber (above Bloor) is complicated in that much of the river and tributaries there are in a degraded state. So with the recent revision (and weakening) of the FA to protect only "significant" or "economically valuable" fish populations (IIRC), the degraded portions may not be worthy of protection as far as the view of the current government goes.

The Conservation Authority does have the means to reject development proposals (the Conservation Authorities Act IIRC) in the floodplains, but this may apply more to residential and industrial development rather than pipelines. And there are other laws in place for protection, but the former FA was the most powerful... the new revised FA may still have some power here.

The Humber is Toronto's largest river and watershed, and with large areas in the watershed still not urbanized, has some potential for restoration back to a more natural state. The fact that there still are environmentally sensitive brook trout in the upper reaches provides some optimism for restoring the river. But developments downstream may be allowed more freely now with less rigorous environmental oversight, so maybe river restoration becomes less possible than earlier on.

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PostPosted: August 1st, 2013, 9:25 am 
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Erhard, this news report today states that Transcanada's tar sands pipeline conversion, if it is approved, will pass through Northern Ontario and then down the Ottawa valley, connecting western producers with eastern refineries, see map. The Enbridge pipeline connection with Sarnia was not mentioned. It seems thousands of km of new pipeline will replace the previous one designed to move natural gas.

Maybe the oil industry is anticipating the protests and problems if tar sands oil is piped through Toronto, and the Harper government isn't ready to accept those political consequences in lost votes.

Quote:
TransCanada moves forward with west-east pipeline

Calgary company's proposed pipeline would carry crude oil from Western Canada to Saint John

CBC News

Posted: Aug 1, 2013 8:47 AM AT Last Updated: Aug 1, 2013 10:08 AM AT

Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. plans to move forward with its proposed Energy East Pipeline project, the company said today.

The pipeline proposal, which still needs regulatory approval, will send 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Western Canada to refineries and export terminals in Eastern Canada.

The company said in a news release it received “strong market support” during its open season process, during which interested producers were asked to make binding commitments for space on the pipeline.

"We are very pleased with the outcome of the open season for the Energy East Pipeline held earlier this year and are excited to move forward with a major project that will bring many benefits across Canada," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer, said in a news release on Thursday.

"This is an historic opportunity to connect the oil resources of Western Canada to the consumers of Eastern Canada, creating jobs, tax revenue and energy security for all Canadians for decades to come."

New Brunswick Premier David Alward has been a strong advocate for the proposed west-east TransCanada pipeline project. (CBC)The pipeline project is expected to cost $12 billion, excluding the transfer value of Canadian Mainline natural gas assets, according to the company.

TransCanada is proposing to convert roughly 3,000 kilometres of natural gas pipeline on its existing Canadian Mainline route so it can carry crude oil.

The company would also construct 1,400 kilometres of new pipeline to carry crude oil into Saint John, where it will end at the Canaport LNG terminal.

The Irving Oil Ltd. refinery in Saint John is the largest in Canada and can process 300,000 barrels of oil per day. Saint John also has a deep-water port and a liquefied natural gas facility.

TransCanada and Irving Oil Ltd. have also formed a joint venture to build and operate a new deep water marine terminal, according to the corporate statement.

The company said it would start seeking regulatory approvals on the pipeline in 2014 and the oil could start flowing to Eastern Canada by late 2017.

New Brunswick Premier David Alward and Alberta Premier Alison Redford have been outspoken advocates for the pipeline.

Redford said in a statement on Thursday morning the pipeline project will create co-operation among provinces to get Canadian oil into international markets.

“This is truly a nation-building project that will diversify our economy and create new jobs here in Alberta and across the country,” Redford said in a statement.

New Brunswick’s premier also used the pipeline company’s announcement to talk about the importance of provincial co-operation.

"This is a game-changer and a historic moment for our province as well as our friends and partners from coast to coast to coast," Alward said in a statement.

"Together, we are seizing an unprecedented opportunity to create jobs for our workers, build a stronger economic foundation for communities, and fund the education, health care and social programs that families deserve."

Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver has said the pipeline is in the national interest.

Regulatory approval

The company said it would start seeking regulatory approvals on the pipeline in 2014, and the oil could start flowing to Eastern Canada by late 2017 in Quebec and 2018 in New Brunswick.

The National Energy Board is responsible for approving pipelines.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford travelled to New Brunswick in June to pitch the pipeline project to politicians and business leaders. (CBC)Despite TransCanada’s push to move forward with the eastern pipeline, the company’s president said others, such as the Keystone XL pipeline, are needed.

"Energy East is one solution for transporting crude oil but the industry also requires additional pipelines such as Keystone XL to transport growing supplies of Canadian and U.S. crude oil to existing North American markets," Girling said in a statement.

"Both pipelines are required to meet the need for safe and reliable pipeline infrastructure and are underpinned with binding, long-term agreements."

Keystone XL would carry millions of barrels of oilsands bitumen a week through six U.S. states to Gulf Coast refineries.

Environmental checks promised

The Keystone pipeline proposal has been met by political and environmental opposition in the United States.

In New Brunswick, Alward said he wants to ensure the pipeline is built to the “highest environmental standards" as it passes through the province.

"Our First Nations leaders will be with us every step of the way as we work to maximize the benefits and opportunities for our First Nations communities, while ensuring the highest environmental and safety standards are followed," Alward’s statement said.

"This project can and will be done safely or not at all."

The project has the possibility of creating 2,000 jobs during the construction phase of the pipeline and a few hundred refining jobs after, according to some estimates from the New Brunswick government.

Alberta has been interested in the project, because oil from that province is now being shipped to the United States, where there is a glut. That means oil producers are getting $20 to $40 less per barrel than the world price.

Those lower prices translate into lower royalties for the provincial government, and that is causing a potential multibillion-dollar deficit in Alberta. A pipeline to the Irving Oil refinery would allow Alberta producers to charge the higher world price.

The Alberta Petroleum Marketing Association, a Crown corporation, has already pledged to move up to 100,000 barrels a day for 20 years on the proposed TransCanada Corp project. The commitment is worth $5 billion.

The New Brunswick government has said it will not subsidize the pipeline.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-bruns ... t-842.html

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PostPosted: August 1st, 2013, 9:40 am 
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For use of the Fisheries Act, it will depend on how they plan on crossing the Humber.

Many pipelines are directional drilled below river beds- in this situation the DFO Operational Statement for directional drilling would apply and no DFO review is required. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/regions/centra ... ex-eng.htm

There are also OS's for isolated open cuts etc.

It will be interesting to see what the official plan will be. Its possible that there may be a Canadian Environmental Act screening depending if the new pipline fits into the new CEAA 2012 criteria.


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