REPORTING · 31st March 2011
Representatives of Enbridge, Northern Gateway Pipelines were at Kitimat City Council on Monday, March 21st. Michele Perret, Senior Manager of Municipal relations and Kevin Brown, Community Relations Manager took the stand to provide Council with an update on the project.
“I will briefly go over three areas. One regarding the safety of the project, one regarding the regulatory review and finally, I’ll update you on some regional benefits that we filed since we were last here,” said Perret.
“On the safety of the project, we believe that this project can be constructed and operated in a safe fashion. We base that statement on the technological advancement which has taken place in the pipeline construction industry over the last couple of years,” said Perret.
She stated they were built in mills in a safer fashion and the coating was safer then older tape coated pipes. Finally, she stated that pipelines certified by the National Energy Board have not been involved in spills greater than 10 barrels.
Perret moved on to the Exxon Valdez. She said they looked at the Exxon Valdez and compared it to today so the project will be safe on a marine aspect. She stated several items did not exist and were not as strongly enforced. She stated escort tugboats did not exist when the Valdez went down, nor were tugs with emergency preparedness. Double hulled tankers and the vetting process were not required.
She added some emergency equipment for the Valdez had deteriorated because it had not been maintained. She stated communities would have areas highlighted which need to be protected in the event of a spill which could be cordoned off in case of negative activity. She promised to bring the West Coast up to world class safety.
“If there is a human error, there is another layer there of safety to ensure the ongoing safety of the West Coast,” said Perret.
She moved on to the regulatory review, namely the Joint Review Panel. She expressed these were detailed studies done by experts who would have to be cross examined under oath. The question they will be answering is whether this project will have any effect on the environment and if this project is in the public interest.
“Under economic benefits, we see this as a 5.5 billion dollar (that’s an estimate) of private investment in BC and Alberta which benefits BC, Alberta and Canada. As we see events unveiling in the Middle East, we are proud of the fact that Canada is the only Western Industrialized Country that has the potential to significantly increase oil production. The main driver of this project has always been the ability to access new markets for Canadian Oil,” said Perret.
She expressed these private funds would allow the Northern Gateway Project to move the crude to new markets in Asia; would contribute to labour, government the gross domestic product and would protect and maintain the standard of living in Canada, which we have grown accustomed too.
She explained 4100 person years would be required in BC to construct the pipeline and the 1400 person years in Alberta. She explained the difference in these numbers was because there was more work which needed to be done in BC than in Alberta.
Moving to a local area, Perret explained in the Coastal BC Regional Area, which includes the Regional District of Kitimat / Stikine and Skeena Queen Charlottes, namely, the towns of Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Terrace, would see 99 km of pipeline, two 6.5 kilometre tunnels, a pump station near Clearwater and the marine terminal. In this region, they are expecting to spend 1.3 billion dollars. This includes $300,000,000 available for local goods and services.
Perret said there would be about 1700 person years in direct employment. The terminal construction will require 400 people and the tunnel and pipeline will require 700 people. She added there will be 560 jobs in BC, direct, indirect and induced which will contribute $32,000,000 in annual labour income. The project will provide $46,000,000 in Government tax revenue.
There would be 52 jobs at the Kitimat terminal, other jobs in Terrace and write of way jobs monitoring the pipe and pump stations. 50 jobs will be associated with their activities. On the marine side, there are the pilots, the response and the tug operations and these are estimated at 100 positions.
“This is a large project; it is under a significant regulatory review. I know there are other pipeline projects in this area that have not been subject to the same sort of rigorous review as this project,” said Perret.
The above two slides compares the Exxon Valdez, then and now
Kitimat Town Council must "get off the fence on this issue"
Comment by lARRY on 31st March 2011
The mayor and council have "sat on the fence"
on this issue for far too long.
It is time for them to show leadership and either support or strongly object to this pipeline (and not after the next municipal
election has come and gone).