More risk assessment information needed on Enbridge project

  • Jan. 20, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Enbridge is providing more information on the design and risk assessment of pipelines after the Joint Review Panel requested additional detail on the proposed Northern Gateway project.

Enbridge’s spokesperson Gina Jordan more information was needed due to the geotechnical aspects and the geographic location of the pipelines.

“We are assembling information on how the risk factors from the geotechnical and geographical aspects of the applied-for corridor and terminal will be taken into account and integrated with the environmental and socio-economic consequences from potential hydrocarbon releases,” she said in a release today.

The proposed $5.5 billion twin pipeline project would transport oil and condensate between Alberta and a marine terminal in Kitimat. The project assessment is going through the Joint Review Panel, an independent body authorized by the environment minister and the National Energy Board. The panel released its panel session results and decision yesterday.

It found that the application did not adequately address project-specific challenges and risks, citing examples of the route crossing areas prone to avalanches and slides, and issues with routing through the Rocky and Coastal Mountains. It also pointed out that many communities along the route are dependent on the land for subsistence and cultural reasons, noting that there will be high volumes of oil and condensate transported.

The panel decided that it would make changes to the draft list of issues. Hearings, to be located close to the pipeline route, will be decided at a later date.

Jordan said Enbridge will prepare the information requested.

“We are pleased to be able to provide the requested information to demonstrate the project can be built and operated safely,” the release said.

Once this information is filed, the panel will issue a hearing order which will outline the timeline and ways people can continue participating in the review process. The panel is also still accepting letters of comment.