B.C. extremely concerned about pipeline testimony

"The responses from Enbridge/Northern Gateway to cross-examination by our legal counsel are too often incomplete and lacking in commitment."

Ministry of Environment

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is extremely concerned about the answers being given by Enbridge/Northern Gateway representatives at the hearings in Prince George.

“The responses from Enbridge/Northern Gateway to cross-examination by our legal counsel are too often incomplete and lacking in commitment,” Environment Minister Terry Lake said. “Their answers suggest that the company is not taking the very real concerns of British Columbians seriously.”

The Province’s cross-examination made it clear that the analysis of geological challenges is incomplete, and the mapping of geological hazards (such as landslide areas) that has been done lacks detail. As well, the company’s geotechnical assessments use a different methodology from guidelines established specifically for British Columbia.

The Province’s cross-examination continued on Oct. 10, when Enbridge/Northern Gateway representatives would not commit to adopting enhanced leak detection systems. While acknowledging that they are aware of systems that could detect very small leaks, the company would only say that they will continue to study them. The company would also not commit to using automatic shut-down in the case of a leak being detected, but would instead rely on manual shut-down decisions. “One thing that is crystal clear is that Enbridge/Northern Gateway is putting off making commitments about including these systems in the pipeline design until after they get approval to proceed,” Lake said. “We believe that the only way to protect British Columbia’s interests is to ensure that these commitments are made up front, so that everyone will understand how they intend to run this project.”

The Province will continue its cross-examination on operational and emergency preparedness issues in the Prince George hearings.