Posted on: August 10, 2017   |  Environment

A “Comment Letter” on the Energy East Pipeline Conversion project was posted to the NEB by the Environment Cmte. on June 1, 2017 (available at https://whiteshellcottagers.com/whiteshell_news/east-energy-pipeline-comment-letter/ ).       The most significant change from previous reports include:

    1. Relief from the requirement for Hydrostatic Testing that would be used to prove pipeline integrity – in favour of double wall pipe equipped with fluid sensors installed in the annular space between the pipes making a leak more readily locatable, and shutdown more readily automated.
    2. Enhancing the definition of a Warranty beyond spill clean-up in the case of a leak occurring, to include provision of 3rd party liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1 billion to compensate cottagers and business owners affected by environmental damage caused by the pipeline.

We also met with Sustainable Development Department’s offices of Compliance and Enforcement, which has been designated as the Provincial office responsible for establishing the “Provincial” position on the Energy East Pipeline Conversion project. Their terms of reference includes the Environmental and Safety Standards to which it must adhere, within Manitoba.  We (Gary Kennedy and I on behalf of our Environment Committee),  met with senior representatives of the Approvals Division, and the Compliance Division, on June 20th to discuss our Comment Letter, and Provincial priorities.

We found our objectives to be quite closely aligned, with our concern over leak detection and automated response systems as well as the need for the pipeline operator to carry 3rd party liability coverage for both environmental damage and the impact of such damage on property values, to be a worthy extension to the issues already being considered.  This discussion is expected to be the first of an ongoing interchange between ourselves and the Province.

 

Report by: Alan Roberts

Chair: Environment Cmte.