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Hundreds of conditions attached to Northern Gateway route's approval

Source:  Copyright 2013, EnergyWire
Date:  December 21, 2013
Byline:  Elana Schor
Original URL: Status ONLINE

In a decision that could shake up the political battle over the Keystone XL pipeline, a joint review panel steered by the Canadian National Energy Board yesterday attached more than 200 conditions to its recommended approval of a 525,000-barrel-per-day oil sands crude route to the nation's West Coast.

The joint panel's asterisk-ridden thumbs-up to the $7.4 billion Northern Gateway, a combination of pipelines and tankers aimed at opening new Asian markets for Alberta's emissions-heavy fuel, includes multiple safety commitments not present in TransCanada Corp.'s current proposal for KXL.

Those extra emergency-response measures for Gateway, designed to help better prepare the environmentally minded province of British Columbia for the ramifications of a possible spill, include investment in a research program to test whether thick oil sands crude creates unique cleanup challenges -- as many of its critics contend -- and information on the specific chemical ...

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