The Haisla Nation have asked the Northern Gateway Joint Review panel to force Enbridge to reveal more information about the pipeline rupture and oil spill near Kalamazoo, Michigan, in July 2010. The Haisla are also asking for more and better information about the $500 million project upgrades that Enbridge announced last month.
In a notice of motion filed July 30, with the JRP, lawyers representing the Haisla Nation note that they had previously asked Enbridge “a number of questions relating to Enbridge’s spill of 3,785,000 litres of diluted bitumen into the Kalamazoo River at Marshall, Michigan (the ‘Kalamazoo Spill’).”
The notice then notes that “Northern Gateway refused to reply as the matter was under investigation by the United States National Transportation Safety Board… The NTSB’s Accident Report was adopted on July 10, 2012 and has now been released to the public. The basis for Northern Gateway’s refusal to answer the Haisla Nation’s information requests is, therefore, no longer present.”
The Haisla are asking the JRP
that Northern Gateway is required to file evidence relating to the Kalamazoo Spill
which identifies the cause of the pipeline rupture and the extent to which
Enbridge’s pipeline maintenance, monitoring and response approach caused and
contributed to the volume of the spill by a date to be fixed by the Panel;
As for the upgrades, the Haisla notice of motion notes
Northern Gateway has identified additional design features, which it states will “enhance the safety and reliability of the pipelines over and above standard industry practice”. The design features identified in the Reply Evidence include increased wall thickness of the pipeline, additional increases in pipe thickness for crossings at major tributaries to the Fraser, Skeena and Kitimat River, the placement of remotely operated isolation valves on each side of major tributaries of the Fraser,Skeena and Kitimat Rivers, and dual remote monitoring systems ….
Northern Gateway has not provided any details relating to these proposed design
features. Their relevance and suitability to enhancing safety and reliability of the
pipelines cannot, therefore, be assessed.
The motion asks
that Northern Gateway is required to provide details of its proposed additional
design features for thicker pipes for the pipeline generally and at identified
watercourse crossings, for additional valve placements, and for additional remote
monitoring, as well as all studies and reports that support how these additional
design features enhance pipeline safety, by a date to be fixed by the Panel.
The Haisla motion also asks for more details on various environmental and other questions.
The Joint Review Panel has not yet ruled on the Haisla motion.