Coastal First Nations reaffirm opposition to Northern Gateway and tanker traffic

Energy Environment

Updated at  1630 Nov.  23, with First Nations are calling for a complete overhaul of the Northern Gateway Joint Review process

The Coastal First Nations have reaffirmed their “categorical” opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, contradicting media reports that a deal with Enbridge was in the offing.

In a news release issued Wednesday, Nov.  23, Art Sterritt, executive director said:

The Coastal First Nations categorically oppose Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project  ….we unequivocally maintain our ban on oil tankers on the coast.”

It was Mr. Daniels, of Enbridge, who spoke of wanting a fresh start with the Coastal First Nation.

Sterritt, on behalf of the board, told Daniels that a fresh start from the Coastal First Nations perspective meant having Enbridge ask the Joint Review Panel (JRP) to stand down. “The Joint Review Process is seen by the Coastal First Nations not as objective, rather as a process that advances the Enbridge Project.
Subsequently the Coastal First Nations has been informed that Enbridge is not prepared to ask the JRP to stand down or reveal who the other proponents are, he said.

In August of 2009, Enbridge stated that the proposed project would not go ahead if First Nations communities opposed it, said Sterritt. “None of our communities support the project. Nor do any First Nations along the pipeline route.”
“Why would we support a proposal that would put our rivers, oceans and lifesource at risk?” Sterritt said. “It’s time Pat Daniels and Enbridge take the correct action and give us the fresh start they promised. It’s time to shut down the Joint Review Process and the Northern Gateway project.”

More to come

Joint Review panel rejects Haisla request for joint presentation of evidence and oral statements

Joint Review Panel

The Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel has rejected a request from the Haisla First Nation that it combine its formal presentation to the panel with oral statements from members of the Haisla nation.

In a letter to the JRP on November 7,  Jennifer Griffith,  of the Vancouver firm Donovan & Company, requested that the panel should hear from the Haisla Nation as an intervenor and then hear the  more informal, 10 minute oral statements from Haisla members. The Haisla requested that the combined session be held at the Riverlodge recreation centre.

Replying to Ms. Griffith, on November 21,  the Joint Review Panel restated its position that:

…the Panel communicated its decision to first hear oral evidence  and later hear oral statements.   The Panel has drafted its hearing schedule, which will be released shortly, on that basis.  The schedule does not allow for the Panel to hear oral statements  from Haisla members  during the session to hear oral evidence  from witnesses presented by the Haisla Nation.

Kitimat Rod and Gun concerns forgotten at KM LNG NEB hearings

At final arguments Thursday on the application for the KM LNG export licence, it soon became clear that the concerns of Kitimat’s non-aboriginal  residents for their own traditional hiking, fishing and hunting access to the area around the Bish Cove terminal have been forgotten.

At the June 7 hearings, Mike Langegger, representing the Rod and Gun asked the board help to preserve “the fish and wildlife values of the northwest,” from the “cumulative effects” of industry encroaching on the wilderness… Langegger asked that the NEB require the KM LNG partners, energy giants Apache, Encana and EOG, establish a joint committee with Kitimat residents, both First Nations and non-First Nations, to preserve the values of the wilderness around the liquified natural gas terminal.”

Langegger`s specific  request is not included the list of 12 proposed conditions that the National Energy Board has proposed to KM LNG.

As well, during  during the Thursday morning hearings, the lead lawyer for KM LNG, Gordon Nettleton, representing both the partnership and a major investor, Apache Corp., while reviewing the list told the board panel: “No further conditions were proposed
during the hearings,” despite Langegger`s testimony to the board while Nettleton and his staff were in the hearing room at Kitimat`s Riverlodge Recreation Centre.
The board has proposed that KM LNG file reports on the effect of the project and mitigation of problems on marine mammals, marine birds, fish, fish habitat and fisheries and “First Nations traditional use activities.”  The request for the condition from the Rod and Gun does over lap with the possible  parts of the report requested by the NEB and the traditional use of the region by the Haisla and other First Nations.

Throughout the morning Nettleton argued that the fact that the KM LNG proceedings are an export licence application only and so many of the environmental oversight concerns would not be covered by the decision.

The final arguments, including over environmental issues and law and regulations that may be applied, continued until late Thursday afternoon. The board panel then reserved its decision on the export licence.

NEB proposed conditions 1 – 9


NEB proposed conditions 10 – 12


B.C. first nation challenges oil and gas tenures sale: Globe and Mail

Globe and Mail

The sale of oil and gas tenures in northeast British Columbia by the provincial government for $260-million is being challenged in court by a native band.
The Dene Tha, a first nation that straddles the B.C.-Alberta-Northwest Territories boundaries, has filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. The band alleges that the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines failed to adequately consult with the first nation, or to undertake studies on the environmental impact of gas drilling, before selling the leases in the Cordova Basin, near Fort Nelson. Shale-gas deposits in the Cordova Basin are thought to be extensive.

NEB adjourns KM LNG hearings as partnership talks to coastal First Nation

 The National Energy Board adjourned the KM LNG hearings early on Friday pending negotiations between the energy partnership and the Gitxaala, a small coastal  First Nation, based in Kitkatla on the northern BC coast.  

NEB panel chair Lynn Mercier ruled that the board would not decide  on KM LNG’s request for an export licence before Sept. 15, 2011.  The panel could reconvene earlier if there is agreement between KM LNG and the Gitxaala.
The Gitxaala, like all coastal First Nations and many other BC coast residents, are worried about increased tanker traffic, whether natural gas or oil, along the BC coast.  That worry lead to heated exchanges Wednesday between Robert Janes who represents the Gitxaala and Gordon Nettleton who is lead counsel for KM LNG.
On Thursday,  testimony showed that KM LNG has been more successful than Enbridge in reaching agreement with First Nations along the pipeline route.   KM LNG has reached agreements with the Haisla, on whose traditional territory the Bish Cove LNG terminal will be built and 14 other inland First Nations, with an agreement with a fifteenth under negotiation.
It appears that KM LNG failed, as late as Tuesday, when the hearings began, to realize the concerns of First Nations along the coast.  Corridor talk Thursday indicated that the some sort of deal was being discussed. The NEB hearings were scheduled to begin at  9 am and go all day Friday. Instead  the opening was delayed until just after 10:30 when Mercier announced the panel’s decision.
Enhanced by Zemanta