A new ministerial panel on the TransMountain Pipeline Expansion proposal is currently hearing from the public about the project. Resource Works offers this guide to understanding what may, at times, seem to be contradictory information being put forward.
The TransMountain project, approved earlier this year with over 150 conditions, faces two final hurdles if it is to come about: a ministerial panel now hearing from the public in Vancouver, and the final federal cabinet decision due by year's end.
To recap the process so far, this diagram from the National Energy Board shows the steps that occurred during the approval process up until May 2016, when the project got its green light:
(If you have trouble seeing the image, follow this link.)
The ministerial panel currently underway is an add-on, courtesy the Trudeau government which sees it as a means of making good on election promises to elevate the level of scrutiny that controversial energy projects like this one may face.
The panel is led by a university president, a former territorial premier, and a long-serving First Nations leader. Though its work represents a "promise delivered" in the view of the governing Liberals, inevitably there are still parties who will argue that it's "not enough". This explains why there are various contested claims still being made at this stage.
A treasure trove of credible data on the project itself is contained in the 500-page NEB report from May. Inevitably, news coverage at the time was both brief and fleeting due to the natural demands of the media cycle. A lot of the key background material has never been understand except by those few people who invested the time to delve into the details for themselves.
That's too bad, because a richer understanding to the NEB's decision process would be quite valuable at this critical stage.
With the project back in the news, now is a good time to loop back and look at some specific portions of the report, particularly those that concern evidence about safety both on land and on the sea.
Below are some selected excerpts that should help to inform those who are weighing claims being made before the panel and in the media, particularly on the safety issues. These excerpts consist of the NEB expert panel's evaluation of the information that was put before it. They are the analytical judgments by NEB experts who have reviewed all of the information brought forward on scores of topics.
Page numbers given refer to the PDF numbering, not the numbering of the paginated document itself. The evaluation text is presented in italics as in the original document. There is a lot of material here, so using the powerful search function on this website is one way to navigate to your areas of specific interest.
Safety, security and emergency management during operations and maintenance
[p136] Section 47 of the National Energy Board’s Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR) requires companies to develop, implement and maintain a safety management program that anticipates, prevents, manages and mitigates potentially dangerous conditions and exposure to those conditions. The Board acknowledges public concern regarding Trans Mountain’s commitment to safety, and notes that Trans Mountain has an established Health and Safety Management System, which is subject to continuous improvement and ongoing NEB compliance verification activities. Section 47.1 of the OPR requires companies to develop, implement and maintain a security management program, and associated guidance notes indicate that pipelines must be designed, constructed, operated and decommissioned or abandoned in accordance with the applicable provisions of Canadian Standards Association Z246.1. The Board would impose Condition 63 requiring Trans Mountain to confirm, prior to commencing operations, that it updated its existing operations security management program to incorporate the Project. Due to the sensitive nature of security matters, Trans Mountain would not be required to file a copy of this program with the Board. Trans Mountain would maintain the program in its own offices and establish protocols to prevent the inadvertent release of sensitive security information (such as system and facility vulnerability assessments, threat monitoring, and identification of critical infrastructure) which could put the public, property and environment at risk. Under the OPR, the security management program would then be subject to assessment and ongoing NEB lifecycle compliance verification to confirm adequacy and effectiveness to address security conditions that could adversely affect people, property or the environment during Project operation.
Environmental behaviour of spilled oil
[p155] The Board is satisfied that sufficient evidence has been placed on the record regarding the fate and behavior of an oil spill to support assessment of potential spill-related effects and spill response planning. The Board’s views focus on the fate and behavior of oil, primarily diluted bitumen, spilled in aquatic environments. The Board’s views on clean up and remediation of spills to land are included in Chapter 9. Trans Mountain provided evidence, including its Gainford Study, modelling, and a review of other research and past spills, that indicates diluted bitumen acts initially as a Group III oil but quite quickly weathers to a heavier Group IV oil state. This evidence indicates that after initial weathering, diluted bitumen behaves similar to other heavy crude oils and common heavy fuel oils, such as Bunker C. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) said that, in general, there was good agreement between its research and Trans Mountain’s Gainford Study, although ECCC also identified knowledge gaps and uncertainties regarding the fate and behavior of diluted bitumen. The Board notes ECCC said that the modelling tools used by Trans Mountain were appropriate. The Board’s views must be considered in the context that the fate and behavior of any spilled oil ultimately depends on the specific physical and chemical properties of the spilled oil and environmental conditions at the time of the spill event. These conditions, in turn, affect the chemical and physical properties of the spilled oil and subsequent weathering processes and environmental effects, as noted by Trans Mountain, ECCC, and the City of Vancouver. Trans Mountain provided evidence that diluted bitumen is not a simple two phase product in which the diluent portion evaporates when spilled, leaving the bitumen portion behind. Rather, diluted bitumen is a blended product with its own unique weathering properties. Trans Mountain’s research, and that of the Government of Canada, and evidence filed by the Musquem Indian Band indicate that these properties include rapid initial weathering and potential to form emulsions in water. The Board differentiated between the sinking of oil to the bottom of the sea or watercourse, and the submergence of oil to below the water surface. Evidence filed by parties, such as Trans Mountain and the Government of Canada, and past spill examples indicated that diluted bitumen would not typically sink in large quantities, or as a continuous mat in both freshwater and marine environments. Included in this evidence were the results of research conducted by Trans Mountain, the Government of Canada, and Alberta Innovates. Trans Mountain also referred to the findings of the Joint Review Panel for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project with regard to the potential for diluted bitumen to sink in an aquatic environment. The weight of the evidence indicates that any sinking would likely be in limited quantities and only after sufficient weathering over a period of days or interaction with sediment and other organic matter under the right environmental conditions. Elizabeth May and the Pacheedaht First Nation referred to Government of Canada research indicating that some diluted bitumen products could submerge in brackish water or potentially sink in fresh water after approximately seven days of weathering in the absence of interaction with suspended particulates. The Board is of the view that depending on weathering state and environmental conditions, spilled diluted bitumen could be prone to submergence in an aquatic environment. A number of parties filed evidence confirming this view. This potential for submergence must be considered in response planning. Evidence filed by parties such as Trans Mountain, Islands Trust Council, Living Oceans Society, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, City of Vancouver and the City of Burnaby indicates that, if it is not recovered off the water surface, the majority of spilled diluted bitumen could strand on shore, in both a freshwater and marine environment. The extent of shoreline stranding and residency on the shoreline would depend on environmental and shoreline conditions. In a marine spill, the product could also be dispersed out to the open ocean, depending on circumstances. The Board accepts that shoreline stranding would necessitate shoreline cleanup activities which could be challenging due to the persistent nature and viscosity of weathered-diluted bitumen.
Specific to the modelling conducted by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, City of Vancouver and the City of Burnaby, the Board accepts the parties’ position that oil could strand on shore within Burrard Inlet and area. The Board’s views on the spill sizes modeled by the parties are included in Chapter 14. Based on evidence provided by the Squamish Nation, Natural Resources Canada, the City of Vancouver and Trans Mountain, the Board is of the view that heavier hydrocarbon compounds, such as diluted bitumen, that are not recovered during spill response, are likely to be persistent in the environment and resistant to additional biodegradation. Over time, degradation would likely occur but the rate and amount of such degradation would depend on specific circumstances associated with the spill. The Board’s views on spill response are primarily discussed in Chapters 9 and 14. The fate and behavior of spilled products must be considered during response planning, and the response to Group IV products requires appropriate cleanup strategies and equipment. Evidence filed by Trans Mountain, Living Oceans Society, and Shxw’ōwhámel First Nation indicates that such equipment and strategies are available. Nonetheless, the Board is of the view that weathered diluted bitumen could pose particular challenges in response and clean up due to its potential for submergence and emulsion formation, persistent chemical and physical properties, and potential for shoreline stranding. These characteristics also lessen the potential for use of counter measures, such as dispersants and in-situ burning. Environmental conditions and spill-specific factors would influence the use of such response tactics. The Board is of the view that these response challenges are not unique to diluted bitumen spills, but can be associated with heavier oil products in general. The Board heard concerns from many participants regarding the toxicity of diluted bitumen and the fact that it contains carcinogenic compounds, such as benzene. Evidence filed by Trans Mountain, including research conducted by Government of Canada and the National Research Council, indicates that although it may be more persistent in the environment, the actual toxicity of diluted bitumen is comparable to, or lower than other crude oils. Parties such as Trans Mountain and ECCC noted the need for additional research on the fate and behavior of spilled oils. The Board acknowledges that there is ongoing research on the fate and behavior of spilled oils, including diluted bitumen products. This research is being conducted by the Royal Society of Canada, the United States Pipeline and Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration, and the Government of Canada. The Board is of the view that the results of this research should continue to inform the potential fate and behavior of spilled oils and assist companies and spill response agencies in spill response planning. Several parties filed evidence indicating that bitumen is quite volatile during the initial stages of a spill. The Board accepts that this volatility must be considered from an oil behavior, and public and responder safety perspective. Trans Mountain has committed to provide, to regulators and first responders, timely information on the physical and chemical characteristics of any product spilled, and that it trains its personnel and other first responders in safely responding to a spill. In light of this information, the Board does not see the need for ECCC’s recommendation that Trans Mountain commit to providing spill responders and regulators, before shipping, a specific suite of test data for all types of hydrocarbon products to be shipped to facilitate appropriate spill response preparedness. ECCC recommended that additional model verification and validation be undertaken for Trans Mountain’s marine spill model. The evidence shows that the model is the property of a private consultant which has offered to work collaboratively with Western Canada Marine Response Corporation to further development of the model. The Board is of the view that it is within the purview of Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (authorized under the Canada Shipping Act) to pursue this further, should it see value in the model as an additional response tool The Board’s views on how the fate and behavior of spilled oil could affect spill response in areas such as response times and resources required, and environmental and socio economic resources are included in Chapters 9, 10, 11 and 14.
Traditional land and marine resource use
[p296] Paragraphs 5(1)(c)(iii) and (iv), and 5(2) (b)(ii) and (iii) of the CEAA 2012 require consideration of the environmental effects that are likely to result from the designated project on the current use of lands and resources for traditional purpose, as well as physical and cultural heritage, or any structure, site or thing that is of historical, archaeological and paleontological or architectural significance with respect to Aboriginal people. In its evaluation, the Board has considered the effects of the Project to include all of the effects described in paragraph 5 of CEAA. The Board also considered the effects of accidents and malfunctions that may occur in connection with the Project. The Board recognizes the importance that Aboriginal groups place on being able to continue their traditional uses and activities within the entire area of their traditional territories. In their written evidence and in their oral traditional evidence presented to the Board, Aboriginal groups explained how they continue to use the lands, waters and resources within their traditional territories for a range of activities, including hunting, trapping, fishing, gathering of resources on the land, and to continue to access sites and locations of cultural and spiritual importance. Groups also described the significant role that these activities and locations on the landscape have within their cultures and societies. They described how the transmission of cultural knowledge relies on the continued ability to access resources, sites and locations for traditional purposes. The Board acknowledges the strongly held views expressed by Aboriginal groups about the relationships between their use of the lands, waters, and resources and the importance of these within each Aboriginal society. Some Aboriginal groups expressed concerns about Trans Mountain’s approach to identifying the Project’s potential effects on traditional land and resource use (TLRU), and the company’s proposed mitigation measures. Concerns were expressed about how the Project’s potential effects were assessed, the criteria used for determining the significance of these effects, and Trans Mountain’s approach to assessing the Project’s cumulative effects. The Board has considered the evidence provided by Aboriginal groups and Trans Mountain about the nature and extent of the traditional land and marine use that is carried out by Aboriginal groups within the Project areas, and the potential effects of the Project on these traditional activities. The Board also considered all of the relevant information regarding potential Project effects on the biophysical elements and the ecosystems that support these, including vegetation, wildlife, fish and fish habitat, and freshwater resources, which are addressed in Chapter 10. The Board notes that Trans Mountain’s approach took into account all components of the biophysical environment that support the land base, the habitat conditions essential to the practice of traditional activities, and considered all the information that the company received from Aboriginal groups, to inform its assessment of resources potentially affected by the Project and the development of mitigation measures to address these effects. The Board notes that Trans Mountain provided detailed responses to the information about TLRU and TMRU that was filed in evidence by Aboriginal intervenors who submitted reports on the Board’s record. This included site-specific locations related to hunting, trapping, fishing, plant gathering, as well as areas of concern and interest relating to traditional use identified by these Aboriginal groups. Some groups were critical of Trans Mountain’s assessment of the Project’s potential effects on their ability to continue to use the lands, waters, and resources within the project area for traditional purposes, including the project’s cumulative effects. The Board finds Trans Mountain’s approach, including its methodology, for assessing the Project’s potential effects on the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by potentially affected aboriginal groups was appropriate. The Board also finds that Trans Mountain adequately considered all the information provided on the record by Aboriginal groups regarding their traditional uses and activities. In the Board’s view, Trans Mountain provided comprehensive responses and descriptions of mitigation for each of the specific sites and activities filed in the TLRU and TMRU reports on the record. As noted in the section in this chapter regarding lands and land requirements for the Project, 89 per cent of the proposed right-of-way for the Project will be contiguous with existing disturbance. The Board is of the view that Trans Mountain’s proposal to locate the Project to the greatest extent possible adjacent to existing disturbance greatly reduces the potential effects of the Project by reducing requirements for new disturbance. The Board acknowledges that some Aboriginal groups have outstanding concerns about the potential effects of the Project on TLRU and TMRU. The Board notes that Trans Mountain has committed to continued engagement with all potentially affected Aboriginal groups to address issues and concerns. In order to inform the Board about any outstanding concerns, the Board would impose Conditions 96 and 146 requiring Trans Mountain to file with the Board reports on its ongoing consultations with potentially affected Aboriginal groups, including any issues and concerns raised, and any required mitigation measures both, during construction and the first five years of operations. The Board views the final design of a project, including the finalization of mitigation measures and plans for environmental and socio-economic protection, to be an iterative process, and that these can be appropriately finalized after a final determination on the Project has been made. In this regard, the Board views the ongoing dialogue between Trans Mountain and potentially affected Aboriginal groups to be an important component in the finalization of those plans and measures. The Board expects that Trans Mountain will continue to consult with potentially affected Aboriginal groups, and encourages affected Aboriginal groups to engage in ongoing discussions with the company so that appropriate information can be incorporated into the Project design and follow-up programs. In order to inform the Board about the conclusions from this ongoing work, the Board would impose Condition 97 requiring Trans Mountain to file for approval, prior to construction, a report on outstanding TLRU and TMRU investigations. Trans Mountain committed to provide Aboriginal groups with opportunities to be actively involved in monitoring activities during construction and reclamation. The Board encourages those Aboriginal groups that wish to have a role in monitoring the Project’s potential effects during construction and reclamation to discuss such opportunities with Trans Mountain. To facilitate the participation of Aboriginal groups in construction monitoring, the Board would impose Condition 98 requiring Trans Mountain to file a plan for the participation by Aboriginal groups in construction monitoring. In addition, the Board would impose conditions requiring Trans Mountain to report to the Board on its consultations with Aboriginal groups for the development of the Project’s environmental protection plans.
The Board acknowledges the significant concerns raised by the Stó:lō Collective regarding the Project’s potential impacts on Lightening Rock. The Board accepts the views expressed by the Stó:lō Collective about the importance of Lightening Rock as a site of cultural significance. The Board acknowledges Trans Mountain’s commitment to continue to work with the Stó:lō Collective to conduct further assessment at the site in order to define the site’s boundaries more clearly and to identify and address any potential impacts the Project may have. In order to inform the Board of the outcomes of these further assessments, the Board would require Trans Mountain to file a report outlining the conclusions of a site assessment for Lightening Rock, including reporting on consultation with the Stó:lō Collective (Condition 77). The Board acknowledges the concerns raised by Aboriginal groups about the potential effects of a spill on their continued use of lands, waters and resources. Trans Mountain has, in the event of a spill, committed to consulting with affected Aboriginal communities to identify mutually acceptable in-kind or replacement measures to replace or offset impacts directly related to, and caused by, the spill. The Board would require Trans Mountain to identify Aboriginal groups to be included in its consultation plan for review of the Project’s Emergency Management Program. In the event of a spill from the pipeline or at the WMT, the Board finds that, depending on the extent and location of the spill, response time and the effectiveness of response measures, there could be significant adverse environmental effects to the use of lands, waters and resources for traditional purposes. However, the Board is the view that, should the Project be designed, constructed and operated according to the fulfillment of its certificate conditions and Trans Mountain’s commitments, an accident or malfunction that could result in significant adverse environmental or socio economic effects is not a likely event. The Board is of the view that the ability of Aboriginal groups to use the lands, waters and resources for traditional purposes would be temporarily impacted by construction and routine maintenance activities, and that some opportunities for certain activities such as harvesting or accessing sites or areas of TLRU will be temporarily interrupted. The Board is of the view that these impacts would be short term, as they would be limited to brief periods during construction and routine maintenance, and that these effects will be largely confined to the Project footprint for the pipeline, associated facilities and the on-shore portion of the WMT site. The Board finds that these effects would be reversible in the short to long term, and low in magnitude. For the TMRU activities directly affected by the WMT, the Board finds that these effects would persist for the operational life of the Project, as TMRU activities would not occur within the expanded water lease boundaries for the WMT. The Board finds that while the effects would be long term in duration, these would be reversible in the long term. The Board notes that the anticipated loss of marine fish and fish habitat will be offset through compensation or offset habitat, and that specific compensation measures will be determined in consultation with DFO and affected Aboriginal communities. The Board acknowledges the concerns expressed by Aboriginal groups about the effects on harvesting and traditional user vessel movements in the vicinity of the WMT, but notes that the dock and associated vessel movement have been present for many years. Aboriginal groups would likely be able to adapt to the expanded water lease boundary. Therefore, the Board finds that for the WMT, the Project’s effects on TMRU are low in magnitude. With respect to the total cumulative effects on TLRU and TMRU, the Board finds existing cumulative effects associated with agriculture, forestry, transportation, roads and other infrastructure could be significant in certain areas of high development. Given Trans Mountain’s suite of mitigation measures to address effects on the biophysical resources that support TLRU and TMRU activities, Trans Mountain’s specific mitigation measures for addressing potential effects on TLRU and TMRU, the Boards finds that the Project’s contribution to cumulative effects is not significant. The Board is therefore of the view that during construction and routine operations, the Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on the lands, waters or resources used for traditional purposes by Aboriginal groups, and is not likely to cause significant adverse effects on the ability of Aboriginal groups to utilize lands, waters or resources for traditional purposes. The Board finds that in the event of a credible worst-case spill, environmental effects to the lands, waters or resources used for traditional purposes by Aboriginal groups would be adverse and significant. However, as discussed in Chapter 9 the Board is the view that, should the Project be designed, constructed and operated according to the fulfillment of its certificate conditions and Trans Mountain’s commitments, the probability of such an event is very low. Therefore, the Board recommends that there are not likely significant adverse effects for the purposes of CEAA 2012. The Board has incorporated the potential consequences of a spill into its discussion on Spill Risks in Chapter 1 and considered them in its overall weighing of the benefits and burdens of the project in Chapter 2.
[p306] Assessment methodology
A number of participants raised concerns and presented opposing evidence, views and conclusions about specific aspects of Trans Mountain’s methodology, such as air dispersion modelling, and predictions of risk based on chemical exposures. The Board is of the view that Trans Mountain followed a generally acceptable risk assessment paradigm, and that its assessment adequately identified and evaluated the Project’s potential effects on human health. The Board accepts Trans Mountain’s reliance, primarily, on the use of exposure limits developed or recommended by authorities such as Health Canada and the US EPA. The Board finds this approach acceptable, as these guidelines are broadly protective of human health. The Board is of the view that additional assessment, as recommended by some intervenors, is not required. Facilities The Board accepts Trans Mountain’s conclusion that for the construction of the Project and for routine operation of the pipeline, pump stations and Edmonton, Burnaby and Sumas tank terminals, adverse health effects would not be expected. This is because there would be limited potential emissions during construction, the predicted short term and chronic levels of exposure to chemicals of potential concern at the tank terminals are below levels of exposure that would be expected to cause health effects, and because the pump stations will be electrically driven and would not be a direct source of emissions available for dispersion beyond the stations’ boundaries. The Board therefore finds that these elements of the Project are not likely to cause significant adverse effects on human health, including the health of Aboriginal people. The Board acknowledges the concerns raised by Aboriginal groups, municipalities, provincial governments and federal departments about existing air quality in the vicinity of the Westridge Marine Terminal (WMT) (and the lower mainland in general). The Board notes in particular those concerns regarding how the Project’s potential emissions from the operation of the WMT, including particulate matter, could affect human health. The Board acknowledges the general consensus that PM2.5 and diesel particulate matter (DPM) have known negative health effects. The Board considered these concerns, the evidence provided by Trans Mountain, and all evidence on the record regarding the proposed expansion of the WMT. The Board notes the predicted exceedance for the respiratory irritants mixture during routine operations of the WMT. The Board is of the view that the Project contribution to this exceedance will have inconsequential impact on any incremental health risks associated with short-term exposure resulting from operations at the WMT, and therefore is not likely to cause significant adverse effects on human health, including the health of Aboriginal people. The Board acknowledges that a number of people expressed their concerns about how they believed increased emissions from the WMT would potentially affect their health or the health of families and residents in the area because of existing health conditions such as asthma, chemical sensitivities or COPD. The Board is of the view that Trans Mountain’s assessment of potential long-term health effects associated with the operation of the WMT follows a generally accepted risk assessment paradigm and is based on the use of exposure limits developed or recommended by Health Canada and other reputable authorities. The Board finds that, based on the generally accepted methodologies used by Trans Mountain, the potential health risks associated with long-term inhalation of chemicals, such as benzene, were below the corresponding exposure limits, and that this applied whether benzene was assessed on its own or as part of a mixture of chemicals. The Board therefore finds that for long-term exposure risks associated with the operation of the WMT, the maximum predicted concentrations of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic chemicals, including benzene, PM2.5, and 1.3 butadiene, are likely to be lower than the corresponding exposure limits that were examined, including those exposure limits developed by Health Canada and other authorities, and are not likely to cause significant adverse effects on human health, including the health of Aboriginal people. Metro Vancouver requested that the Board reject Trans Mountain’s analysis and conclusions regarding DPM cancer risk. The Board acknowledges that there is a degree of uncertainty in all predictive assessments, including human health risk assessments. The Board also acknowledges the consensus that DPM is a potential carcinogen. The Board has considered all the evidence presented on this matter and is not persuaded that Trans Mountain’s analysis and conclusions with respect to DPM risks should be rejected. The Board finds that Trans Mountain has undertaken a scientifically defensible approach for assessing the potential health risks for DPM. The Board finds that Trans Mountain, in its reply evidence, provided sufficient and detailed explanation for its approach and conclusions regarding potential DPM risks. The Board finds that Metro Vancouver’s evidence relating to its estimations of the DPM cancer risks assign a potentially disproportionately high level of lung cancer risk to DPM in the lower mainland, and the Board therefore questions the potential value of the conclusions reached in this evidence. Based on the balance of the evidence, the Board therefore finds that long-term emissions exposure associated with the operation of the WMT is not likely to cause significant adverse effects on human health, including the health of Aboriginal people. The Board acknowledges intervenors’ interest related to monitoring air emissions, including the recommendations made by Metro Vancouver for additional monitoring of particulate matter emissions. In the Board’s view, monitoring air emissions serves as a valuable tool in verifying and validating the results of predictive air emissions modelling, including those used to predict potential effects on human health. To this end, the Board would require Trans Mountain to develop and implement air emissions management plans for the WMT and for the Edmonton, Sumas and Burnaby Terminals (Conditions 52 and 79). These plans are intended to protect both the environment and human health, and would require monitoring of contaminants of potential concern, including particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, and volatile organic compounds at the WMT. The Board would require Trans Mountain to include with the filed plans a summary of its consultations with appropriate government authorities and any potentially affected Aboriginal groups. In its summary, Trans Mountain must also provide a description and justification for how Trans Mountain has incorporated the results of its consultation, including any recommendations from those consulted, into the plans. The Board’s assessment of the Project’s environmental effects of air emissions, and the Board’s views on these, is provided in Chapter 10. With respect to the potential health risks associated with short-term exposure to chemical emissions resulting from failures of the vapour combustion unit (VCU) and the vapour recovery units (VRUs) at the WMT, the Board notes Trans Mountain predicted exceedance of the acute inhalation exposure limit for benzene under both of these scenarios. The Board also notes these exceedances were predicted to occur within the terminal and water lot lease boundaries, within adjacent vacant lands, and that the likelihood that members of the public would be present at these locations and exposed to the benzene concentrations would be low. The Board finds that, although there would be risks to public health from short-term inhalation exposure to benzene in these scenarios, the scenarios presented are low probability, the geographic and temporal extent of the potential exceedance would limited, and the potential for human exposure would be low and therefore of low magnitude and not likely to cause significant adverse effects on human health. The Board acknowledges the concerns raised regarding Trans Mountain’s assessment of potential health impacts resulting from a pipeline spill, including concerns regarding the assumptions used in selecting and assessing the spill scenarios. The Board has considered these concerns as well as Trans Mountain’s assessment and evidence. The Board is of the view that Trans Mountain has presented a credible worst-case scenario for the purposes of assessing the potential effects on human health that could result from a pipeline spill. Trans Mountain’s scenario was based on the analysis of potential spill volumes that could occur at more than 2 000 locations along the pipeline, and took into account factors such as distances between emergency shut-down valves, valve closure times, and drain-down volumes between valve locations. The Board finds this an acceptable approach for the purposes of assessing potential human health effects. The Board notes Trans Mountain’s conclusions regarding the Project’s potential effects on human health that may result from a spill or accident would be largely limited to mild and transitory effects. The Board finds that, based on the evidence presented, there would likely be potential adverse effects on human health for those people in the vicinity of a spill, but that these effects would be limited in duration and magnitude and therefore these are not likely to cause significant adverse effects on human health. The Board’s views on Trans Mountain’s measures to address emergency prevention and response, and air quality are discussed in Chapters 9 and 10 respectively. The Board is of the view that its requirements relating to emergency preparedness and response are also protective of human health. The Board would require Trans Mountain to prepare a number of plans relating to emergency response and air quality, including an Emergency Response Plan for the pipeline and the Edmonton, Sumas and Burnaby terminals, and an Emergency Response Plan for the WMT (Conditions 125 and 126). The Board shares the concern raised by participants about water quality for Aboriginal communities that utilize groundwater resources. The Board acknowledges the importance of water use for Aboriginal communities, for consumption, agricultural and municipal use, and as sources associated with traditional uses and values. The Board notes the concerns raised in this regard by the Coldwater Indian Band and Health Canada. The Coldwater Indian Band stated the draft conditions proposed by the Board fail to address their concerns regarding impacts and risks posed by the proposed Project, and will not result in the avoidance of impacts and risks to Coldwater’s water supply. They recommended that the proposed requirement for a water well inventory must also identify the location and extent of aquifers transected, and that the Board’s proposed condition for consultation on protection of municipal water sources does not stipulate whether measures have to be taken to mitigate risks or put in place protections to protect water sources. Trans Mountain made a number of commitments to address the concerns raised by governments and Aboriginal groups. These included commitments to discuss how groundwater modelling and monitoring could be undertaken to help address concerns, and to work with Aboriginal communities to collectively determine appropriate measures to protect people’s health. However, Trans Mountain has not conducted a hydrogeological study at the Coldwater Reserve that could more precisely predict any potential interactions from the proposed pipeline and the aquifer relied on by the Coldwater Indian Band. The Board finds that Trans Mountain has not sufficiently substantiated in its evidence that there is no potential interactions with the aquifer underlying Coldwater IR No. 1 and the proposed project route. The Board would therefore impose Condition 39 requiring Trans Mountain to file a hydrogeological study to more precisely determine the potential for interactions and impacts on the aquifer at the Coldwater IR 1, and to assess the need for any additional measures to protect the aquifer, including monitoring. The Board is of the view that its proposed conditions, along with the commitments by Trans Mountain, can effectively address any effects on human health via potential Project impacts to groundwater. The Board would therefore impose a number conditions, including requirements for Trans Mountain to file with the Board a Pipeline Environmental Protection Plan (Condition 72), a water well inventory (Condition 93), consultation reports for protection of municipal water sources (Condition 94) a Groundwater Seepage Management Plan (Condition 87) and a Groundwater Monitoring Program (Condition 130). Community health Aboriginal groups, as well as federal departments, raised concerns about potential impacts to the social health of Aboriginal communities, and in particular, effects associated with any potential reductions in access to and consumption of traditional country foods. The Board accepts the evidence and comments provided by many Aboriginal groups that they rely on, and have a preference for, eating traditional foods. The Board notes the views of both Trans Mountain and Aboriginal groups regarding the potential feelings of stress and anxiety that could be associated with the construction and operation of the Project, and in particular, as a result of the prospect of a potential spill or accident. The Board notes the evidence provided by Matsqui describing the specific impacts it suggests would occur in the event of a spill, including higher rates of illness (from lower nutrition due to limited consumption of fish after a spill), high stress (from a more sedentary lifestyle), and reduced pre-natal health and youth development. The Board accepts the evidence of both intervenors and Trans Mountain that perceptions of contamination could have a negative effect on traditional harvesting and food consumption. However, as described in Chapter 9 of this report, the Board is of the view that the probability of a credible worst-case spill from the pipeline is very low. While feelings of anxiety related to potential spills are concerns for many individuals, communities and Aboriginal groups, the Board is of the view that, should the Project be designed, constructed and operated according to the fulfillment of its certificate conditions and Trans Mountain’s commitments, the probability of an accident or malfunction that could result in significant adverse environmental or socio-economic effects is very low. With respect to perceptions of contamination that could have a negative effect on traditional harvesting and food consumption, the Board has assessed both the potential environmental effects of the Project on biophysical resources relied on by Aboriginal groups for traditional harvesting and land use, as well as the effects of the Project on those uses. The Board concurs with Trans Mountain’s conclusion that during construction and routine operations some subsistence food sources will be affected by Project activities over the short-term, but that the effect is likely to be temporary, and of low magnitude. The Board is of the view that any residual effect is likely to be limited to the period during construction, restricted primarily to the Project footprint, and is therefore low in magnitude. The Board notes Trans Mountain’s commitments to develop and implement an issues tracking process to monitor and respond to Project-related socio-economic issues and opportunities that emerge during construction and operation of the Project. In order to ensure that the potential negative socio-economic effects of Project construction can be effectively addressed by Trans Mountain, the Board would impose Condition 13 requiring Trans Mountain to file with the Board a plan for monitoring the potential adverse socio-economic effects resulting from construction activities. This would ensure that measures to reduce or eliminate adverse effects are effectively implemented within the timeframes for which effects might occur. The Board also encourages Aboriginal groups to consider their potential participation in monitoring activities during construction. In order to facilitate the potential participation of Aboriginal groups interested in participating in construction monitoring, the Board would impose Condition 98 requiring Trans Mountain to file a plan to address the potential participation of Aboriginal communities in construction monitoring. The Board is of the view that with Trans Mountain’s proposed measures and commitments, and with the Board’s conditions, the construction and routine operations of the pipeline and the WMT facilities are not likely to cause significant adverse effects on community health, including the health of Aboriginal communities. The potential effects of spills into the marine environment are addressed in Chapter 14.
Need for the project and economic feasibility
The Board finds that increasing pipeline capacity for the purpose of accessing Pacific Basin markets is important to the Canadian economy and that this economic benefit of the Project is significant. As required by the legislation, the Board looks at the benefits and burdens of the Project before it and not the benefits or burdens of this Project compared to other Projects that may or may not be before the Board. The forecast supply and market demand growth, combined with robust contractual and financial underpinnings for the Project, demonstrate that the applied-for facilities will be used and useful over their economic life. The reasons for these conclusions are detailed below. Commercial support and project need To obtain regulatory approval, there must be a strong likelihood that the facilities will be used at a reasonable level. There is always a degree of uncertainty in projecting the long term utilization of transportation facilities since utilization is influenced by many variables, including supply, market development and the evolution of transportation infrastructure overall. It is in this context that the Board placed significant weight on the existence of long-term firm transportation service agreements (TSA) with shippers in determining whether the facilities are needed and likely to be well utilized over their economic life. The Project has strong support from 13 shippers with firm commitments of approximately 112 300 m³/d (707,500 b/d) in long-term contracts of 15 or 20 years. The Board finds that these contracts are a clear demonstration that the Project can be expected to be utilized at a high load factor for many years. The Board recognizes that the Project shippers’ long term takeor-pay commitments demonstrate and represent the shippers’ belief that this will be a good use of their capital resources, relative to other transportation options. There was no credible evidence from intervenors that challenged the long-term firm TSAs executed by shippers. The Board does not accept the contention of Living Oceans and others that the firm commitments should be given reduced weight because of material changes in the energy markets during the time the long-term contracts were entered into. In fact, the evidence in response to Board questioning on this subject confirmed that the long term firm TSA’s remain binding despite the lower crude oil price environment. While the Board accepts the evidence regarding the long-term shipper commitments, and assigns significant weight to this evidence, given the importance of the contracts to the Board’s assessment of the Project, the Board would impose Condition 57, requiring Trans Mountain to file with the Board 90 days prior to construction, signed confirmation that secured agreements or contracts remain in force with shippers for a minimum 60 per cent of its total capacity of 141 500 m³/d (890,000 bbl/d). Unifor and Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) opposed the approval of the Project because it would undermine investment in a value-added, diversified and more stable oil and gas sector. As well, the AFL made a similar argument saying that the Board should not recommend the Project, and instead require or encourage the market to upgrade and refine in Alberta, or B.C., or Saskatchewan. The Board is of the view that there was no persuasive evidence on the record to support that, if this Project is not approved, upgrading and refining is more likely to occur in Western Canada. If AFL and Unifor were of this view then they had an onus to provide sufficient evidence to support such a view. They did not do so. Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMPL) has been apportioned for several years and producers have been increasingly dependent on rail. The Board is of the view that this demonstrates the need for additional capacity off the west coast of Canada that would be met by the new pipeline. While it considered evidence of forecasts for rail transportation as part of its analysis of supply, markets and transportation matters, the Board did not specifically consider benefits or burdens of this Project compared to rail transportation.
Supply, markets, and transportation matters for the oil export pipeline The Board finds adequate supply would be available for the Project. Muse said that Western Canadian total crude oil supply is forecast to grow from 635 000 m³/d (4.0 million b/d) in 2015 to 1.01 million m³/d (6.9 million b/d) in 2038. This forecast is supported by crude oil reserves of 173 billion barrels, including the oil sands’ 167 billion barrels of oil reserves. The Board accepts Muse’s statement that this forecast is the most current available and it is the only one that specifically provides a crude oil supply outlook for Western Canada. The Board notes that this forecast is similar to those forecast prepared by the NEB and the AER. The Board concurs that the 2015 CAPP forecast is reflective of the current crude oil price environment and while this forecast is appreciably lower than the 2014 CAPP forecast, the 2015 CAPP forecast still projects that crude oil supply will increase between the years 2015 and 2030. The Board was not persuaded by the argument of Vancouver and others that claimed the Board should be considering evidence and assumptions from past hearings provided by Mr. Earnest that are claimed to be inconsistent with the Muse evidence. The Board assigns low weight to selective citations regarding the evidence of Mr. Earnest in past hearings. Past evidence can be impacted by the passage of time and the factors at play in other hearings. Several participants, including Dr. Kathryn Harrison, City of Vancouver and those who submitted the Gunton Evaluation said that the Project could result in excess pipeline capacity. The Gunton Evaluation concluded that under both CAPP’S low and high growth forecast, surplus capacity would exist if the Project is built. The Board finds that CAPP does not have a low supply and high supply forecast. Consequently, the Board assigns low weight to the evidence in the Gunton Evaluation on this point. The Board is of the view that determining the need for additional pipeline capacity is difficult and many uncertain variables exist; however, it accepts as reasonable that additional pipeline capacity is needed to access the Pacific Basin markets. Trans Mountain filed as part of its evidence several reports that provide a forecast of the benefits of the pipeline. The Board is of the view that even in CAPP’s “Oil sands Operating and In Construction ONLY” forecast, supply would grow and pipeline capacity to the west coast of Canada would enable Canadian crude oil exports access to the large Pacific Basis market. The Gunton Evaluation also included pipeline projects that have been approved or are before the Board in their analysis, noting that in each of the supply forecast, excess capacity would exist. As noted above, the Board, on review of the conclusions in the Gunton Evaluation, found that CAPP’s 2015 forecast was misrepresented. The Board did not find the Gunton Evaluation to be compelling. The Board finds that some of the information in the Gunton Evaluation was subjective and not substantiated by facts. For example, the Board is not convinced by the evidence in the Gunton Evaluation that the pipeline is not needed, and that the Project would result in a significant net cost to Canada. The Board finds that because of apportionment on the TMPL, producers are unable to transport their crude oil to the most profitable market thereby forcing them to transport their crude oil by rail at a higher cost or by pipeline to a less profitable market. The Board does not, in its review of a pipeline project, compare competing projects or existing pipelines to the project before it when making its assessment. Therefore, the Project will be assessed on its own merit. The Board finds that there is no reliable evidence before it demonstrating that any excess capacity would be unmanageable by sophisticated industry parties. As well, no shippers or pipeline companies provided evidence that the Project would create excess pipeline capacity. The Board agrees with Trans Mountain that there is currently no excess capacity between western Canada and the west coast of Canada enabling access to growing Pacific Basin markets. The evidence indicates that the Pacific Basin market demand is 369 700 m³/d (2,330 kb/d) and this could be an important export market for Canadian crude oil. The Board is of the view that all western Canadian producers are likely to benefit from the Project in the longer term, through broader market access, greater customer choice and efficiencies gained through competition among pipelines. The Board finds that markets would be available for the Project. Muse identified Northeast Asia to be a primary market for the Project. The Board accepts that the committed shippers are seeking high-growth market alternatives for their production. The Board accepts evidence that there is likelihood that US domestic oil production will continue to increase over time thereby decreasing the need for crude oil imports. Northeast Asia has growth potential, and there is a strong likelihood that a portion of the required imports in to that market will be met by Canadian oil transported by the Project. The Board notes that no party took the position there would not be adequate markets available to absorb the volumes expected to be delivered from the pipeline expansion. The Board agrees with Trans Mountain that the Project is likely to provide producers with flexibility, diversity, the ability to manage risk associated with competing in multiple markets, and the ability to manage development and operational risk. The Board observes that the replacement evidence did not consider the impacts of other pipeline projects (filed, recommended or approved by the Board) on the Project. Muse said all of the key variables concerning the Project were known with precision and were provided to the Board. The Board acknowledges that Muse provided the benefits of the Project in isolation of all other potential pipeline projects. The Board, when it deliberates on a pipeline application, considers the project that is before it and is of the view that the market will determine which pipeline projects are required to ensure the proper functioning of the petroleum market and which projects will provide competitive transportation service.68 Regarding the evidence and argument of some parties that there is no need for the Project because of likely future competition from wind, solar and other renewable energy, the Board finds such positions were not supported by credible evidence. The Board accepts renewable energy will be increasingly important in the years ahead; however, the Board is of the view that world demand for crude oil is likely to continue to increase over the next 20 years. The Board is of the view that it is possible there could be some modifications in policies around the world; however, this is not expected to materially change the continued global dependence on crude oil. The Board is of the view that it is difficult to determine precisely the impact that a major project, such as the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, may have on netback prices. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the quantitative impacts, the Board finds that the Project would contribute to the realization of full market value pricing over the long term. More specifically, the Board finds that by allowing Western Canadian crude to be sold to multiple markets, rather than relying solely on the U.S. market, there will be a reduction in the likelihood of price discounts to Canadian crude. The Project will also increase the flexibility and optionality for shippers. These are all benefits of the Project and to some extent, these benefits may accrue to market participants beyond those shippers who have contract capacity on the Project. Many people and parties voiced their opinion about the economic benefits and costs of the Project. The Board is not persuaded by the evidence in the Gunton Evaluation that Muse’s use of the higher growth forecast results in an inaccurate conclusion in regard to the need and benefits of the Project. Muse in its evidence, does not use a higher growth forecast, as asserted in the Gunton Evaluation, rather the forecast Muse uses in its analysis is called the “Operating & In Construction + Growth”. This forecast as mentioned is comparable to those provided by AER and the NEB. Further, the Board is not persuaded by Dr. Harrison’s evidence that the Muse report was flawed because it relied on a CAPP production forecast that is not constrained by a lack of transportation infrastructure, therefore overestimating the supply of crude oil that would be produced in the absence of the Project. The Board is of the view that the CAPP supply forecast considers the impacts of available and projected transportation infrastructure. However, the Board does not believe that producers make decisions on production purely based on infrastructure developments.
Economic feasibility Some intervenors argued that Trans Mountain had misled the Board by not providing it with market-related evidence that demonstrates significant changes to Trans Mountain’s source of financing, financing structure and KMI’s financial position, stability or ability to finance the Project. The Board is not persuaded by the arguments put forth by the City of Vancouver and others that KMI would not have the ability to finance the Project. With the necessary TSAs in place, the Board finds that KMI would be able to finance the Project. Given the Board’s view on crude oil supply, markets and contracts, the Board is satisfied that the Project would likely be used at a reasonable rate over its economic life and that the tolls would be paid.
[p334] The Board heard concerns from participants about the corporate structure of Trans Mountain and the adequacy of its financial resources in the case of an oil spill. In the case of an oil spill, Trans Mountain is responsible for cleaning up the environment and compensating affected parties. There are many reasons why a particular organization chooses a particular corporate legal structure, including tax reasons. The Board regulates Trans Mountain as the operator of the Project, and the Board can impose conditions on the operator of the Project. As discussed in more detail in this chapter, the Board would impose Condition 121 requiring Trans Mountain to maintain $1.1 billion of financial assurances. To comply with this condition, Trans Mountain must prove that, as the operator, it has $1.1 billion of financial assurances. When the Board evaluates Trans Mountain’s financial assurances plan, it will take into account its partnership distribution policy, or other structural or legal characteristics of the limited partnership. With this condition in place, the Board finds the limited partnership structure of which Trans Mountain is the general partner to be acceptable.
The Board heard from many participants who said that they expected Trans Mountain to operate the Project safely and with as little risk as possible to the environment or property. Some participants expressed concerns that Trans Mountain would be unwilling or unable to pay for the full costs of cleaning up the environment and remediating damages if a spill occurred, particularly in dense urban areas or delicate ecosystems. Trans Mountain has committed to pay for the full cost to clean up any spill from the Project, and has agreed to pay the full costs of a spill, even if it exceeds Trans Mountain’s insurance. In the case of a spill, malfunction or incident from the Project, Trans Mountain must pay for the full cost of cleaning up and remediating any damages caused. The Board is of the view that an undertaking the size of the Project must operate in a way that minimizes risks to people, the environment and property. Trans Mountain, as the operator, is responsible for the safe operation of the Project at all times and, in the case of damages, the financial consequences of losses and liabilities to third parties. To determine the appropriate amount of financial resources the company must hold, the Board reviewed the potential costs of a large spill from the Project. The Board finds that Trans Mountain must have sufficient financial resources in place to cover up to $1.1 billion for the costs of liabilities for, without limitation, clean up, remediation, and other damages caused by the Project during the operations phase. This chapter only discusses the potential spill costs and damages that are directly related to activities regulated by the Board under the National Energy Board Act. The Marine Liability Act establishes the framework for marine liability and compensation in Canada, and is implemented by the Government of Canada. The Marine Liability Act also establishes the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund that provides funding for spills from all classes of vessels in Canadian waters. For more details on financial responsibility, liability and insurance related to marine shipping, please review Chapter 14, section 14.7. Trans Mountain and some participants differed in their estimates of the probability of spills during the lifetime of the Project. The Board is of the view that, while it is Trans Mountain’s responsibility to minimize the chance of a spill, it is not useful to evaluate the probability of spills when determining the appropriate amount of financial assurances. There is sufficient evidence that a large spill may occur at some point during the Project’s operations. Such a spill would require Trans Mountain to have the financial resources to fully cleanup, repair damages and compensate affected third parties. Given this, the Board would impose a condition requiring Trans Mountain to have sufficient financial resources to address the cost of a large spill in a high consequence area. The condition requires Trans Mountain to maintain at least $1.1 billion dollars of financial assurances to address the costs of a spill over the lifetime of the Project. (The amount is based on a large spill with clean up, damage and remediation costs, totalling $1.1 billion.) At least $100 million must be in the form of ready cash to cover costs, including compensation to third parties for losses and damages, in the near term while insurance claims are being processed. For the remaining $1 billion, Trans Mountain must submit a portfolio of multiple financial instruments, describing how they meet stipulated requirements in the condition. Condition 121 describes, in detail, the requirements for the Financial Assurances Plan required by the Board to ensure that Trans Mountain has sufficient financial resources over the course of the Project to address the costs of a major spill. The Board calculated the cost of a major spill by multiplying the estimated quantity of a large oil spill by the unit cost to address a spill. The unit cost includes the estimated costs for spill cleanup, remediation and other damages caused by the Project facilities during the operations phase. Trans Mountain and intervenors submitted evidence that was orders of magnitude apart with respect to costs of an oil spill along the pipeline right-of-way. The Board reviewed all evidence from intervenors discussing the size of other incidents and their costs. The Board found costs from incidents that may occur on the Project to be the most useful. For example, evidence submitted on the Enbridge Line 6B spill was relevant in the assessment because this evidence demonstrated the actual cost of a large oil spill into a river and wetlands. The Board is of the view that the Enbridge Line 6B spill represents a real-world example of a large spill with severe consequences because of the magnitude of the spill and the high consequence nature of the spill location. Its inclusion in the Board’s assessment is appropriate to evaluate the potential financial consequences of the Project. In the same vein, evidence submitted on the costs of cleaning up oil spills in Canada is also useful as it reflects the costs of oil spill cleanup and remediation given the Canadian legal context. However, evidence submitted on the costs of incidents involving the cost of natural gas pipeline explosions was not helpful to the Board in assessing the potential costs of an incident on the Project, as the Project is not a natural gas pipeline. The Board finds that the passive use values and option values do not provide meaningful information to determine the amount of financial assurances necessary in the case of an oil spill or other incident. Passive use values, as described in the Gunton Report, are often inappropriate when evaluating the significances of the environment or natural resources to Aboriginal people and other stakeholders. In addition, in the case of an incident, it is unclear how financial assurances set aside for passive use values would be practically distributed to those harmed, or whether, with sufficient clean up and restoration of the environment, these passive use values would return on their own. The Board find that financial assurances must be grounded in actual costs that would be incurred to clean up and remediate the environment, as well as to compensate those individuals with demonstrable losses to income or private property. Participants and Trans Mountain proposed segregating the costs of a spill into a number of different categories. Providing these categories are data-based, the Board has no concerns and recognize that different methodologies will categorize costs differently. For the purposes of determining the potential cost of a major spill, the Board considers the best estimates to be the ones based on the cost of oil spills in high consequence areas that have been fully remediated. Dr. Ruitenbeek for Trans Mountain proposed a number of spill sizes, the largest being 4 000 m3 (25,160 bbl). This is a spill along the pipeline or in the terminal while loading, rather than a tanker spill. The Galagan Report for Trans Mountain simulated hypothetical spills occurring along the proposed corridor of the Project and determined a maximum spill size of 4 634 m3 (29,146 bbl). This range of spill sizes, from 4 000 m3 (25,160 bbl) to 4 634 m3 (29,146 bbl) exceeds the size of the Enbridge Line 6B rupture as described in the Gunton Report, which was 3 192 m3 (20,074 bbl). No evidence offered by participants provided credible reasons for considering larger spills along the pipeline right-of-way for this Project. As previously noted, the above spill sizes are based on credibly large spills along the pipeline right-of-way or from the terminal, and are not based on marine spills from tankers. The Board’s findings on marine spills can be found in Chapter 14. Based on evidence submitted, the Board finds that largest credible spill along the pipeline right-of-way or from the terminal in evidence is 4 634 m3 (29,146 bbl). The Board finds that a total unit cost of $235,890 per m3 ($37,500 per barrel) to clean up a spill and remediate environmental damage is an appropriate estimate. This is slightly higher than the midway between the differing costs per barrel proposed by participants and Trans Mountain. Dr. Ruitenbeek for Trans Mountain proposed an upper limit of $85,111 per m³ ($13,532 per barrel) for a rupture while the Gunton Report submitted by Tsawout First Nation, Upper Nicola Band and Tsleil-Waututh Nation said that the Enbridge Line 6B spill cost $378,489 per m³ ($60,177 per barrel). However, the other two methodologies used in the Gunton Report result in upper limits of spill costs for $193,405 per m³ ($30,750 per barrel), based on data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and $226,111 per m³ ($35,950 per barrel), based on the Dr. Etkin’s Spill Cost model which was also used by Trans Mountain. These other two methodologies result in a mid-point between Dr. Ruitenbeek’s evidence and other methodology used in the Gunton Report.
Using these spill volumes and cost per barrel cleanup in the calculation below, the Board estimate the total cost of a large spill to be $1.1 billion. Total Cost of a Spill = 29,146 barrels x $37,500 per barrel = $1.093 billion or $1.1 billion rounded up The Board based the financial assurance requirements for Trans Mountain on a spill that is estimated to cost $1.1 billion. The Board would impose a condition requiring Trans Mountain to develop a Financial Assurances Plan made up of two components that total $1.1 billion. First, Trans Mountain must have ready cash of at least $100 million to cover immediate costs of a spill. Second, Trans Mountain must have core coverage of $1 billion to cover the costs of cleaning up a spill, remediating the environment and compensating affected third parties. This core coverage must be a portfolio of financial instruments. At least one financial instrument must be funds readily accessible to Trans Mountain. The Board would require Trans Mountain to file a Financial Assurances Plan with the NEB for approval, at least 6 months prior to applying for leave to open. The Project may not receive leave to open without an approved Financial Assurances Plan in place, as the Board finds it to be in the public interest to ensure that Trans Mountain has sufficient resources to address the costs of a major spill. The full details of the requirements of the Financial Assurances Plan can be found in Condition 121. In Condition 121, the Board outlines the criteria for acceptable instruments. For example, any letter of credit that forms part of the Financial Assurances Plan must be unconditional and irrevocable, segregated from Trans Mountain's day-to-day business activities, and be dedicated to providing funds to cover the costs of liabilities for, without limitation, cleanup, remediation, and other damages. The Financial Assurances Plan must be filed on the public record. It must also be filed with a report from an appropriate third party that has assessed the Financial Assurances Plan and its key components. The report must summarize the key features of each financial and insurance instrument proposed for inclusion in the Financial Assurances Plan. The Board is a life-cycle regulator and Trans Mountain has financial obligations for the duration of the pipeline’s life. Trans Mountain’s Financial Assurance Plan must be in place for the duration of the pipeline’s operation. Therefore, each year after its leave to open application is approved, Trans Mountain must file a letter on the public record by the 31st January signed by an officer of the company verifying that all components of the Financial Assurances Plan remain complete and as the NEB approved. The Board will review the Financial Assurances Plan annually to ensure it complies with Condition 121. If Trans Mountain wishes to change its Financial Assurances Plan, it must publically file a letter requesting approval from the Board at least 60 days prior to any intended changes. This letter must describe the intended changes and how the changes provide the same or greater level of protection. If Trans Mountain accesses any component of the Financial Assurances Plan for any reason, it has 30 days to publically file a report detailing the component accessed, the reason for accessing it, and Trans Mountain’s plan to ensure that it continues to meet the requirements of its NEB-approved Financial Assurances Plan. The Board finds that some of Trans Mountain’s proposed financial instruments may not be appropriate for use as financial assurances. In the event a CPCN is issued, the Board views it as critical that Trans Mountain, as the company holding the CPCN, has access to immediate cash in the case of any incident. Trans Mountain must ensure that its corporate structure does not impair its ability to access at least $100 million immediately in the case of an incident. Trans Mountain’s proposal to use operating cash flow to address the immediate costs of an incident calls into question how operating expenses will be paid during this time period. Immediate cash cannot serve more than one purpose. The Board recognizes that the immediate cash or other instruments that allow access to immediate cash can be costly for Trans Mountain. As part of this recognition, the Board does not require all of Trans Mountain’s financial assurances to be in a segregated, immediate cash form. Meaningful credit facilities may also serve the purpose of immediate cash. Trans Mountain is responsible for satisfying the Board that its Financial Assurance Plan complies with the condition the Board would impose. As noted in the introduction, details of the regulations are unknown at this time. However, when the regulations become law, Trans Mountain will be required to comply with whichever requirement is stricter: the requirements of the future regulations or the financial condition the Board would impose with this recommendation. The Board also notes that Trans Mountain discussed its plan to refile its Abandonment Cost Estimate for Board approval. In the Set-Aside and Collection Mechanisms hearing (MH-001-2013), the Board ordered Trans Mountain to establish a trust to satisfy its obligations relating to the abandonment, decommissioning, and deactivation of its pipelines. With any substantive changes to its pipeline system, Trans Mountain must refile its Abandonment Cost Estimate with the Board for approval. The Board is of the view that the Project would constitute a substantive change to the pipeline system. The Board has a process developed for the review and approval of abandonment cost estimates and so takes no stance on the conceptual abandonment cost estimate described in this Application. Once Trans Mountain is ready to abandon its pipeline, it must first seek leave of the Board.
Project-related increase in shipping activities
[p355] Air emissions The Board finds that although Project-related increase in marine shipping is expected to increase emissions in the Regional Study Area (RSA), these emissions are expected to remain below applicable objectives. The Board recognizes that volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide in the study area are expected to increase over time as a result of the growth in marine shipping, whereas other contaminants (e.g. nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, particulate matter) are expected to decrease due to more stringent regulations. With respect to Trans Mountain’s exclusion of boiler emissions in its assessment, the Board notes that neither Port Metro Vancouver nor Transport Canada were able to confirm whether both main and auxiliary boilers operate when a tanker is at berth or at anchor. The Board understands that Transport Canada sets limits on vessels’ air emissions, but also that it does not have a regulatory interest in whether boilers operate when a tanker is at berth or at anchor. Trans Mountain has committed to maintain a high level of berth utilization. In the Board’s view, it is difficult to estimate the amount of time spent at the anchorage locations and at berth, which, in turn, could affect any air quality assessment, as it depends on a number of factors. The Board notes that Port Metro Vancouver’s role is to direct vessels to an anchorage when one is required or requested, but is not involved in scheduling berths. The Board acknowledges that there is an existing regulatory regime governing air emissions from tankers underway or in transit. All Project related tankers and barges are required to follow international and federal regulations, and apply best practices during operations. These tankers would carry an International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate and be required to have onboard a volatile organic compound management plan. The Board realizes that more stringent emission requirements may be in place for marine vessels in the future, such as Tier III reductions in the Emission Control Areas. Trans Mountain’s implementation of programs and initiatives, such as the Energy Efficiency Design Index and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan, would help further reduce certain emissions. The Board finds that Trans Mountain’s predicted concentrations for both PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide emissions at the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Burrard Inlet No. 3 reserve, as a result of Project-related marine shipping, are well below the applicable objectives. The Board acknowledges ECCC’s concern that nitrogen dioxide concentrations are generally high in the area due to other non-Project sources and that there are uncertainties with Trans Mountain’s prediction of marine-source combustion emissions. As mentioned in Chapter 10, section 10.2.1, the Board would impose Condition 52 requiring Trans Mountain to develop an air emissions management plan at the Westridge Marine Terminal for approval by the Board. Air monitoring conducted pursuant to this plan would verify predicted emissions levels, and exceedances of criteria established within the approved plan would require Trans Mountain to implement appropriate mitigation. Trans Mountain has committed to consult with the relevant Aboriginal groups about the possibility of undertaking an ambient survey on Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s reserve lands. Consequently, the Board is not persuaded that a program to monitor air contaminants at or adjacent to Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s reserve is warranted at this time. The Board’s views around photochemical modelling are discussed in Chapter 10.
Taking into consideration that Trans Mountain and Project-related vessels will be required to adhere to all federal and international emission requirements to reduce emissions from Project-related marine shipping, and given that Transport Canada is the regulatory body that governs air emissions from the Project-related tankers, the Board finds that the residual effects from Project-related marine shipping is not likely to cause significant adverse effects. The Board finds that the increase in operational air emissions from the tankers is expected to be of long-term (expected to occur for the operational life of the tankers), reversible (emissions will reverse shortly once the tankers exit the RSA), low to moderate magnitude, and is expected to disperse in the RSA. In addition, the Board finds that the contribution from Project-related marine shipping to total cumulative effects on marine air emissions is not likely to be significant given that there is an existing regulatory regime that governs the air emissions from the tankers. Greenhouse gas emissions The Board has focused its assessment on the direct greenhouse gas emissions generated from the Project-related vessels, as opposed to assessing the global climate effects of the greenhouse gas emissions. As described in Chapter 10, section 10.2.2 in the Board’s view, attempting to determine and assess the eventual global climate effects of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the Project-related vessels is not practical in terms of meaningfully informing an environmental assessment recommendation on this Project. The evidence indicates that the Project-related marine vessels are expected to result in an increase of approximately 6.9 per cent in marine greenhouse gas emissions in the RSA, 2.1 per cent in marine greenhouse gas emissions in B.C., and 1.2 per cent in marine greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. No mitigation measures were considered in Trans Mountain’s marine greenhouse gas emissions assessment and there are currently no regulatory reporting thresholds in Canada for marine greenhouse gas emissions. The Board notes that Project-related marine vessels are required to adhere to all federal and international emission requirements, including standards for bunker fuel. The Board recognizes that new energy efficiency standards were adopted by the International Maritime Organisation in July 2011, and that these standards may reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new vessels in the future. The Board finds that greenhouse gas emissions are a concern because of their long term accumulation in the atmosphere. The Board also finds that any incremental contribution from Project-related marine vessels would increase the burden at a global scale, regardless of how large or small the contribution. Given that the there are no regulatory reporting thresholds or specific requirements for marine greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, and that the modelled emissions would result in measurable per cent increases as noted above, the Board finds the magnitude of these emissions to be high. Consequently, the Board finds that greenhouse gas emissions from Project-related marine vessels are likely to be significant.
The Board accepts the evidence filed by Trans Mountain regarding marine shipping navigation and safety, including the reports filed as part of the TERMPOL Review Process. The Board finds that Trans Mountain’s application met the requirements outlined in the Board’s 10 September 2013 “Filing Requirements Related to the Potential Environmental and Socio-Economic Effects of Increased Marine Shipping Activities” regarding spill prevention. Marine shipping regulatory framework In section 14.2.1, the Board summarized the existing regulatory regime related to marine shipping navigation, safety, spill prevention, environmental protection, emergency response and preparedness. These areas are not under its regulatory jurisdiction. The evidence before the Board indicates that there are competent authorities responsible for this regime and that these jurisdictions cooperate with each other and other organizations in facilitating the safety of marine shipping. The evidence indicates that the regime is functioning appropriately. The evidence indicates that the regime is reviewed periodically and there is currently a review of the regulatory regime occurring. Any changes to the existing regime would be the responsibility of those competent authorities. The Board acknowledges the work of the TERMPOL Review Committee and, as it said in its 10 September 2013 marine shipping filing requirements, the Board did not duplicate the work undertaken by the TERMPOL Review Committee. The Board notes that the TERMPOL Review Committee made a number of findings and recommendations in its report, and that Trans Mountain said that it supported and agreed to adopt each finding and recommendation.
The Board accepts Trans Mountain’s evidence that the global safety record in the marine industry, particularly for oil tankers, has improved continuously over the past 40 years due to regulatory changes, improved safety procedures, and improved tanker design such as double hulls. The Board accepts the evidence filed about tanker construction, design and operations. The Board acknowledges the legal requirements governing vessels entering Canadian waters and also, the requirements set out in Trans Mountain’s Tanker Acceptance Standard. The Board is of the view that the evidence filed by those bodies that regulate marine shipping and by Trans Mountain indicate that there is an acceptable level of safety in place regarding marine shipping associated with the Project. To monitor future developments of Trans Mountain’s Tanker Acceptance Standard, the Board would impose Condition 134 requiring Trans Mountain to file the Standard and future updates with the Board. Some participants raised the need for additional tugs to escort Project-related vessels and Trans Mountain made a voluntary commitment to implement enhanced tug escort measures that exceed regulatory requirements. Evidence filed by Trans Mountain, Transport Canada and the Pacific Pilotage Authority indicates that tug escort is an important mitigation measure. In its report, the TERMPOL Review Committee supported the implementation of Trans Mountain’s key risk reduction measures, including but not limited to, enhanced tug escort. The Board expects Trans Mountain to follow through on this voluntary commitment and would make it a requirement of any certificate issued by imposing Condition 133 requiring Trans Mountain to implement enhanced tug escort measures. Should such a voluntary commitment become mandatory under federal marine shippingrelated legislation, Trans Mountain could apply to the Board to have its certificate varied accordingly. Marine shipping risk analysis The Board accepts the evidence filed by Trans Mountain regarding potential spill risks associated with Project-related marine shipping. The Board notes that, in its report, the TERMPOL Review Committee did not identify any concerns regarding Trans Mountain’s marine shipping risk analysis. Instead, the Committee said that it had not identified any regulatory concerns related to the marine shipping component of the project and that it did not consider the overall increase in marine traffic levels to be an issue. The Board acknowledges the evidence filed by participants who raised concerns about Trans Mountain’s marine shipping risk analysis. Several participants criticized Trans Mountain’s risk assessment methodology and said that the risk of a catastrophic oil spill is too great to allow the Project to proceed. Others said that, even with double hulled tankers and tugs escorts, the probability of such a major oil spill cannot be completely eliminated. Participants such as the Tsawout First Nation and Concerned Registered Professional Engineers commented on interpreting the results of Trans Mountain’s marine shipping risk analysis. The Tsawout First Nation said that Trans Mountain’s estimates should not be relied upon as an accurate estimate of tanker spill risk. Concerned Registered Professional Engineers said that the spill return periods estimated by Trans Mountain are mathematically equivalent, for example, to a 10 per cent probability that a spill of 8.25 million or more litres will occur in a 50 year operating period, even taking into account all the proposed mitigation strategies (e.g., use of escort tugs). Having considered these participants’ comments, the Board accepts Trans Mountain’s evidence that there are no proposed or widely accepted risk acceptance criteria for marine oil spills. The Board understands that the marine shipping risk assessment performed for the Project-related tankers and the marine shipping risk assessment undertaken for Transport Canada and the report of the Tanker Safety Expert Panel do not recommend stoppage of marine shipping in the area. Rather, such risk assessments are intended to inform mitigation to lessen the potential for an accident to occur, and for spill response planning. That is, the Board does not view the results of these risk assessments as absolute indicators of the actual probability of a spill occurring. To the extent that risk assessments conducted in Washington State and associated recommended marine shipping mitigation may be relevant to the Project, the Board expects that the appropriate competent authorities such as Transport Canada and Canadian Coast Guard would review and consider such information.
Marine shipping risk
The Board recognizes that the south coast of B.C. has been identified as a high risk area. The Board understands that this designation is based on both the environmental sensitivity of the area and the probability of a tanker spill occurring. The Board has considered the probability as well as the consequences of a spill in its assessment of the evidence before it. The Board’s views on the consequences associated with tanker spills are included in section 14.6. The Board is of the view that although a large spill from a tanker associated with the Project would result in significant adverse environmental and socio-economic effects, such an event is not likely. This view is based on the totality of evidence before the Board, including, but not limited to: • the regulatory framework in place and associated regulatory improvement initiatives; • continuous improvement in the global safety record for oil tankers over the past 40 years due to regulatory changes and improved safety procedures; • all shipping associated with the Project would occur within established shipping routes; • the results of Trans Mountain’s marine shipping risk analysis; • existing and enhanced safety measures that would apply to the Project; • the findings and recommendations of the TERMPOL Review Committee; and • the results of marine shipping risk assessment work conducted for Transport Canada and the Tanker Safety Expert Panel. Specific to potential spills in Burrard Inlet, the Board heard considerable concern regarding potential spill risk, the resultant potential effects from a large spill, and Trans Mountain’s exclusion of assessment of those effects from its environmental effects assessment. As discussed further in this chapter and Chapter 10, the Board finds that based on evidence filed by Trans Mountain and intervenors, a large spill in Burrard Inlet would result in significant adverse environmental and socio-economic effects. Evidence filed by parties such as the City of Vancouver, City of Burnaby and the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation indicate the potential extent of such effects. However, based on the evidence before it, the Board finds that a large spill in Burrard Inlet is not a likely event. The Board does not accept the assertion made by participants that spill volumes ranging from 8 000 m3 at the Westridge Marine Terminal to 16 000 m3 at other locations in Burrard Inlet are credible worst-case scenarios. The Board notes that Trans Mountain’s risk assessments show a very low likelihood of major oil spills within Burrard Inlet and English Bay. No credible large oil spill scenarios in these segments of the transit were identified and this view is supported by the TERMPOL Review Committee’s report. Further, in response to a question from Port Metro Vancouver, Trans Mountain filed additional evidence indicating that an incident in Burrard Inlet would not be likely to puncture a double-hulled tanker. Trans Mountain also discussed specific marine safety mitigation measures within Burrard Inlet and area such as pilotage, tug escort, and traffic restrictions. The Board accepts Trans Mountain’s evidence in response to the assertion made by Tsleil-Waututh Nation, City of Vancouver and the City of Burnaby that a potential large spill for a tanker at anchor in English Bay is not credible. Among other reasons, Trans Mountain said that there is no incident on record of a vessel being struck by another while at anchor in English Bay; in the event of a collision, there would not be sufficient energy to puncture both hulls of a double hull tanker; and a laden tanker would not be likely to anchor in English Bay.
Emergency preparedness and response
[p398] The Board finds that Trans Mountain’s application met the requirements outlined in the Board’s 10 September 2013 “Filing Requirements Related to the Potential Environmental and Socio-Economic Effects of Increased Marine Shipping Activities” regarding marine emergency preparedness and response planning. As noted in section 14.4, the evidence indicates that a large tanker spill is not a likely event. Nonetheless, it is prudent and standard practice to prepare an appropriate response to small and large spill events in any industrial endeavor, such as the Project and related marine shipping. General principles of marine spill response The Board accepts evidence filed by Trans Mountain and numerous participants, which in its view, indicates that there are principles that are generally applicable to marine spill response. For example, the Board agrees with The District of North Vancouver which said that spills can happen even with the best possible measures in place and even the best possible spill response system cannot guarantee that resources at risk will be protected from negative impacts if a spill occurs. The Board summarizes these principles as follows and notes that these statements are applicable broadly, and are not necessarily limited to spills associated with the Project and related marine shipping or to a diluted bitumen spill: • The circumstances associated with each spill event would affect the success of the response and there is no guarantee that a spill response would result in the on-water recovery of a significant portion of the oil spilled. • On water spill response may not always be possible due to environmental conditions but during such times, other response measures such as shoreline protection and clean up or tracking of oil would likely be possible. • Response could be delayed due to responder safety. • Even with response efforts, any large spill event would result in significant adverse environmental and socio-economic effects. In providing the following views, the Board has considered these General Principles of Marine Spill Response. Marine spill response regulatory framework The Board recognizes the regulatory framework that applies to marine oil spill preparedness and response. The Board summarized this framework in section 14.2.1. As previously noted, the evidence before the Board indicates that there are competent authorities responsible for the marine oil spill preparedness and response regime and that the regime is functioning appropriately. Any changes to the existing regime would be the responsibility of those competent authorities. The evidence indicates that the regime is reviewed periodically and there is currently a review of the regulatory regime occurring. Trans Mountain does not own the ships associated with the Project-related shipping and therefore, does not have direct control over the ship owner’s pollution response planning. Evidence filed by Trans Mountain, Transport Canada and Canadian Coast Guard confirms that vessel owners must have an agreement in place for spill response with Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) and that the vessels must also have a Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan. Oil handling facilities, such as the Westridge Marine Terminal (WMT), must have an agreement in place with WCMRC, an Oil Pollution Emergency Plan and an on-site Oil Pollution Prevention Plan. As the WMT is regulated by the National Energy Board, it would also be subject to the response planning requirements contained within the Onshore Pipeline Regulations as discussed in Chapter 9. Responding to a diluted bitumen spill The Board heard concerns raised by parties such as Cowichan Tribes, Shxw’ōwhámel First Nation and Living Oceans Society regarding challenges in responding to submerged or sunken diluted bitumen. The Board agrees there is the potential for diluted bitumen to submerge in water but it notes that sinking of diluted bitumen in large, contiguous amounts is not likely. The potential fate and behavior of diluted bitumen is discussed in Chapter 8. The Board acknowledges that the physical and chemical characteristics of diluted bitumen, like other similar heavier oil products, present response challenges. The Board is of the view that Trans Mountain has provided sufficient information as to how the potential fate and behavior of diluted bitumen would be considered in spill response planning. Evidence filed by Trans Mountain and parties such as Living Oceans Society and the Shxw’ōwhámel First Nation indicates that there are tools and techniques available for responding to heavy oils like diluted bitumen. These tools and techniques are primarily focused on detection and recovery, on-water mechanical recovery and shoreline clean up. The success of each would depend on the specific circumstances associated with the spill. The Board found in Chapter 8 that diluted bitumen is likely to weather quite quickly to a Group IV oil state for response purposes. The Board also found that weathered diluted bitumen has potential to emulsify or potentially submerge in water. Due to its weathered state, and the physical geography within Burrard Inlet and along the tanker routes, diluted bitumen would also likely strand on shorelines if not recovered on water. A portion could also submerge and wash up on shore some distance from the spill site. A rapid on-water response would assist in mitigating shoreline impacts. The Board notes that Trans Mountain’s proposed marine oil spill response improvements would substantially reduce response times along the tanker routes and within Burrard Inlet. Proposed improvements to spill preparedness and response measures The Board heard from many participants about ways that marine spill preparedness and response could be improved. The evidence indicates that Trans Mountain, in conjunction with WCMRC is proposing appropriate measures to respond to potential oil spills from Project-related tankers. These proposed measures exceed regulatory requirements and would result in a response capacity that is double, and a delivery time that is half, that required by the existing planning standards. The Board gives substantial weight to the fact that the TERMPOL Review Committee and Canadian Coast Guard did not identify any particular concerns with the marine spill response planning associated with the Project. In section 14.4, the Board said that the purpose of marine shipping risk assessments is to inform marine shipping safety and spill response planning. Trans Mountain used its marine shipping risk assessment to inform its enhanced marine spill response measures. As noted in section 14.2, the Board does not have regulatory jurisdiction over marine emergency preparedness and response planning. However, the Board would impose Conditions 91, 133, and 144 to ensure implementation of Trans Mountain’s proposed emergency preparedness and response measures that exceed regulatory requirements. The Board heard concerns that sufficient resources should be in place to respond to the complete loss of a tanker’s cargo. The evidence presented in section 14.4 indicates that complete loss is not a likely scenario. However, should such an event occur, evidence filed by Trans Mountain and the Canadian Coast Guard indicates that WCMRC and the Canadian Coast Guard have the ability to mobilize resources to respond to a spill that is larger than the credible worst-case scenario. Such resources could be mobilized from around the world, if necessary. The evidence in section 14.4 indicates that a large spill of 8 000 m³ for a tanker at the WMT or a 16 000 m³ spill within Burrard Inlet and English Bay area are not credible worst-case spill scenarios. The Board has therefore given little weight to evidence showing potential effects associated with such a scenario or the response capacity analysis commissioned by the City of Vancouver, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Tsawout First Nation for these areas. Any spill in these areas would also be subject to response efforts. Consultation on marine spill response measures and planning The Board heard several comments from municipal governments and the North Shore Emergency Management Office that they were not sufficiently engaged in the marine spill response planning process and that they were not receiving sufficient information regarding their potential role in marine spill response. The Board shares the view of these participants that engagement with local governments, including Aboriginal groups and emergency responders, is important and those potentially involved in the response should be engaged, to the extent that they choose, in the planning process. Therefore, the Board would impose Condition 90 requiring Trans Mountain to engage with various parties when preparing its Emergency Management Program as it applies to the WMT. The Board has no jurisdiction to compel consultation with potentially affected municipal governments and Aboriginal groups along the Project-related tanker routes. The Board is of the view that engagement with competent authorities, such as Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada, WCMRC, municipal governments and Aboriginal groups, would further inform the spill response planning process. The Board understands there is some consultation ongoing already. Future spill response research and initiatives The Board recognizes the current and ongoing work by WCMRC, the Government of Canada and other parties related to spill response such as area response planning, improved coastal mapping, development of geographic response plans, and research regarding alternate response strategies like in-situ burning and use of dispersants. The Board is of the view that this work should further contribute to appropriate marine spill response planning for the Project. The Board notes Washington State Department of Ecology’s suggestion regarding establishment of a joint geographic response plan with Washington State Department of Ecology for vessels carrying diluted bitumen through shared waters in the Salish Sea. The Board understands that Trans Mountain would not be responsible for completing this task. Competent authorities such as Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada, and the certified response organization WCMRC, could engage Washington State further should they see merit in this suggestion. Chapter 8 includes a discussion on research related to the fate and behaviour of spilled oils and how this research could inform spill response planning.