Tired of NEB Pipeline Whack-a-Mole? There's an App for That!

Posted by Don Richardson

on Apr 22, 2017 8:01:06 PM

“Canada is a vast nation with a diverse energy mix. A better understanding of what energy is produced, as well as how, when and where it’s transported will lead to a more informed energy dialogue across the country.”

– Peter Watson, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, National Energy Board


Tired of NEB Pipeline Whack-a-Mole?

National Energy Board (NEB) regulated pipelines transport millions of litres of oil and gas under our feet every day.  The network of pipelines is vast.  In 2016, pipelines regulated by the NEB moved over a billion barrels of liquid products alone.  We spend a lot of time with pipeline maps, in relation to pipelines and Indigenous jurisdiction, Indigenous land use planning, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous environmental monitoring and Indigenous Guardians programs or related BEAHR training.  A good pipeline mapping app would be nice.

If you've ever tried to figure out where a NEB regulated pipeline is located and what's flowing through it, you know it can be difficult.  But your days of playing pipeline whack-a-mole on Google may soon be over.  The National Energy Board (NEB) recently launched a new interactive online tool providing information on what products are moving through NEB-regulated pipelines.

 Map image from the NEB's Interactive Pipeline Map, including dots with reported incidents

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Topics: Pipelines, Indigenous Environmental Monitoring

Six Nations Precedent: Indigenous Jurisdiction and Pipelines in Canada

Posted by Larry Sault and Don Richardson

on Jan 29, 2017 3:20:28 PM


Six Nations of the Grand River just set a precedent for Indigenous jurisdiction and National Energy Board (NEB) regulated pipelines in Canada.  And it's a BIG ONE. The precedent will have implications for ALL Indigenous communities seeking to exercise jurisdiction through environmental and cultural heritage monitoring of currently operating oil and gas pipelines across Canada.  This will have major implications for National Energy Board pipeline projects like Energy East and for potential Aboriginal and industry partnerships for monitoring work where approvals are already in place for existing pipelines.

As we like to say, "SHIFT HAPPENS": our experience suggests that Indigenous environmental monitoring simply makes operating infrastructure projects better for all parties.  We follow pipeline regulations very closely for several Indigenous clients, and we've reported on previous precedents like the Enbridge decision on the Enbridge Gas GTA project.  In that project, our work with the Mississaugas of the New Credit set important precedents - those precedents resulted in Aboriginal environmental and cultural heritage monitors being present at one of the largest pipeline related archaeological discoveries in Ontario.


Here's the story

The NEB approved Enbridge’s Line 10 Westover Segment Replacement Project on January 26, 2017.  Line 10 was built in 1962 and is one of several Enbridge Great Lakes pipelines that crosses major Great Lakes rivers and waterways.  Line 10 crosses the Niagara River, while Enbridge Line 5 crosses the Straits of Mackinac and the St. Clair River near Sarnia. Enbridge Line 9 crosses the Thames River upstream from the Chippewas of the Thames and crosses the Grand River, and then crosses every major river on the north shore of Lake Ontario before crossing the Ottawa River. Enbridge Line 9 is subject to a major Supreme Court of Canada case brought by the Chippewas of the Thames focused on the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate Aboriginal peoples.

These pipeline river and waterway crossings are of great importance to Indigenous communities. The Hamilton-Niagara region is criss-crossed by more than a dozen pipelines, several of them more than a half-century old.  There are so many and, so many unknowns, that the City of Hamilton recently formed a task force to uncover answers and to assess pipeline issues that arise across the region

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Topics: Energy East, Aboriginal Land and Water Stewards, Pipelines, Environmental Assessment Processes, Indigenous Environmental Monitoring

What's happening with Energy East? An update on the NEB Hearing Process 

Posted by Meaghan Langille and Don Richardson

on Jan 27, 2017 10:24:01 AM


The new Energy East panel has come out with its first ruling for the NEB review process for Energy East, and its a big one. 

All of the Panel's decisions are laid out in this newly released order with the exciting title: A81494-1 NEB Ruling No 1: How to recommence the Energy East Hearing.  We provide a summary of the ruling below:



-The panel has decided that ALL decisions made by the previous panel are now null and void; meaning the hearing process is more or less back at square one

-This ruling means that the application completeness determination, the list of participants, list of issues and the hearing order are all voided

-The new panel will be determining if Energy East and Eastern Mainline will continue to be heard as joint hearing; those wishing to comment on this specific issues have until Wednesday February 15, 2017 at 2 pm EST through the e-filing system or the participation portal


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Topics: Pipelines

We Stand in Solidarity with Aroland and Ginoogaming First Nations' Court Challenge vs. TransCanada Pipeline "Integrity Digs"

Posted by admin

on Jan 13, 2017 9:55:43 AM


We express our solidarity with the injunction motion launched by the Aroland and Ginoogaming First Nations against pipeline "integrity digs" in Treaty 9 territory in northwest Ontario. This precedent-setting motion against TransCanada Pipelines, Canada and the National Energy Board (NEB) aims to put an end to the continued infringement of aboriginal and treaty rights experienced for over fifty years, a goal we whole-heartedly support.  

The physical work that these First Nations are seeking to stop – at least until the duty to consult and accommodate their constitutionally-protected rights is met – is called “integrity digs.” TransCanada intends to bring in heavy equipment and dig up a lot of land and expose the buried pipeline in a 30 km stretch that runs through their traditional territories. This is the same pipeline that TransCanada, through its affiliate Energy East, is applying to convert from natural gas, to carry dilbit (crude oil) from the Alberta oil sands.  

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Topics: Pipelines

Energy East Pipeline to Nova Scotia: Will First Nations Have a Big Say?

Posted by Don Richardson

on Dec 9, 2016 9:25:34 AM


By Don Richardson, Managing Partner, Shared Value Solutions Ltd.


I was taken by surprise by the announcement that Nova Scotia's Strait of Canso Superport should be an ultimate destination for the Energy East pipeline.  That's the recommendation of a new Senate Committee report released on December 7th, 2016.  The report also highlights the Indigenous partnering, including benefit sharing and equity stakes, that the Senate Committee says are critical for any Canadian oil transportation strategy.  

At Shared Value Solutions we provide environmental and regulatory consulting support for several First Nation clients across New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.  This new report from the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications has big implications for our clients, and will lead to important community decisions.  And it is part of a constantly changing and complex political story that is Energy East.  

Part of my job, which I couldn't do without my terrific colleagues, is to support Indigenous leaders and their communities, in getting the facts, conducting independent due diligence including land use and Indigenous knowledge studies, and making informed community decisions.

The Senate report, is largely supportive of Canadian oil and gas energy production policies and should be read with that understanding.  It is titled Pipelines for Oil: Protecting our economy, respecting our environment and makes 6 key points about a proposal to direct the Energy East oil pipeline to a new port in Nova Scotia.  Let's see what this means...

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Topics: Energy East, Pipelines

Pipelines and Indigenous Jurisdiction: Husky Energy oil spill

Posted by Don Richardson

on Jul 26, 2016 11:47:07 AM

Left to right, Little Pine Chief Wayne Semaganis, Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) Vice Chief Joseph Tsannie, FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron, PAGC Vice Chief Brian Hardlotte, FSIN Vice Chief E. Dutch Lerat, PAGC Grand Chief Ron Michel. Photo credit: Treaty 4 News - http://treaty4news.com/2016/07/fsin-wants-first-nations-included-in-oil-spill-response/

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Topics: Aboriginal Land and Water Stewards, Pipelines, Environmental Assessment Processes

Changes Coming to Canada’s Pipeline Review Processes

Posted by Don Richardson

on Jan 24, 2016 1:06:50 PM

According to news reports from Bloomberg and the National Observer, Canada’s federal government is preparing the specifics of “transition plans” for current pipeline proposals under review by the National Energy Board.  This process is part of a wider process to strengthen environmental assessments.  Trudeau has said he is preparing to overhaul Canada’s environmental assessment process so Canada can get “social license for developing our resources, which will allow us to get our resources to market.”

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Topics: Energy East, Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Assessments, Pipelines, Environmental Assessment Processes

Aboriginal Edge: Confrontation OR Aboriginal and Industry Partnerships

Posted by Don Richardson

on Aug 19, 2015 2:14:00 PM

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce says collaboration with Aboriginal communities is key in natural resource development.


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recently published a report on one of the most critical issues facing Canada's natural resources sector: engaging and involving the First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities that live near or on the land where projects operate.  The report is titled Aboriginal Edge: How Aboriginal Peoples and Natural Resource Businesses Are Forging a New Competitive Advantage.  

Aboriginal and Industry Partnerships

There is a strong trend toward collaborative Aboriginal and industry partnerships.  It's not always easy to move collaboration forward, but the trend is real.  Despite much of what we may see and hear in the media about confrontational relationships between industry and  First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities, the reality behind the scenes is that there is a trend toward constructive dialogue, efforts at collaborative planning, and successful collaborations.  The Canadian Chamber of Commerce Report will help make it clear that constructive dialogue, collaboration and partnering is the "new normal" in Canada.  We couldn't agree more.

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Topics: Unconventional Oil and Gas, Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Assessments, Mining, Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Studies, Aboriginal and Industry Partnerships, Aboriginal Energy Projects, Pipelines