Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in Canada
- 1990 Cabinet directive issued to consider environmental concerns in the development of their policies, plans, and programs (PPPs). Federal level triggered if proposal submitted to Minister for approval and if project may result in significant environmental impact. Act stipulates that the National Energy Board (NEB) members live in Calgary, Alberta. (the Tarsands are in the north of Alberta and date to just before this time).
- 1999, 2004 & 2010 Cabinet directive updated with advice on how to implement.
- 2012 Harper (Conservative) government guts all EAs (Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 or CEAA).NEB (based in Calgary) put in charge of pipelines. The NEB is unpopular in Canada, something that both itself and the Canadian government have acknowledged in 2016.
- 2016 Recently elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Liberal) announces overhaul of IAs/EAs.
- 2018 Bill C-69 tabled. Plans to repeal CEAA 2012 and replace it with the Impact Assessment Act. Broadens scope to include health, social, economic in addition to environmental and has an emphasis on sustainability and indigenous cooperation. One agency proposed for all IAs. Not though retrospective. New act would shift many decisions to Federal level.
SEA at Provincial Level (British Columbia)
- The (British Columbia) Environmental Assessment Act (EAA 2002) is poorly applied and regulated (especially in regard to SEA). There are also numerous activities that it does not apply to, including oil and gas exploration.
- There is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between British Columbia and Federal Government from 2013 on which Act to apply (Federal or Provincial) in impact assessments. But it is of a request nature from Province to Federal government and the final decision is up to the Federal Minister. If the minister rejects the request then the two parties have to seek to organize a cooperative Environmental Assessment (EA).
- These MOUs (and their like) are eliminated in the proposed Act (currently Bill C-69). There also seems to be a provision that eliminates everyone from decision making except for the proposed oversight Federal Agency (or their review board) – Section 39(2). This in fact seems to be how the Trudeau Government is attempting to proceed with the pipeline which it supports.
Kinder Morgan (Trans Mountain) pipeline.
- Current Kinder Morgan pipeline runs from west of Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby in the Greater Vancouver area British Columbia.
- New pipeline runs along the current pipe route but deviates at various places most importantly at the end of the pipeline in Burnaby.
- Kinder Morgan Limited (Canada) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Corporation based in Texas. Kinder Morgan purchased pipeline assets of the since liquidated Enron companies back in the 1990s just before Enron collapsed. It is registered in the state of Delaware (a tax haven). Richard D. Kinder (the Kinder in Kinder Morgan) is a former president of Enron.
- Kinder Morgan has applied (2013 but process began earlier) for an expansion of the current pipeline increasing capacity from about 340,000 barrels to 890,000 barrels a day.
- British Columbia’s recently elected Government (New Democratic Party with support of the Greens) is opposed to the pipeline. As are the Burnaby council, most indigenous groups (there are 131 indigenous groups involved in the official application process) and many other British Columbians.
- Albertan Government supports the pipeline.
- 1951 -1953 Current pipeline built by Standard Oil and Bechtel Corporation (both United States companies).
- 2005 Kinder Morgan takes over current pipeline assets
- 2006 New pipeline proposed. It is opposed immediately by many British Columba groups including David Suzuki Foundation, Sierra Club and World Wildlife Fund.
- 2007 Oil spill on current pipeline at Burnaby
- 2013 An application is made to the National Energy Board (NEB) to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline.
- 2015 The Liberals led by Justin Trudeau are elected as Canada’s new government.
- 2016 Trudeau’s Government announces that Greenhouse gas emissions will be taken into consideration re the proposed pipeline and appoints a 3 member panel to this effect (May 17).
- 2016 The NEB recommends approval of the pipeline, subject to 157 conditions (May 29)
- 2016 Trudeau sanctions the pipeline expansion.
- 2017 New British Columbia Government elected (very close election). It opposes the pipeline.
- 2018 Fight! (it is unlikely the pipeline will go ahead).
Canada and British Columbia Governments (2013), Memorandum of Understanding Between the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (Agency) and British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) on Substitution of Environmental Assessments.
[British Columbia] Environmental Assessment Act, SBC 2002, c 43, [“EAA”] s 11(2)(b).
Chaker, A.; El-Fadl, K.; Chamas, L.; Hatjian, B. (2006). A review of strategic environmental assessments in 12 selected countries. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 26: 15-56.
European Commission. 2018. Strategic Environmental Assessment – SEA. European Commission Website.
Tetlow, M.F.; Hanusch, M. (2012) Strategic Environmental Assessment: State of the Art. Impact