Green Party Leader Files Complaint to Ombudsman: Is Environment Minister Giving Energy East a Free Pass?

Fredericton – David Coon, MLA Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, has filed a complaint with the Ombudsman to investigate if the Minister of Environment is acting outside of his regulations in failing to require TransCanada to register the proposed Energy East pipeline for environmental review.

According to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulation under the Clean Environment Act, all pipelines longer than five kilometers in length are to be registered for an EIA. TransCanada has not registered its proposed Energy East pipeline. The Minister of Environment, Brian Kenny, is not requiring it to.

“Our laws exist for a reason,” said Coon. “The Minister cannot simply decide that one project or another is exempt from due process, especially on a project with such high risk for environmental damage.”

On Monday, June 8, 2015 the Minister of Environment in Québec announced that the TransCanada project would undergo an environmental assessment there.

Energy East will be transporting heavy bitumen, diluted with toxic chemicals across 412 km of pipeline in New Brunswick. It will transport hundreds of thousands of barrels of dilbit each day across 280 provincial streams and rivers. It will terminate with a tank farm in Red Head, NB exposing residents of this area to hazardous air pollutants.

“The Minister should be demanding that this project pass an Environmental Impact Assessment in NB, not giving TransCanada a free pass,” said Coon. “Our safety, health, and future sustainability must be the top priorities for this government.”