Ottawa to launch full review of environmental assessment process – by shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – June 21, 2016)

The Liberal government is undertaking a wholesale review of the environmental rules for approving major resource projects, though the current reviews of controversial pipeline proposals will proceed under the existing regime.

The federal announcement came as the City of Vancouver launched a court challenge against the National Energy Board’s review of Kinder Morgan Inc.’s proposed $6.7-billion expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline to nearby Burnaby, B.C.

In a statement, Mayor Gregor Robertson called the NEB review “flawed and biased,” as city lawyers argued the regulatory panel failed to adequately consult communities along the pipeline’s path and ignored scientific evidence.

In the lobby of the House of Commons, six federal ministers announced Monday that Ottawa would embark on a lengthy review that the ministers say is aimed restoring credibility to the environmental review process.

The Liberals will appoint expert panels to review a series of laws, including the National Energy Board Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act and the Navigation Protection Act. They’re due to report next January.

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