Last Updated October 8, 2017

Foundation for a Sustainable Northern Future:

Report of the Joint Review Panel for the Mackenzie Gas Project (2009)


Volume 1

Full Document


Acknowledgements..........................................................................................................................iv

Preface............................................................................................................................................v

Defined Terms..................................................................................................................................xxx

Abbreviations and Acronyms.............................................................................................................xxxii

CHAPTER 1 — Project Context

1.1 THE LAND.......................................................................................................................... 3

1.2 THE PEOPLE....................................................................................................................... 4

1.3 THE EVOLVING NORTH.......................................................................................................... 6

1.4 ASPIRATIONS AND APPREHENSIONS........................................................................................ 7

1.5 THE FUTURE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT......................................................................... 11


CHAPTER 2 — Project Description

2.1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................... 15

2.1.1 PROJECT OVERVIEW................................................................................................ 15

2.1.2 PROPONENTS......................................................................................................... 19

2.1.3 CAPACITY............................................................................................................. 19

2.1.4 PROJECT SCHEDULE................................................................................................. 20

2.2 MAJOR PROJECT COMPONENTS.............................................................................................. 24

2.2.1 ANCHOR FIELDS...................................................................................................... 24

2.2.2 MACKENZIE GATHERING SYSTEM................................................................................ 30

2.2.3 MACKENZIE VALLEY PIPELINE..................................................................................... 34

2.2.4 MACKENZIE GAS PROJECT FOOTPRINT......................................................................... 37

2.2.5 NORTHWEST ALBERTA FACILITIES.............................................................................. 37

2.2.6 PROJECT PRODUCTS................................................................................................ 38

2.3 PROJECT INFRASTRUCTURE................................................................................................... 38

2.3.1 CAMPS.................................................................................................................. 42

2.3.2 POTABLE WATER SUPPLY.......................................................................................... 42

2.3.3 BARGE LANDING SITES.............................................................................................. 42

2.3.4 STOCKPILE AND FUEL STORAGE SITES......................................................................... 42

2.3.5 ROADS................................................................................................................... 42

2.3.6 AIRSTRIPS AND HELIPADS......................................................................................... 42

2.3.7 BORROW SITES....................................................................................................... 42

2.4 LOGISTICS AND TRANSPORTATION.......................................................................................... 43

2.4.1 ESTIMATED CARGO WEIGHT...................................................................................... 43

2.4.2 CARGO TRANSPORTATION REQUIREMENTS.................................................................... 43

2.4.3 WORKFORCE TRANSPORTATION REQUIREMENTS............................................................ 43

2.5 EXPENDITURES AND WORKFORCE............................................................................................ 45

2.5.1 EXPENDITURES....................................................................................................... 45

2.5.2 WORKFORCE........................................................................................................... 46

2.6 ENVIRONMENTAL INPUTS AND OUTPUTS................................................................................... 47

2.6.1 INPUTS.................................................................................................................. 47

2.6.2 OUTPUTS............................................................................................................... 47

2.7 OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE............................................................................................ 48

2.8 DECOMMISSIONING, RECLAMATION AND ABANDONMENT.............................................................. 49

2.8.1 INFRASTRUCTURE DECOMMISSIONING.......................................................................... 49

2.8.2 FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT DECOMMISSIONING........................................................... 49

2.8.3 NORTHWEST ALBERTA FACILITIES.............................................................................. 50


CHAPTER 3 — Potential Future Developments

3.1 THE PROJECT AS FILED WITH THE PANEL................................................................................. 53

3.2 EXPANSION CAPACITY SCENARIO OF THE MACKENZIE VALLEY PIPELINE......................................... 53

3.3 PROPONENTS’ HYPOTHETICAL EXPANSION CAPACITY SCENARIO................................................... 54

3.3.1 GLJ REPORT............................................................................................................ 54

3.3.2 OIL AND GAS MANAGEMENT DIRECTORATE................................................................... 54

3.3.3 PROPONENTS’ SCENARIO........................................................................................... 56

3.4 OTHER FUTURE SCENARIOS................................................................................................... 63

3.4.1 CANADIAN ARCTIC RESOURCES COMMITTEE’S SUBMISSION............................................. 63

3.4.2 OTHER VIEWS......................................................................................................... 68

3.4.3 “BASIN-OPENING” PROJECT....................................................................................... 68

3.5 SUMMARY.......................................................................................................................... 68


CHAPTER 4 — Review Process

4.1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................... 73

4.1.1 JOINT REVIEW PANEL AGREEMENT.............................................................................. 73

4.1.2 DOWNSTREAM REGULATORS...................................................................................... 74

4.2 ESTABLISHMENT OF THE JOINT REVIEW PANEL......................................................................... 76

4.2.1 APPOINTMENT OF THE PANEL.................................................................................... 76

4.2.2 APPOINTMENT UNDER SECTION 15 OF THE NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD ACT.......................... 76

4.2.3 INDEPENDENCE OF THE JOINT REVIEW PANEL............................................................... 76

4.3 MANDATE OF THE JOINT REVIEW PANEL.................................................................................. 76

4.3.1 GENERAL............................................................................................................... 76

4.3.2 STEPS PRIOR TO PUBLIC HEARING PHASE..................................................................... 77

4.4 PUBLIC HEARINGS................................................................................................................ 78

4.4.1 PUBLIC INPUT AND ACCESSIBILITY............................................................................. 78

4.4.2 HEARINGS SCHEDULE AND GUIDANCE........................................................................... 79

4.4.3 HEARINGS STATISTICS............................................................................................. 80

4.5 RULINGS ON MOTIONS.......................................................................................................... 80

4.6 SITE VISITS....................................................................................................................... 80

4.7 TIMING OF PANEL RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................................................... 80

4.7.1 GOVERNMENT RESPONSE.......................................................................................... 80

4.7.2 DECISION TO CONSTRUCT........................................................................................ 80

4.7.3 LEAVE TO OPEN...................................................................................................... 80

4.7.4 COMMENCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION.......................................................................... 80


CHAPTER 5 — Approach and Methods

5.1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................... 83

5.2 SCOPING THE PROJECT......................................................................................................... 84

5.2.1 PROJECT NEED AND PURPOSE.................................................................................... 84

5.2.2 ALTERNATIVES....................................................................................................... 86

5.3 THE RECEIVING ENVIRONMENT............................................................................................... 88

5.3.1 IDENTIFICATION OF VALUED COMPONENTS.................................................................. 88

5.3.2 TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL BOUNDARIES........................................................................ 88

5.3.3 BASELINE INFORMATION........................................................................................... 89

5.3.4 TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE........................................................................................ 90

5.4 IMPACT ASSESSMENT.......................................................................................................... 92

5.4.1 IMPACT PREDICTION................................................................................................ 92

5.4.2 PROPONENTS’ COMMITMENTS, MITIGATION AND ENHANCEMENT....................................... 92

5.4.3 UNCERTAINTY AND THE PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH...................................................... 93

5.4.4 MONITORING AND ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT.................................................................. 95

5.4.5 CUMULATIVE IMPACT ASSESSMENT............................................................................ 97

5.4.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF PROJECT IMPACTS.......................................................................... 99

5.4.7 THE PANEL’S SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK.............................................. 103


CHAPTER 6 — Project Design, Construction and Operations

6.1 THE PROJECT AND THE ENVIRONMENT.....................................................................................109

6.1.1 THE DISTINCTIVE NATURE OF THE PROJECT................................................................ 110

6.1.2 PREVIOUS ARCTIC OIL AND GAS PROJECTS.................................................................. 110

6.1.3 TERRAIN AND PERMAFROST CONDITIONS IN THE PROJECT REVIEW AREA........................... 111

6.1.4 PANEL VIEWS......................................................................................................... 113

6.2 PROPONENTS’ APPROACH TO PROJECT DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATIONS...........................114

6.2.1 PROPONENTS’ INFORMATION BASE............................................................................. 114

6.2.2 PROPONENTS’ DESIGN APPROACH............................................................................... 116

6.2.3 DESIGNING FOR GEOHAZARDS................................................................................... 118

6.2.4 ROUTING, SITING AND PROJECT FOOTPRINT................................................................ 119

6.2.5 PANEL VIEWS........................................................................................................ 120

6.3 GENERAL DESIGN FOR THERMAL IMPACTS............................................................................... 122

6.3.1 RIGHT-OF-WAY AND SITE PREPARATION AND RECLAMATION METHODS............................ 123

6.3.2 PIPELINE OPERATING TEMPERATURE REGIME............................................................... 126

6.3.3 CLIMATE CHANGE................................................................................................... 128

6.3.4 PANEL VIEWS........................................................................................................ 130

6.4 THAW SETTLEMENT............................................................................................................ 131

6.4.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS.............................................................................................. 131

6.4.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................ 134

6.4.3 PANEL VIEWS........................................................................................................ 137

6.5 SLOPE STABILITY IN PERMAFROST........................................................................................ 138

6.5.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS.............................................................................................. 138

6.5.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.......................................................... 141

6.5.3 PANEL VIEWS........................................................................................................ 141

6.6 FROST HEAVE, FROST BULBS AND GROUNDWATER FLOW ........................................................... 142

6.6.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS.............................................................................................. 143

6.6.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.......................................................... 145

6.6.3 PANEL VIEWS........................................................................................................ 145

6.7 WATERCOURSE CROSSINGS.................................................................................................. 146

6.7.1 EXISTING CONDITIONS............................................................................................ 146

6.7.2 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS.............................................................................................. 146

6.7.3 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................ 149

6.7.4 PANEL VIEWS........................................................................................................ 150

6.8 OTHER GEOHAZARDS.......................................................................................................... 151

6.8.1 SEISMICITY.......................................................................................................... 151

6.8.2 ACID-ROCK DRAINAGE............................................................................................. 151

6.8.3 KARST TOPOGRAPHY.............................................................................................. 152

6.8.4 PANEL VIEWS....................................................................................................... 152

6.9 ANCHOR FIELDS................................................................................................................ 152

6.9.1 PERMAFROST AT DEPTH......................................................................................... 152

6.9.2 SHALLOW GAS...................................................................................................... 154

6.9.3 SEA-LEVEL CHANGE, STORM SURGES AND SUBMERGENCE.............................................. 155

6.9.4 EXTRACTION-INDUCED SUBSIDENCE.......................................................................... 156

6.10 OVERALL PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS................................................................... 163


CHAPTER 7 — Accidents, Malfunctions and Emergency Response

7.1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................171

7.2 EXISTING CONDITIONS........................................................................................................172

7.2.1 NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD....................................................................................... 172

7.2.2 GOVERNMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES........................................................ 172

7.2.3 ENVIRONMENT CANADA.......................................................................................... 173

7.2.4 INDIAN AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS CANADA.................................................................. 173

7.2.5 TRANSPORT CANADA............................................................................................. 173

7.2.6 LAND AND WATER BOARDS...................................................................................... 173

7.2.7 THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES/NUNAVUT SPILLS WORKING AGREEMENT........................... 173

7.2.8 AQUATIC SPILLS................................................................................................... 174

7.2.9 TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS................................................................. 176

7.3 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS...........................................................................................................176

7.3.1 KEY PLANNING DOCUMENTS..................................................................................... 176

7.3.2 ACCIDENT AND MALFUNCTION SCENARIOS................................................................. 178

7.3.3 PROPONENTS’ MITIGATION MEASURES AND COMMITMENTS........................................... 181

7.4 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................... 184

7.4.1 ANCHOR FIELDS AND PIPELINES............................................................................... 184

7.4.2 TRANSPORTATION................................................................................................. 185

7.4.3 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS MANAGEMENT..................................................................... 188

7.4.4 GENERAL CONCERNS.............................................................................................. 188

7.5 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS................................................................................. 190

7.5.1 SPILL REPORTING.................................................................................................. 191

7.5.2 SPILL CONTINGENCY PLANNING............................................................................... 191

7.5.3 TRANSPORT AND STORAGE OF DANGEROUS GOODS..................................................... 192

7.5.4 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AND DANGEROUS GOODS MANAGEMENT PLANNING..................... 192

7.5.5 ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY PLANS........................................................................ 192

7.5.6 RESPONSE AND DESIGN FOR EARTHQUAKES............................................................... 193

7.5.7 EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE PLAN....................................................... 193

7.5.8 LOCAL SPILL RESPONSE CAPACITY........................................................................... 194

7.5.9 GOVERNMENT PREPAREDNESS................................................................................. 194


CHAPTER 8 — Air and Water Quality

8.1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................ 197

8.2 AIR QUALITY.................................................................................................................... 197

8.2.1 EXISTING CONDITIONS.......................................................................................... 197

8.2.2 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................. 198

8.2.3 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS........................................................................................... 201

8.2.4 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................... 202

8.3 WASTE INCINERATION........................................................................................................ 204

8.3.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................. 204

8.3.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................... 205

8.3.3 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATION....................................................................... 205

8.4 GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS.............................................................................................. 207

8.4.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................. 207

8.4.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................... 209

8.4.3 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................... 214

8.5 WATER QUALITY AND DRINKING W ATER................................................................................ 219

8.5.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................. 219

8.5.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................... 221

8.5.3 PANEL VIEWS....................................................................................................... 222


CHAPTER 9 — Fish and Marine Mammals

9.1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. 225

9.2 PROPONENTS’ APPROACH TO IMPACT ASSESSMENT................................................................. 226

9.2.1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................... 226

9.2.2 BASELINE CONDITIONS........................................................................................... 226

9.2.3 PANEL VIEWS....................................................................................................... 228

9.3 WATERCOURSE CROSSINGS................................................................................................. 228

9.3.1 EXISTING CONDITIONS.......................................................................................... 228

9.3.2 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................. 229

9.3.3 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................... 231

9.3.4 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................... 234

9.4 FROST BULBS AND AUFEIS.................................................................................................. 235

9.4.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................. 235

9.4.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................... 236

9.4.3 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATION...................................................................... 237

9.5 HABITAT COMPENSATION................................................................................................... 238

9.5.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................ 238

9.5.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................ 238

9.5.3 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................................... 239

9.6 BARGE TRAFFIC AND LANDING SITE CONSTRUCTION................................................................ 240

9.6.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................ 240

9.6.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................ 242

9.6.3 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATION...................................................................... 244

9.7 MARINE AND RIVER DREDGING, AND DISPOSAL AT SEA............................................................. 245

9.7.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................. 245

9.7.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................... 248

9.7.3 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................... 250

9.8 MARINE MAMMALS............................................................................................................. 250

9.8.1 EXISTING CONDITIONS........................................................................................... 250

9.8.2 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................. 251

9.8.3 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................... 253

9.8.4 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................... 256

9.9 BALLAST WATER DISPOSAL................................................................................................. 258

9.9.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................. 258

9.9.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................... 258

9.9.3 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................... 259

9.10 WATER WITHDRAWAL AND DISCHARGE................................................................................. 260

9.10.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................ 260

9.10.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................ 262

9.10.3 PANEL VIEWS...................................................................................................... 262

9.11 FISHERIES MANAGEMENT................................................................................................... 262

9.11.1 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS............................................................................................ 262

9.11.2 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................ 262

9.11.3 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATION..................................................................... 264


CHAPTER 10 — Wildlife

10.1 INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................... 269

10.2 IMPACT ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY................................................................................. 270

10.2.1 PROPONENTS’ ASSESSMENT METHODS.................................................................... 270

10.2.2 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATION..................................................................... 272

10.3 SPECIES AT RISK..............................................................................................................274

10.3.1 ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS................................................................................ 274

10.3.2 SELECTION OF SPECIES FOR ASSESSMENT.............................................................. 276

10.3.3 ASSESSMENT METHODS....................................................................................... 277

10.3.4 IMPACT ASSESSMENT.......................................................................................... 278

10.3.5 CUMULATIVE IMPACT ASSESSMENT........................................................................ 278

10.3.6 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS....................................................... 279

10.3.7 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS................................................................... 279

10.4 WOO DLAND (BOREAL) CARIBOU......................................................................................... 282

10.4.1 EXISTING CONDITIONS......................................................................................... 282

10.4.2 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS........................................................................................... 286

10.4.3 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS....................................................... 287

10.4.4 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATION..................................................................... 292

10.5 BARREN GROUND CARIBOU................................................................................................. 295

10.5.1 EXISTING CONDITIONS......................................................................................... 295

10.5.2 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS........................................................................................... 296

10.5.3 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS....................................................... 297

10.5.4 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS................................................................... 299

10.6 GRIZZLY BEAR.................................................................................................................301

10.6.1 EXISTING CONDITIONS........................................................................................ 301

10.6.2 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS........................................................................................... 302

10.6.3 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS....................................................... 303

10.6.4 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................................. 304

10.7 POLAR BEAR................................................................................................................... 304

10.7.1 EXISTING CONDITIONS........................................................................................ 304

10.7.2 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS........................................................................................... 305

10.7.3 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS....................................................... 305

10.7.4 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS................................................................... 306

10.8 MOOSE......................................................................................................................... 306

10.8.1 EXISTING CONDITIONS........................................................................................ 306

10.8.2 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS.......................................................................................... 307

10.8.3 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS...................................................... 308

10.8.4 PANEL VIEWS.................................................................................................... 308

10.9 OTHER WILDLIFE............................................................................................................ 308

10.9.1 WOLVERINE....................................................................................................... 308

10.9.2 OTHER SPECIES AT RISK...................................................................................... 310

10.10 BIRDS: MACKENZIE VALLEY............................................................................................. 313

10.10.1 PEREGRINE FALCON........................................................................................... 313

10.10.2 PROTECTED AREAS FOR BIRDS IN THE MACKENZIE VALLEY....................................... 316

10.11 BIRDS: MACKENZIE DELTA...............................................................................................317

10.11.1 EXISTING CONDITIONS...................................................................................... 317

10.11.2 PROPONENTS’ VIEWS........................................................................................ 318

10.11.3 PARTICIPANTS’ VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................... 318

10.11.4 PANEL VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS................................................................ 323