The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) ordered Trans Mountain Corporation to cease its Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion work in a wetland area near Abbotsford, British Columbia, on Thursday. This comes after CER inspectors found environmental and safety non-compliance during a verification activity.
The CER wrote in its Inspection Officer Order that Trans Mountain violated section 94 of the CER Act and condition 3 of Certificate OC-065. Section 94 of the CER Act requires corporations to take reasonable care in protecting property and the environment. Meanwhile, condition 3 of Certificate OC-065 asserts that corporations must implement policies or mitigation measures to protect the environment.
The CER ordered Trans Mountain to: (1) Stop work in the Wetland area until the non-compliances are corrected, (2) correct all deficiencies and non-compliances identified by the CER Inspection Officers, Indigenous Monitors and Trans Mountain’s Environmental Inspectors (EI), (3) investigate the root cause of the environmental non-compliances, the reason for the delay in correcting deficiencies already raised by the Trans Mountain EI and submit a copy to the CER and (4) conduct a safety inspection and provide a report to the CER confirming that the site is safe for work.
The Government of Canada approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project on June 18, 2019. On July 2, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected an appeal by the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations that sought to prohibit the construction of the pipeline on the ground that its groups possess “freestanding stewardship, harvesting and cultural rights in [the] area.” On February 4, 2020, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal dismissed a complaint from First Nations peoples that sought to delay the pipeline’s expansion.