CARC Refutes Imperial Criticisms

“For the proponent to wait until our people had gone to question our figures does not help the panel,” says Chuck Birchall, Chair of CARC. “One of the advantages of the hearing is to allow the evidence to be tested through questions and answers given in front of the panel. That didn’t happen here which is very unfortunate, to say the least”

Imperial questioned various aspects of CARC’s study, including the amount of seismic work per gas well, and the presence of woodland caribou within the Mackenzie Delta.

Imperial had obviously not looked too closely at CARC’s work that used map data from the University of Alaska to identify the treed area within the delta. CARC’s work shows that the level of development projected for the delta below the tree line would be enough to extinguish local populations of woodland caribou. Furthermore, more recent research conducted by the Government of the Northwest Territories states that portions of the delta have “high” relative probability of use by woodland caribou during the mid-winter season.

With regard to the suggestions that CARC has inflated the amount of seismic line cutting per exploration well, CARC suggests that the proponents take a look at development that has already occurred in the Northwest Territories, in the Fort Liard and Cameron Hills areas. Both show that CARC’s projections are reasonable.

“Instead of attempting to cast doubt on our figures, we would recommend that Imperial conduct some credible modelling of its own as required by the environmental assessment process,” says Birchall. “To date, the company has still not made any meaningful attempt to show northerners what the likely effects would be when the project is completed, including the development of new gas fields spurred by the pipeline. To ensure a proper assessment, the review panel should require Imperial to do that work now.”

Press Release as a Word Doc

For more information, contact:

Chuck Birchall, Chair, Canadian Arctic Resources Committee

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