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Megaproject review and environmental assessment: an evaluation of the Enbridge Northern Gateway application review process

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There are a number of major pipeline projects proposed or under construction in Canada. In order to ensure long-term sustainability, Canada must have an effective pipeline environmental assessment process. This study assesses the current review system through a case study of a high-profile environmental assessment, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project’s joint review process. I administered a survey on the process’ effectiveness to intervenors who cross-examined and provided evidence during the process (96 intervenors total) and I received responses from 40 intervenors, (completion rate of 42%). The majority (62%) of survey respondents felt that the joint review process was very poor overall and most respondents (73%) would not recommend modelling future reviews after the Enbridge Northern Gateway review process. Respondents also showed support for a number of reforms, such as requiring proponents to have comprehensive compensation plans, creating more specific decision-criteria, and hiring independent scientists financed by the applicant.
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