Canadian Manufacturing

Environmental groups ask court to block feds from approving Northern Gateway

They say the joint review by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency was flawed

VANCOUVER—Environmental groups have filed an application in Federal Court to block approval of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

Ecojustice filed the lawsuit Friday, seeking a court order that would prevent the federal cabinet from giving the project the go-ahead after a federal review panel recommended approval last month.

The lawsuit brought on behalf of Forest Ethics Advocacy, Living Oceans Society and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, says the joint review by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency panel was flawed and did not have sufficient evidence to make that decision.

Karen Campbell of Ecojustice says the panel made a decision despite gaps in the evidence presented during its 18-month review, including a federal study of diluted bitumen and how it behaves in water that was quietly released after the panel wrapped up hearings.

The panel also didn’t get to consider a federal recovery strategy for humpback whales, which was published by Environment Canada when the hearings ended—five years after it was due under the federal Species At Risk Act.

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