The Huu-ay-aht Nation was disappointed to learn that Steelhead LNG has ceased current project work on the Kwispaa LNG project, a planned LNG development on Vancouver Island. The project was announced in March 2017, and Steelhead LNG indicated only four months ago that the project had moved into the next stage of development. When the project was announced, Steelhead LNG said they had NEB licences to export 24 million tonnes of LNG through the Sarita Bay facility annually, though how the natural gas would be transported from northeastern B.C. and Alberta to Vancouver Island was still being worked out. Huu-ay-aht remains committed to pursuing initiatives for meaningful economic reconciliation and creating opportunities to generate value, employment and, revenue.
The BC Government has completed its review of BC Ferries and the report produced by special advisor, Blair Redlin, is now available on-line. The Redlin report was very comprehensive with more than 60 recommendations directed to all parties working under the unique and complex coastal ferry governance model. The BC Government is increasing service on 10 ferry routes that were cut in 2014, restoring 2,700 round-trip sailings for people living in coastal communities. Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure announced these service changes. The ministry has been working with BC Ferries to respond to the BC Ferry Advisory Committee chairs’ request to restore some services cut in 2014 and have reached an agreement to return these services over the next year with the majority starting as early as this spring.The Province will also be amending the Coastal Ferry Act to implement some of Redlin’s recommendations to ensure the model is putting people first.
The Alberta Government is spending $3.7-billion plans to lease 4,400 rails cars to ship Alberta crude. The cars are expected to be in service by July and will ship 120,000 barrels of crude a day. The province has signed contracts with Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway to transport the cars. Crude rail shipments reached record levels last fall largely owing to pipeline constraints, but they have fallen since the beginning of the year. Several large producers have said the current price differential has made shipping by rail uneconomical. CP and CN have both experienced a drop in petroleum shipments by about a third since December.
The Chamber of Shipping and the US- based Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) have issued a statement urging the federal governments to collaborate in protecting the Salish Sea. The marine transportation industry is committed to doing its part in supporting the recovery of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale and protecting the environment and hopes that the two nations will come together to find joint solutions that further support these efforts.
The National Energy Board (NEB) today delivered its Reconsideration report to the Government of Canada, with an overall recommendation that the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (Project) is in the Canadian public interest and should be approved. The considerable benefits of the Project include increased access to diverse markets for Canadian oil; jobs created across Canada; the development of capacity of local and Indigenous individuals, communities and businesses; direct spending on pipeline materials in Canada; and considerable revenues to various levels of government.
The NEB will impose 156 conditions on the Project if it is approved and has made 16 new recommendations to the Government of Canada. The Reconsideration report concludes that Project-related marine shipping is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on the Southern resident killer whale and on Indigenous cultural use associated with the Southern resident killer whale. The NEB also found that greenhouse gas emissions from Project-related marine vessels would likely be significant. While a credible worst-case spill from the Project or a Project-related marine vessel is not likely, if it were to occur the environmental effects would be significant. The Chamber has issued a statement welcoming the NEB’s decision.
BC Premier John Horgan took to twitter to respond and stated that he remains convinced that the project is not in the best interests of British Columbians. Environment Minister George Heyman echoed Premier Horgan’s comments and added that the province will continue to assert its right to defend its environment in court.
The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has reported that 37 of 110 cars derailed and spilled crude on farm land near St. Lazare, Manitoba on February 16th. The CN railcars were upgraded tankers (all Class 117R cars) which are considered to have improved safety features. There was no fire or injuries in the derailment and most of the crude has been contained near the tracks. TSB is still working to determine how much oil spilled and how many of the railcars were breached.
Just earlier this month following the derailment near Field, BC the Transport Minister, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced a Ministerial Order under the Railway Safety Act to all railway companies mandating the use of handbrakes when a train is stopped on a mountain grade after an emergency use of the air brakes effective immediately.
Concerns have been raised over the availability of low sulphur fuel, once we reach the IMO’s January 1, 2020 deadline. IHS Markit energy analysts warn that the refining and shipping industries are not ready for the mandate, which will result in significant price fluctuations of up to a few years when a new equilibrium of supply and demand will be determined by refiners and shipowners. In addition, finding the right ‘recipe’ for the fuel may be a challenging necessity. Though scrubbers or switching to LNG fuel are options, these are costly and availability it limited, respectively, so it is estimated that 95 percent of the global liner fleet will be switched to 0.5 percent fuel.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a rule on April 12, 2018 (effective May 14, 2018) which expanded the definition of Importer Security Filing (ISF) Importer for certain types of shipments. The changes were necessary to ensure that the ISF Importer included parties that have a commercial interest in the cargo and have best access to the required data. CBP is ending its delayed enforcement period for ISF-5 violations and will begin issuing liquidated damages claims for violations of the ISF-5 requirements on March 15, 2019.
The European Parliament and Council have agreed on a regulation establishing a European Maritime Single Window dataset. The regulation will replace the Reporting Formalities Directive and build on existing National Single Windows and Port Community Systems reporting mechanisms. The single window concept developed under the leadership of EU Rapporteur Deirdre Clune aims to enable all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, people and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal, without duplication. The agreement reached must now be further formalized by the Council and Parliament and is expected to apply as from 2025.