Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Marine Mammal Protection Plan June 6, 2013 – WWF Ocean Noise Workshop
Presentation Outline • Overview of the Northern Gateway project • Potential routine effects on marine mammals • Marine Mammal Protection Plan • Proposed mitigation measures and commitments
The Project – In a Nutshell… • Proposing to build twin pipelines between Bruderheim, Alberta and Kitimat, British Columbia • Associated two-berth marine terminal • 220 tanker calls per year
Potential Routine Effects – Underwater Noise Construction Activities – Kitimat Terminal • Use of rock sockets (no pile driving) • Underwater blasting Operations – Marine Transportation Activities • Auditory damage not predicted (noise ≥180dB re: 1µPa) • Potential behavioural effects (noise ≥ 120dB re: 1µPa) • May result in reduced feeding efficiency, temporary displacement, or energetic stress • Herding has been identified as a potential concern in confined channels
Comprehensive Mitigation Program Northern Gateway is committed to minimizing or eliminating adverse environmental effects of the Northern Gateway Pipelines Project on the marine environment. Marine Mammal Protection Plan
Marine Mammal Protection Plan • Purpose: to outline measures that Northern Gateway will implement in the PEAA, CCAA and OWA to manage and monitor Project-related environmental effects on marine mammals associated with underwater noise, blasting, and other potential marine mammal-vessel interactions • Currently filed as a framework document • Living document – multiple iterations • Comprehensive MMPP will be developed through an engagement process that will include: • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), • participating Aboriginal organizations, and • external research organizations and experts
Means of Reducing Effects Three Stages to Consider Potential for Mitigations Design • Reduce noise at the source Operations • Reduce noise produced Monitoring and Follow-up • Adaptive management and research
Design Stage Considerations • Northern Gateway is committed to incorporating best commercially-available technology at the time of the design and construction of purpose-built tugs, so that escort and harbour tugs produce the least underwater noise possible. • Propeller design • Vibration reduction
Operations Stage Considerations SpeedReductions • Reduce the relative likelihood of a vessel strike, and the likelihood of severe injury or mortality • Reduce the intensity of underwater noise • Throughout the year, tankers and tugs will travel at 10-12 knots in the CCAA
Speed Reductions High Whale Density Area • Travel at 8 to 10 knots in core humpback whale area • Boundaries will be refined through 6 years of marine mammal density surveys • Dropping from 15 kts to 9.6 kts reduce sound input by nearly 12 dB • Comparison – 10 dB: • Extent: 1/3 • Perception: ½ as loud
Monitoring Stage Considerations Research and Monitoring • Remote detection technologies – commitment to a four-year passive acoustic monitoring study Cooperative Research Initiative • Northern Gateway has committed to undertaking a cooperative research initiative and broad-scale regional assessment program in collaboration with government, industry (shipping, fishing, and recreational fishing), other project operators, participating Aboriginal groups, Stakeholders Goal • Cooperative regional approach to developing mitigation measures for limiting the effects of vessels on marine mammals.
Things We Didn’t Talk About… Marine Mammal Protection Plan • Construction - Underwater Blasting • predictive acoustic modelling and in-field validation • marine mammal observers during all loud activities (i.e., blasting, dredging, and drilling) • support vessel maintenance and operations • Quantitative Vessel Strike Analysis • Whale Spotting Vessel • Port Information and Operations Manual • Informational DVD and Video Package for Tankers Other Aspects • Acoustic modelling done as part of the environmental assessment
Thank you for your time. Questions?