The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Stronger safeguards for peregrine urged along pipeline route
Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | 1:53 PM CT
CBC News

The Northwest Territories' government wants Imperial Oil to do more to ensure the nesting areas of the endangered peregrine falcon are protected along the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline.

Imperial has only committing to the minimum acceptable distance from the nests on cliffs close to the planned route, said Ray Case, a spokesman with the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.

"Since releasing the environmental impact statement, the proponents have focused on the 500 metre figure and have pretty much excluded discussion of the 1,000 metre or one kilometre figure," he told pipeline meetings in Norman Wells on Monday.

Case also said the government is worried that construction scheduled for late spring will disrupt the birds during nesting. the peregrine falcon is one of the territory's most endangered species.

Imperial spokesman Steph Steffansson said the $7.5-billion pipeline plan has already been rerouted to avoid key habitat for endangered species.

"In general, we have been able to avoid the known habitat," he said. "We are still collecting information on the occurrence of known nest sites and going forward in our planning for our pipeline."

Imperial said it will also work with the government to monitor and manage species that live along the proposed pipeline route.

The Joint Review Panel, which is considering the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the 1,200-kilometre natural gas pipeline, is expected to wrap up its hearings in April. The hearings began in January.

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