Day Thirteen: March 21, 2006

This edition of the blog written by Paul Falvo in Inuvik.  HIGHLIGHTS: ONSITE DISPOSAL OF DRILLING WASTE — SUBSIDENCE — BEHAVIOUR OF ICE AT “BREAK-UP” My day started — as it usually does in Inuvik — with crawling out from under a utilidor. Utilidors, I believe, are unique to Inuvik. They are insulated above-ground conduits for utility pipes and wires. I don’t sleep under the utilidor. But, I do have to pass under it on my way from the hotel to the Midnight Sun Recreation Centre, where the hearings take place. Either I am getting fatter or the level of […]

Day Twelve: March 20, 2006

Back into the belly of the beast — Paul takes over from Stephen at the Joint Review Panel (JRP) as we dissect the technical beauty of anchor field design. The Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP) includes the gas pipeline, the gathering system (including natural gas LIQUIDS pipeline from Inuvik to Norman Wells) and this week’s topic — the Taglu, Niglintgak and Parsons Lake anchor fields. These are the three gas fields that are the starting point for this massive basin-opening project. Stephen is a tough act to follow. Last week, he introduced profanity to the proceedings. To keep up our media […]

Day Eleven: March 17, 2006

The hearings are way behind schedule, but I need to depart for Ottawa today. At time of writing, Robert Hornal, the JRP chair, has not announced whether the JRP would continue its hearings over the weekend, or defer the important presentations from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada until next week (Paul Falvo will be replacing me for the second week of the hearings. First up on Friday morning are Don Davies and Chris Heuer on behalf of the proponents asking questions of the Environment Canada. Heuer’s key contention is that climate change and climate variability will have no significant environmental […]

Day Ten: March 16, 2006

Third day of the hearings dealing with the routing and design of the gas pipeline of the Mackenzie Gas Project, and questions for the MGP proponents continue. Wayne Savigny concluded his questioning and Yaremko asked additional questions relating to environmental effects associated with river crossings that make use of horizontal directional drilling. In the afternoon, members of the JRP asked questions as well. However, this blog focuses on the discussion relating to my intervention. I finally got to ask a few questions during the morning. My first point was that the unique engineering challenge associated with the MGP other than […]

Day Nine: March 15, 2006

Second day of the hearings dealing with the routing and design of the gas pipeline of the Mackenzie Gas Project. Consultants with Indian and Northern Affairs questioned the proponents’ panel throughout the morning. Dr. Chris Burn, a scientific consultant with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, asked how the proponent proposed to protect the peatlands south of Tulita. He noted that these peatlands are typically permafrost and elevated above the rest of the unfrozen landscape. Responding on behalf of the proponents, Rick Luckasavitch responded that in some cases the peat would be compressed to provide a working surface, in some cases […]

Day Eight: March 14, 2006

Back to Inuvik for the second round of hearings of the Joint Review Panel. A cold morning (minus 32 degrees C), which is incongruous given that Environment Canada is reporting today that temperatures in northern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories this past winter were a staggering 8 degrees C above normal. This is the area where the Mackenzie Gas Project’s gas pipeline terminates. Winter temperatures across Canada averaged 3.9 degrees C above normal—the warmest winter since records were kept. This warmest winter underlines one of Sierra Club of Canada key concerns about the MGP that climate changes considerations have not […]

Day Seven: February 23, 2006

As I write this, a lawyer for the Yukon government is seeking to confirm through a specialist advisor to the Panel (Dr. Bob Gibson) that Yukon is part of the North. It’s an example of the many different interests represented here at the Joint Review Panel (JRP) Hearings. This “blog” is part humour, part information. It’s intended as information and light entertainment for people with an interest in the proceedings — if I’ve got something wrong, please let me know. We’re into overtime. Today is a bonus day. Numbers in the room have dwindled. We’re down to the oil company […]

Day Six: February 21, 2006, part 2

On Tuesday the JRP returned to Inuvik. Stephen is working in Ottawa. So, his blogging is again done by Paul Falvo in Inuvik. Long day … we started late at 10:30am, due to late arrival last night (this morning) from Tsiigehtchic yesterday. But, we ran until 9:30pm. WWF led the parade in the morning Technical Hearing with a presentation by Dr. Peter Ewins and Dr. Gordon Orians. It was an exciting and busy day. More on this — and the JRP’s dissection of Imperial’s community consultation to follow. (See the transcript to see how the drama unfolded)! Hearing resumed in the evening […]

Day Six: February 21, 2006, part 1

On Tuesday the JRP returned to Inuvik. Stephen is working in Ottawa. So, his blogging is again done by Paul Falvo in Inuvik. You may have read part 2 already. That was the evening session where members of the public spoke. Now we are back to the morning. It was an exciting day, with a star-studded cast. In fact, given the educational/scientific nature of this day, you really want to read the starting at page 15. I simply can’t do justice with my hasty summaries. The morning started with Dr. Peter Ewins, WWF-Canada’s Director of Arctic Conservation introducing the WWF team — […]

Day Five: February 20, 2006 – “Smarter than Grouse”

You can play fun casino games at to unwind after a tiring day. You can take a walk outdoors as you enjoy the environment. Stephen is working in Ottawa. So, his blogging is again done by Paul Falvo in Inuvik. This was the second JRP community hearing. Once again, my day started with a pre-dawn walk through Inuvik. The car rental clerk waited for me to request and pay for windshield insurance before mentioning that the windshield was cracked. Fortunately, the windshield was clear enough that I could see and swerve for two grouse on the road. These grouse […]