Trans Mountain Expansion Project – Accommodation Measures
As part of the re-initiated Phase III consultations, consultation teams had an expanded mandate to discuss specific accommodation measures to address the concerns of potentially affected Indigenous groups. The government has put forward eight accommodation measures that focus on building capacity and long-term relationships, marine safety, spill prevention, response capacity, cumulative effects, fish and fish habitat, quieter vessels, and further terrestrial studies.
- The Salish Sea Initiative – responds to concerns related to cumulative effects and is intended to facilitate the active participation of Indigenous groups in the stewardship of the Salish Sea. The initiative provides technical capacity funding for Indigenous groups to assess and monitor the local marine environment and participate in broader planning processes. A long-term investment strategy to support First Nations in evaluating the impacts of human activities on their local ecosystems and to provide for ongoing project delivery is a central objective of the initiative.
- The Co-Developing Community Response (CDCR) – addresses Indigenous communities’ concerns about the risks of increased project-related tanker traffic to marine activities, the environment and culturally important and sacred sites in their traditional territories. Through CDCR, the government and Indigenous communities will co-develop response capacity at the community level to support a meaningful role for Indigenous communities in the broader marine response system. The implementation of this accommodation measure will facilitate a tailored approach to meet the needs of individual communities. As part of the CDCR, the Coast Guard will identify information, tools and services with the objective to improve information sharing with coastal communities and response partners. Some of the tools developed may be available on multiple platforms (e.g. mobile, desktop) and will help facilitate preparedness and response capabilities and safety for coastal communities.
- The Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative – launched as part of the Oceans Protection Plan, is a web-based pilot project that displays a range of real-time data on vessel traffic, weather, hydrography and marine protected areas. The information helps coastal communities better plan vessel routes, identify sensitive areas, enhance local marine safety and protect the environment.
- The Marine Safety Equipment and Training Initiative – responds to concerns regarding the safety of Indigenous mariners who may face increased interaction with TMX project-related vessels along the shipping route. It will provide funding to Indigenous groups for equipment to enhance the safety of Indigenous vessels and training to build understanding about safety on the water. Specific program parameters, including equipment and training needs, are being developed in partnership with Indigenous communities along the marine shipping route.
- The Terrestrial Cumulative Effects Initiative – will be collaboratively developed and involves building capacity and supporting Indigenous-led studies on the cumulative effects of development in freshwater and terrestrial environments.
- The Aquatic Habitat Restoration Fund (AHRF) – will assist in the maintenance and restoration of fish and fish habitat in watersheds along the pipeline corridor, including inland watersheds in British Columbia and Alberta, the Fraser River watershed and in the Salish Sea. The AHRF will increase capacity within communities to protect and restore aquatic habitats that may be impacted by the cumulative effects of development. With a goal of encouraging an ecosystem-based approach, projects will be identified collaboratively with Indigenous communities to improve conditions for stocks of concern.
- The Quiet Vessel Initiative – will reduce vessel noise in the Salish Sea in order to protect the marine environment and vulnerable marine mammals — including the Southern Resident Killer Whale. This initiative will test the most promising, safe and efficient quiet-vessel designs, retrofits and operational practices to achieve noise reductions, in collaboration with the shipping industry.
- The Quiet Vessel Initiative is a five-year, $26 million initiative, part of the Phase III Trans Mountain Expansion project consultations, and is one of eight accommodation measures developed to address the concerns of potentially affected Indigenous groups. On Sept. 8, 2020 the government announced funding of up to $2.5M over three years for 29 eligible Indigenous communities along the Trans Mountain shipping route to participate in the Quiet Vessel Initiative.
- The Terrestrial Studies Initiative – will support Indigenous-led studies to better understand TMX’s potential impacts, including on traditional land use. It could also inform cumulative effects work.