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NEB announces Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline route change public meetings

Trans Mountain Expansion

Trans Mountain Kinder Morgan photo.

Early 2018 hearing in Chilliwack, BC to review proposal by Trans Mountain Expansion to relocate 2 kms of pipeline

The National Energy Board (NEB) will hold detailed route hearings in the coming months as part of its ongoing regulatory oversight of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, the NEB announced Thursday in a press release.

Hearings for segments in Alberta will take place in Spruce Grove, Edson, and Hinton beginning in Nov. and Dec. Hearings in relation to the remaining segments which are located in British Columbia will take place in 2018.

Trans Mountain Expansion

Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline route.

The 1,147 km pipeline project was approved by the Government of Canada on Nov. 29

The pipeline corridor is approximately 150 metres wide . The detailed route approval process will determine the exact placement of the new pipeline within the approved corridor. It is a key regulatory step required by the NEB before construction can begin on the new pipeline.

Venues, dates and times will be publicly announced and sent to the participants in the detailed route hearings, and posted on the NEB’s website.

“The detailed route hearing process is a very important part of the NEB’s regulatory oversight role. It focuses on the specific concerns of landowners or affected persons directly impacted by the proposed route,” said NEB CEO Peter Watson.

“By listening to their concerns, the NEB can ensure that the pipeline is placed in the best possible location.”

From April to July, the NEB received 452 statements of opposition to the proposed detailed route. The NEB will hold a public hearing for all statements of opposition that met the requirements of the National Energy Board Act.

A statement was required to set out the opposition to the specific location of the proposed route, or methods or timing of construction.

The NEB also placed 157 conditions on the project. While many conditions address the full lifespan of the pipeline, the company is required to complete 98 pre-construction conditions before any construction begins. Canadians can monitor Trans Mountain’s condition compliance through the NEB’s interactive condition compliance tracker.

Trans Mountain ExpansionIn addition to the detailed route hearings, the company applied for seven variations to the approved pipeline corridor, which in total affect approximately four kilometres of the 1147 km pipeline corridor.

Comments were sought from June to July from landowners near the requested variations and today the NEB announced it will hold a route realignment hearing in Chilliwack, BC, in January, 2018. Details can be found here

Landowners or affected persons and participants who make representations to the NEB in one of the detailed route hearings may submit a claim directly to Trans Mountain for reasonable costs of participating in the detailed route hearing.

The National Energy Board (NEB) will hold a route realignment hearing in Chilliwack, BC in early 2018, to review a proposal by Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC to relocate nearly two kilometres of the previously approved general pipeline corridor within the city.

If approved, the Chilliwack BC Hydro Route Realignment (Chilliwack Realignment) would vary the approved general pipeline corridor of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project by relocating it to be within the existing Trans Mountain pipeline right of way.

“After hearing from the public that there were concerns about the proposed Chilliwack Realignment, the NEB has decided to hold an oral hearing to hear those concerns and receive evidence. This will ensure the NEB has all the information it needs to make a decision in the public interest,” said Watson.

When the Federal Government approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in late November, 2016, the resulting certificate included a general pipeline corridor from Edmonton through to Burnaby, B.C. Under section 21 of the National Energy Board Act, the company may apply to the NEB for a variation to the previously-approved general pipeline corridor.

More details of the proposed variances can be found on the NEB website.

The Chilliwack Realignment hearing will examine the proposed alternative route, including the potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of the realignment.

Applications to participate are available now on the NEB’s website. The deadline to apply to participate is September 21, 2017.

Funding is available to hearing participants to reduce potential financial impediments to public participation. More information on the Participant Funding Program and how to access it can be found on the NEB’s website.

Trans Mountain Expansion

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