By September 27, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

NEB orders halt to unapproved work on Trans Mountain pipeline

Trans Mountain

Kinder Morgan says it installed snow fencing in some river beds near proposed construction zones to keep fish from spawning in these areas.  Trans Mountain Kinder Morgan photo.

NEB yet to determine Trans Mountain route

The National Energy Board has ordered Kinder Morgan Canada to stop some work that had “not yet been approved” on its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project after a company blog post reported the activity.

The order came via letter on Friday and has been filed to the NEB’s website.

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In its blog post, Kinder Morgan showed the company had installed snow fence material in riverbeds near construction sites to help keep fish from spawning in the area.

“The snow fencing serves as a “deterrent mat” atop gravel beds they might otherwise choose to lay their eggs in,” Kinder Morgan wrote.

In its letter to the company, the NEB wrote: ”Based on the information available to the board, it appears as though Trans Mountain is in violation of one or both of subsections … of the NEB Act.

Trans Mountain is committed to building the expansion Project in a manner that minimizes impacts to the environment,” said Ali Hounsell, spokesperson for the Trans Mountain Expansion project. 

“We will be responding to the NEB’s correspondence and are finding the best path forward to ensure we meet our commitment to minimizing environmental impacts of construction of the project.”

The $7.4 billion project twins the current Trans Mountain pipeline and will more almost triple the amount of Alberta crude transported on the line.  It faces opposition from First Nation groups, environmentalists and the provincial and a number of civic governments in BC.

The federal government has granted approval for the project, but work cannot begin on the pipeline until the NEB determines its exact route.  According to Reuters, this process has no firm completion date.

The NEB letter did not specify any penalties or deadlines for compliance.

Kinder Morgan has not yet answered the NEB, but Hounsell says “We will be responding to the NEB’s correspondence and are finding the best path forward to ensure we meet our commitment to minimizing environmental impacts of construction of the Project.”

To date, the NEB has granted Kinder Morgan approval to begin work on its coastal marine terminal which needs to increase its capacity to handle the increased amount of crude.

Once the pipeline expansion is completed, it will carry 890,000 barrels per day (b/d), up from its current 300,000 b/d.

Next week, a legal challenge that could overturn the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will be heard in Vancouver.

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Posted in: Canada

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