National Energy Board Ready to Hear Final Argument on Mackenzie Gas Project

CALGARY, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - The National Energy Board (NEB) is ready to hear final argument starting 12 April 2010 on a 1,220-kilometre natural gas pipeline through Canada's north.

Final argument on the Mackenzie Gas Project will open in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories at the Explorer Hotel on Monday, 12 April and run until Saturday, 17 April, if needed. The hearing will move to the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex in Inuvik, NWT on Tuesday, 20 April and continue until Saturday, 24 April, if needed. Live audio from the hearing will be available through the NEB website.

"With the schedule that we have announced, our goal is to set out clear 'rules of the game' for the many people and organizations who are interested in the outcome of this hearing," said NEB Panel Chair Kenneth Vollman.

During the final argument phase, each applicant or intervenor in the NEB hearing process will have the chance to make their case to the NEB either for or against the project. Final argument must be based on evidence that has already been presented to the NEB.

Before hearing final argument, the NEB will coordinate a written process to gather comments from the project applicants and individuals who participated in either the NEB or Joint Review Panel's (JRP) hearing process, on the recommendations from the JRP report. The JRP examined the potential environmental and socio-economic effects of the project and issued its final report in December 2009 advising that the project proceed subject to the full implementation of its recommendations.

The NEB will also coordinate the collection of comments on the JRP report recommendations aimed at other government departments and agencies. More information on the comment process is available on the NEB website.

Once final argument is complete, the NEB will close the Mackenzie Gas Project Hearing, deliberate and prepare its Reasons for Decision, the document which will announce the decision and provide the Panel's reasoning.

The NEB began hearing evidence in January 2006 on five applications filed by Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Limited, the Mackenzie Valley Aboriginal Pipeline Limited Partnership, Imperial Oil Resources Limited, ConocoPhillips Canada (North) Limited, Shell Canada Limited and ExxonMobil Canada Properties.

The NEB is an independent federal agency that regulates several parts of Canada's energy industry. Its purpose is to promote safety and security, environmental protection, and efficient energy infrastructure and markets in the Canadian public interest, within the mandate set by Parliament in the regulation of pipelines, energy development and trade.

Please visit the NEB website at www.neb-one.gc.ca for general information about the hearing process and how you can participate effectively.

This news release and the Hearing Order are also available on the Board's Internet site under What's New!

SOURCE National Energy Board

For further information: For further information: Sarah Kiley, (sarah.kiley@neb-one.gc.ca), Communications Officer, Telephone: (403) 299-3633, TTY (teletype): 1-800-632-1663


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