CALGARY, Aug. 31, 2017 /CNW/ - 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. Detailed route hearings for various tracts of lands located in segments one and two (of seven) located in Alberta will begin this fall and additional hearings for the remaining segments will be announced as they are confirmed.
The 1,147 km pipeline project was approved by the Government of Canada in November 2016 along an approximate 150 metre wide pipeline corridor. 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.
Hearings for segments one and two will take place in Spruce Grove, Edson and Hinton Alberta beginning in November and December. Hearings in relation to the remaining segments which are located in British Columbia will take place in 2018.
The Board will announce specific venues, dates and times through a procedural update. Hearing dates and schedules will be sent to the participants in the detailed route hearings, and posted on the NEB's website at www.neb-one.gc.ca/transmountainexpansion.
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.
In 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 Chilliwack Route News Release
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 Federal Government approved the Trans Mountain expansion project last November, following a NEB recommendation in May 2016 that the project be approved subject to 157 conditions.
- The National Energy Board Act (NEB Act) sets out a process for the Board in determining the specific location for a new pipeline, and the methods of acquisition of land rights needed to be obtained by the pipeline companies from affected landowners.
- The process starts with Trans Mountain providing notice to directly affected landowners and those who believe their lands could be adversely affected by the route of the pipeline. All statements of opposition that meet the requirements of the NEB Act are given a detailed route hearing.
- At each detailed route hearing, the NEB will hear the specific concerns raised by the landowner or affected person.
- As cited in the NEB Act, statements of opposition that do not set out the grounds for opposition in regard to the detailed route, or the methods or timing of construction, or relate to issues outside of the Board's jurisdiction, or that are found to be frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith, will not be granted a hearing.
- The NEB also offers Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for landowners and companies. ADR processes related to the Detailed Route hearings are underway, and are expected to continue throughout the hearing process, with the intent to facilitate mutually agreeable solutions between the parties.
"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. By listening to their concerns, the NEB can ensure that the pipeline is placed in the best possible location."
- Peter Watson, Chair & CEO, National Energy Board.
The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada's energy industry. It regulates pipelines, energy development and trade in the public interest with safety as its primary concern. For more information on the NEB
and its mandate, please visit www.neb-one.gc.ca
SOURCE National Energy Board
For further information: Communications, National Energy Board, Tel: 403.613.6126, Email: James.email@example.com