The National Energy Board (NEB) has issued a 533-page report recommending Governor in Council approve the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, subject to 157 conditions.
The Board recommendation follows a public hearing process that included a thorough scientific and technical examination of all the evidence brought before the three-member NEB panel. The Board completed a comprehensive environmental assessment of the Project in accordance with its authority under the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).
Through the public hearing process, the Board considered all the evidence and arguments made for and against Trans Mountain’s application to construct and operate the project, including information regarding the consultation undertaken with Indigenous groups, the potential impacts, and proposed mitigation measures. The Board then considered all of the benefits and burdens associated with the project, balancing various interests and factors, before determining whether, in its opinion, the project is in the Canadian public interest.
Taking into account all the evidence, considering all relevant factors, and given that there are considerable benefits nationally, regionally and to some degree locally, the Board found that the benefits of the project would outweigh the residual burdens.
The Board’s recommendation report is one of the factors that Governor in Council will consider when making the final decision on whether or not the project should proceed. In the event Governor in Council directs the Board to issue a Certificate, Appendix 3 of the Report provides all the terms and conditions that the Board considers necessary for approval.
The Trans Mountain Expansion Project proposes to expand the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline system between Edmonton, AB and Burnaby, B.C., increasing the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system from 300,000 bpd to 890,000 bpd.
Almost 90 per cent of the pipeline route for the project parallels existing disturbance, which will reduce the need for new disturbance, and minimize the potential impacts of construction.
The Project includes 613 miles of new pipeline, new and modified facilities such as pump stations and tanks, and the reactivation of 120 miles of existing pipeline. The Westridge Marine Terminal would also be expanded under the proposal.
The 157 conditions include regulatory and/or overarching requirements as well as requirements pertaining to project engineering and safety; emergency preparedness and response; environmental protection; people, communities and lands; economics and financial responsibility; and, project-related marine shipping.