Today, Trans Mountain filed its written reply argument with the National Energy Board (NEB), a move that triggered the close of the record in the NEB Proceeding into the proposed Expansion Project. The reply argument is the company’s response to Intervenor written and oral arguments and follows the presentation of its own final arguments in December 2015. The NEB is expected to deliver its recommendation by May 20, 2016, a full 29 months after Trans Mountain filed its 16,000 page Facilities Application in 2013.

“Today marks the close of a long, thorough and rigorous regulatory process in which we presented the very best scientific and technical evidence, ” said Ian Anderson, President of Kinder Morgan Canada. “We are confident we have demonstrated both the need for this Project, providing much-needed market access, and our commitment to building and operating this pipeline to the highest standards while providing lasting benefits for all Canadians.”

In January 2016, the Government of Canada announced a four-month extension to the legislated time limit for their decision on the Project and that they will make their conclusion about the Project in December 2016. Trans Mountain has been reviewing its Project schedule and is now expecting the in-service date for the expanded pipeline to be December 2019.

In its announcement of the transition measures for pipeline review, the Government of Canada said that timely decisions on individual projects will rely upon provision of sufficient information and evidence in accordance with its principles and that where required, steps will be taken to gather additional evidence.

“The importance of public trust and confidence in the process has always been a priority for us,” added Anderson. “We are continuing to have meaningful conversations with Canadians and incorporating the ideas and feedback from residents, communities and Aboriginal groups into our Project from the outset. We have worked hard to make this extensive work available to the public and we look forward to ensuring the input people have already provided and incorporated will be considered moving forward.”

Trans Mountain has conducted a robust public engagement program since the announcement of the proposed Project in 2012 that has included consultation with thousands of individuals to date. Through some 159 open houses and workshops along the pipeline and marine corridors and more than 24,000 points of engagement with Aboriginal communities, Trans Mountain improved and optimized its planning and mitigation measures to address concerns. To date, 34 Aboriginal groups have publicly expressed support for the Project. The input and feedback gathered has created a stronger, safer and more responsive Project. Improvements made as a result of feedback include changes to the pipeline route to avoid neighbourhoods and sensitive environmental areas, thicker pipe walls in some locations and an increase in isolation valves. Engagement will continue throughout the review process, construction and operation of the expansion.