On November 20, 2017, the National Energy Board (NEB) will begin Detailed Route Hearings in Hinton, AB, for Segment 1 and 2 of the Expansion Project. These hearings will provide an opportunity for landowners and those potentially affected by the Project, who are granted a route hearing by the NEB, to share  their concerns about the proposed detailed route.

Segment 1 of the route begins at Trans Mountain’s terminal in Sherwood Park, AB, and ends near Acheson,  AB. Segment 2 spans from roughly the west side of Edmonton to Jasper, AB.  As of November 1, 2017, there are 26 active detailed route hearings scheduled for these segments. The full list of Alberta Hearing dates and times can be found here.

When the Trans Mountain Expansion Project was approved, on November 29, 2016, with an approved pipeline corridor, the subsequent process of deciding the exact route of the pipeline began before the National Energy Board. This process is known as the detailed route approval process.

From the outset of planning, we developed routing principles to guide our decisions. Our primary focus when planning the pipeline corridor is safety – for landowners, the environment and communities.

Trans Mountain recognizes the potential impact to our neighbours and communities and we’ve been working diligently to meet with landowners to identify and address their needs and issues, and to negotiate land agreements for the properties we require to construct the pipeline.

As part of the Detailed Route process, Trans Mountain submitted a Plan, Profile and Book of Reference (PPBoR) with the NEB in February and March 2017. It was divided into seven segments and described in detail the exact portion of the pipeline easement proposed to be traversed by the pipeline.

At that time, affected landowners, Aboriginal groups and members of the public were given the opportunity to submit a statement of opposition. A Route Hearing will be held if the NEB determines the statement meets the criteria set out in the NEB Act.

After receiving the evidence presented at the Route Hearing, the Board will decide whether we have proposed the best possible detailed route for the pipeline and the most appropriate methods and timing for building the pipeline. The NEB may make one of three decisions on the disputed segment:

  • to accept the company’s proposed detailed route, with or without conditions;
  • to reject all or part of the company’s proposed detailed route; or
  • to require more information from the participants before making a decision.

If the NEB rejects our detailed route, Trans Mountain has four options: 

  • attempt to reach an agreement with the landowner for a route;
  • seek a review of the decision by the NEB;
  • request permission to appeal the decision to the Federal Court of Appeal; or
  • reapply with a new location for the rejected segment of detailed route - one that it believes will satisfy the NEB’s concerns. If legitimate oppositions about the new detailed route are received by the NEB, then another detailed route hearing would be required. 

We can only start construction of a particular segment after the NEB approves the PPBoR for that segment and we acquire the associated land rights.

One of our key objectives is to treat people who are potentially affected by our Project both fairly and respectfully. We are continuing to work with landowners and believe we can reach voluntary agreements with a majority of them.

Read more in the NEB Landowner’s Guide.