How to participate in the NEB’s Reconsideration Hearing

The National Energy Board (NEB) is holding a public hearing as part of the process for reviewing aspects of Project-related marine shipping. During the Reconsideration Hearing the NEB has requested Letters of Comment from the public – this is your chance to have your say.

Any member of the public may file a comment with the NEB by November 20, 2018. Submitting a letter will ensure your voice is heard and your Letter of Comment will form part of the official hearing record. All Letters of Comment will be posted on the NEB public registry.

Letters should focus on how Project-related marine shipping directly impacts you, or any relevant expertise that you can offer to assist in the NEB’s Reconsideration.

How to submit your Letter of Comment

All letters must be addressed to the Secretary of the Board, Ms. Sheri Young. For efficient handling of letters, the NEB’s preferred method of filing is online through the Participation Portal e-filing tool, (no login necessary) or through your NEB account (if you already have one). Those using the e-filing tool receive immediate confirmation that their letter has been placed on the hearing record.  

The NEB does not accept submissions by email. The NEB also accepts letters by fax at 403-292-5503 (or toll-free at 1-877-288-8803). Around filing deadlines, the Board may receive many faxes, meaning that some may need to wait to get their faxes through. For this reason, the Board again notes that its preferred method of filing is through the e-filing tool described above. 

For additional assistance, please contact a NEB Process Advisor by phone at 1-800-899-1265 (toll-free) or by email at [email protected].

What should your letter be about?

Those who choose to voice their opinion through a Letter of Comment should refer to the Board’s List of Issues. The List of Issues encompasses several, but not all, of the Board’s original terms and conditions for the Project. All issues for reconsideration focus on marine aspects of the Project, including species at risk.

Where can you find more information on Project-related Marine Shipping?

  • On October 31, 2018, Trans Mountain filed direct evidence with the NEB, highlighting our intensive examination of marine issues, risks and impacts relating to expanded tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, including potential marine mammal impacts and mitigation. For a summary of evidence filed, read the backgrounder.
  • On October 31, 2018, Federal Authorities filed direct evidence with the NEB in relation to Project-relate marine shipping, including mitigation measures, alternative means and requirements of any follow-up program. For a summary of the evidence filed, read the backgrounder .

What Project-related marine shipping evidence is on the record with the NEB?

  • As defined by the NEB, Project-related marine shipping refers to the area between the Westridge Marine Terminal and the 12-nautical-mile territorial sea limit in the “designated project” under Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). In a recent blog post, we outlined Trans Mountain’s marine shipping evidence that was previously filed with the NEB.

Marine safety and enhancements

  • Our Facilities Application included an intensive examination of marine issues, risks and impacts relating to expanded tanker traffic, including potential marine mammal impacts and mitigation. Trans Mountain proposed additional marine safety measures for tankers, some which are already underway. Read more information on Trans Mountain’s examination of marine issues, risks and impacts.

Reducing impact of shipping activities

  • Along with other stakeholders, Trans Mountain is actively supporting the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program and its initiatives to undertake research and explore solutions to offset the effects of underwater noise from marine vessel traffic on the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population and associated Indigenous traditional uses. The long term goal of the ECHO Program is to develop mitigation measures that will lead to a quantifiable reduction in potential threats to whales as a result of shipping activities. Read how Trans Mountain is supporting reducing shipping impacts here.
  • Trans Mountain has committed to developing a Marine Mammal Protection Program (MMPP) to support SRKW recovery. The program will focus on strategies that will be implemented during the operations will focus on supporting three of the recovery strategies identified by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) in their southern resident killer whale Action Plan. Read more on how Trans Mountain is collaborating with industry to protect to whales.

Spill response enhancement

  • Proposed response enhancements are based on the results of risk assessment, product testing, oil spill modelling and engagement, and would create an increased response area for the Salish Sea and Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) will implement the enhancements and will double WCMRC’s existing response capacity while cutting in half the delivery time of existing planning standards. Read a summary of  WCMRC’s evidence in here. 

For more information on how to file a Letter of Comment, visit the NEB reconsideration website.