Today, the National Energy Board (NEB) concluded the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is in the Canadian public interest and is recommending the Federal Governor in Council approve the proposed expansion. If approved, the NEB’s recommendation will allow the Project to proceed with 157 conditions.
“Trans Mountain is pleased with the NEB’s recommendation,” said Ian Anderson, President of Kinder Morgan Canada. “The decision is the culmination of a lengthy and thorough regulatory review process and considers the many thousands of hours of environmental and technical studies, scientific evidence and community engagement that have been part of this comprehensive assessment. After an initial review of the report, Trans Mountain believes the 157 conditions, many in response to input from Intervenors, are rigorous and appear to be achievable.”
The Government of Canada will make its decision on the Project in December 2016. Trans Mountain will continue to review the NEB’s recommendation for any implications to community commitments, costs and Project timeline, but is still expecting the in-service date for the expanded pipeline will be December 2019.
“This report is a reflection of our evidence along with the valuable input from Intervenors and our conversations with communities, Aboriginals and individuals,” added Anderson. “Now, more than ever our Project makes sense for Canada. We have demonstrated the demand for much-needed access to global markets and how building this pipeline will bring both dollars and many thousands of jobs for communities in BC and Alberta at a time when our economy needs it most.”
The 157 conditions apply during various stages of the Project’s life cycle, including before construction, during construction and during operation of the pipeline. Conditions are designed to reduce possible risks identified during the application process and ensure the pipeline is planned, built and operated safely. The requirements also ensure Trans Mountain protects the environment and respects the rights of those directly affected by the Project through construction, mitigation and into many years of operations.
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. Engagement will continue throughout the review processes, construction and operation of the expansion. Through some 159 open houses and workshops and hundreds of meetings 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, close to 40 Aboriginal groups located along the Project and marine corridor in Alberta and British Columbia have provided written letters of support for the Project. The Trans Mountain Expansion Project team is building long-term relationships with Aboriginal communities along the proposed pipeline corridor to create new opportunities and shared prosperity. Trans Mountain is committed to providing tangible benefits to local communities impacted by the construction of the proposed pipeline. As of April 2016, we’ve signed Community Benefit Agreements totalling $6.44 million with communities along 91 per cent of the pipeline corridor. The input and feedback gathered has created a stronger, safer and more responsive Project.