The National Energy Board, an independent federal regulator for several parts of Canada’s energy industry, announced Wednesday it will hold a public hearing to carry out its reconsideration related to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
“The NEB will carry out its reconsideration related to the Trans Mountain expansion project as directed by the order in council, and in a fair, efficient, and accessible manner. I am confident in the NEB’s ability to complete a thorough examination of the matters directed by the government within the required timeline,” said Peter Watson, chair and chief executive officer of the NEB in a statement.
The NEB said it has assigned a panel, opened up the application-to-participate process, and is seeking comment on the focus and design of the upcoming hearing. It said board members assigned to the hearing panel are Lyne Mercier (presiding), Alison Scott and Murray Lytle.
It said the federal government has directed the NEB to complete the reconsideration process and issue its resulting report no later than Feb. 22, 2019.
The NEB is now seeking public comments. The deadline for filing comments and for applying or registering to participate in the hearing is Oct. 3.
The NEB recommended in May 2016 that the federal government approve the project subject to 157 conditions, which the government did in November 2016.
Earlier this year, Kinder Morgan Canada sold the pipeline and expansion to the federal government for $4.5 billion.
But on Aug. 30, a Federal Court of Appeal decision quashed the order in council approving the Trans Mountain expansion project and nullified the certificate issued by the NEB for the project, said the NEB.
“On Sept. 20, 2018, the government of Canada directed the NEB to reconsider its recommendations as they are relevant to project-related marine shipping. The government has directed this work to be completed within 155 days,” said the regulatory body.
Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.