TMX on hold until NEB gathers input on resuming regulatory processes

The Trudeau government approved the TMX pipeline last week.

The public is invited to file comments about the TMX pipeline online or by fax or mail until July 5. National Energy Board photo.

The National Energy Board is looking for public input on how the agency should proceed with regulatory processes for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which was approved by the Trudeau government last week. Construction cannot resume until the NEB finishes its deliberations.

The NEB is also looking for input on compliance with TMX conditions and approval of the detailed route.

Following the government’s approval of the project, the NEB issued a certificate and amendments to existing certificates to TMX.  According to the NEB, the issuance of certificates does not automatically reinstate previous NEB decisions or orders required for Trans Mountain to begin or resume construction.

Now, the NEB must decide how regulatory processes for the $7.4 billion project that would more than double the existing pipeline’s capacity.  The Trans Mountain Pipeline carries Alberta bitumen to the company’s Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia.

In a press release, the NEB says that unless relevant circumstances have materially changed, it will continue the processes that were underway, and to rely on decisions and orders that were issued prior to the August 2018 Federal Court of Appeal decision that set aside the Order In Council that had previously approved the project.

The regulator says it intends to minimize any potential burden on participants by not repeating processes unnecessarily, but at the same, is committed to ensuring that it accounts for relevant circumstances that have material changes.

The public is invited to file comments online or by fax or mail until July 5.  Instructions on how to file are on the NEB’s website. Trans Mountain’s initial comment filing deadline is June 28, with its reply comments due on July 9. All comments received will be available on the NEB’s website.

The NEB says it intends to resolve the matter as efficiently as possible and following the comment period, it will decide how the regulatory processes will resume.

According to the NEB, until that decision is made, TMX cannot rely on previously issued decisions and orders or start or resume construction of the pipeline.




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