Workers live in these accommodations while they help build the Coastal GasLink pipeline servicing the LNG facility in Kitimat. (CGL photo)

National Energy Board rejects federal review of Coastal GasLink pipeline

Project falls within provincial jurisdiction, board rules

TransCanada’s 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline from the northeast of B.C. to Kitimat will not be reviewed because the pipeline does not fall under federal jurisdiction.

Announcing its decision on Friday, July 26, the National Energy Board (NEB) said in a statement that it disagreed with Smithers resident Michael Sawyer’s claim that the pipeline, which will transport natural gas to LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas facility in Kitimat, was a federal undertaking and should be regulated as such.

Sawyers’ lawyers made the case that the pipeline would be functionally integrated with the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. system (NGTL), a network of pipelines running the length of Alberta.

Connecting to the Coastal GasLink pipeline would potentially enable TransCanada to be able to move natural gas from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) to the LNG export market, crossing provincial and national boundaries.

The WCSB spans 1,400,000 square kilometres of Western Canada, including southwestern Manitoba, southern Saskatchewan, Alberta and northeastern B.C., and contains one of the world’s largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas.

A review of the pipeline by the federal government would have set the project back significantly and delayed LNG Canada’s ability to export liquefied natural gas to the Asian market on time.

“The project does not form a part of the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) System, and is not vital or integral to it (NGTL), or any other federally regulated pipeline,” reads the statement.

Coastal GasLink’s project itself is contained within the province and currently regulated by the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission.

READ MORE: TransCanada to sell up to 75% stake in Coastal GasLink pipeline

The NEB’s hearing involved 13 active participants and included the filing of evidence, and both written and oral argument, specifically related to whether the project forms part of a federal work or undertaking.

Though Sawyer did admit to being an underdog in the case, telling Black Press that they were “totally outgunned” by pro-industry representatives earlier this year.

READ MORE: Smithers resident’s challenge to Coastal GasLink heard by NEB

On Facebook, Sawyer reacted to the NEB’s decision, writing “it’s not over yet” and apologizing to supporters to “let so many of you down.”

“I’ve read the decision and its clear that the NEB did not want to listen with an open mind to my arguments. I will take some time to digest the decision, consult with my lawyer, and then make a decision on whether I will appeal the decision to the Federal Court of Appeal,” wrote Sawyer.

In their response to the ruling, Coastal GasLink said it is pleased with the decision.

“Coastal GasLink was fully approved and permitted following extensive consultation with local and Indigenous communities, and a rigorous multi-year review that considered potential environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects,” reads a statement released by the company.

“We remain focused on continuing to engage in constructive and meaningful dialogue with Indigenous and local communities as we progress preliminary construction on this critical infrastructure project.”


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UNBC professor receives funding to research oilspill response

The $1.9 million in funding was provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Ulkatcho, Lhoosk’uz Dené sign agreements in support of Blackwater Mine project

Agreements commit to share portion of provincial mineral tax revenue collected from planned mine

Anti-pipeline protests in support of Wet’suwet’en continue at B.C. government buildings

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Rolled-over dairy truck in Abbotsford lost 40,000 litres of milk

Truck removed Sunday, Jan. 19, with specialized equipment to upright vehicle

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

Most Read