Approximately 670 kilometres in length, the Coastal GasLink pipeline will deliver natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to the proposed LNG Canada 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

 

The NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. system (NGTL). (Image NEB)

A file image of the proposed connection between the NGTL systems and Coastal GasLink’s pipeline. (File image)

Just Posted

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and hereditary chiefs agree to future meeting

Scott Fraser was in Smithers on Jan. 22 and spoke with Office of the Wet’suwet’en representatives

Unist’ot’en Camp say RCMP have changed 27 kilometre roadblock rules

Footage shows RCMP telling an unidentified lawyer they can’t re-enter the checkpoint

B.C. Indigenous communities receive funding for hands-on trades training

Nuxalk, Witset, Penticton Indian Band, TRU Williams Lake, and Camosun College among beneficiaries

Telkwa bridge struck by empty logging truck

The truck hit the bridge on its east side and appears to have damaged a wooden beam

12 Wet’suwet’en supporters arrested by VicPD

Protesters rallied against Coastal GasLink pipeline

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Most Read