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

Just Posted

Climate, reconciliation and industry top all candidates agenda in Terrace

Debate was the candidate’s last opportunity to address voters in a public forum

Climate change, economy and reconciliation take centre stage at Oct. 15 All-Candidates Forum

Six of the eight candidates were in attendance at the Smithers event

New meat truck in town

Priestly Meats shows off its new meat truck, set up beside Tech… Continue reading

Celebrating fall in Burns Lake

Dozens of residents came out for the Fall Festival at Wild Roots… Continue reading

No timeline for ultrasound in Burns Lake, NH says

Northern Health (NH) is considering introducing ultrasound technology to the Lakes District… Continue reading

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

Burns Lake votes

Burns Lake residents head to cast their votes in today’s federal election… Continue reading

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

Most Read