CALGARY, A.B. – The National Energy Board will hold a hearing to determine if the Coastal GasLink pipeline should face a federal environmental review.
Earlier this year, B.C. resident Michael Sawyer, who worked two decades in Alberta as an environmental consultant in the oil and gas sector argued that Coastal GasLink should have faced a federal environmental review instead of a provincial one.
TransCanada responded to the challenge from Michael Sawyer saying that the Board should decline to establish a process to examine the jurisdictional question raised in Sawyer’s application.
“Six years after the public process began to decide whether the Project should be allowed to proceed (a process the applicant chose not to participate in), four years after Project approval, and four years after the applicant’s similar challenge to another approved LNG pipeline, the applicant again seeks to create uncertainty masked in a question of constitutional law,” the letter reads. “While aware of the issues raised in the Application for at least four years, the applicant has waited until the eve of the publicly known Final Investment Decision (FID) date for the LNG Canada Project to impact that project and associated developments (including the Project).”
Now that the NEB has decided to hold a hearing, it will be held in March of 2019. In the decision by the board, the NEB said “The decision of the Board following this hearing will not in itself allow for the construction or operation of the Project. Rather if, following this hearing, the Board determines that it ought to take jurisdiction of the Project, it would require a separate application and hold a separate hearing to determine whether to approve the Project.”
In September mayors from across B.C., including Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman, penned a letter expressing support for the proposed LNG Canada project and disappointment with the timing of Mr. Sawyer’s jurisdictional challenge to stall the construction of the pipeline.
The Coastal GasLink pipeline will bring natural gas from Northeast B.C. to Kitimat, where it will be processed and shipped to Asian markets through Shell’s LNG Canada project.
$6.2 billion will be invested in the Coastal GasLink pipeline project.