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

Coastal GasLinkkitimatlng canadanatural gasSmithersTransCanada

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

Just Posted

Carsen Gray set to launch first children’s book co-created with mom Lynn Hughan

Gray, Hughan launch ‘Twelve Months of Fun on Haida Gwaii with Mattie and Jojo’ on July 23

Federal government urged to protect rare moss clinging to life on Moresby Island cliff

Scientists say small patch of slender yoke-moss struggling to survive on square metre of limestone

Southern section of QC Main temporarily closing this month

QC Main (South) will be closed to all traffic at about 5 kilometres from July 21 to 28

From the archives of the Haida Gwaii Observer

50 YEARS AGO (1970): Nine of 12 entries in the Beach Buggy… Continue reading

BC Ferries reopens limited hot food service between Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert

Release on July 8 says hot food will be served in packaging

VIDEO: Masset Dance Troupe presents beachfront ‘promenade performance’

Troupe performed ‘A Mid Summer Day’s Dream’ for family, friends on July 4 and 5

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read