Ridout Barron


National Energy Board approves Kinder Morgan pipeline

The National Energy Board (NEB) has recommended the construction of the multi-billion dollar Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain oil pipeline. The NEB approved of the project, but only if it meets 157 conditions, among which are 49 environmental conditions. Now, the federal government will have seven months in which to make a decision on the matter.

According to the NEB, the Trans Mountain pipeline will help boost the Canadian economy, create thousands of new jobs, increase government revenue and offer Canada more access to export markets. The government will consider the NEB's decision when making its determination on the matter. It will also consider upstream greenhouse gas worries, the opinions of communities on the pipeline's route and the opinions of First Nations.

B.C. coastal communities worry that there is a risk of oil spills and environmental damage. Although it appears that spill risk is low, if one did occur the damages would be extremely high. Also, although the risk of an earthquake is actually relatively low, this is also a major concern to local communities. Indigenous groups expressed their concern over the pipeline and threatened to take court action in their efforts to stop the pipeline.

In its efforts to stay on top of environmental concerns, the NEB is asking for an updated greenhouse gas report from Kinder Morgan two months following the construction of the pipeline. Furthermore, the NEB has asked the firm to offset the greenhouse gas emissions.

Huge construction projects in Alberta that have the potential for environmental impact and have the potential to boost the economy greatly will be subjected to close scrutiny by the government. Whenever a firm wishes to begin such a construction project, it is important to have an experienced legal team investigating the matter to determine the best strategies for getting the project approved.

Source: CBC News, "NEB approves Trans Mountain pipeline with 157 conditions," By Kyle Bakx, May 19, 2016

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