On June 16, 2016, the National Energy Board (NEB) announced that the project application for
TransCanada's Energy East pipeline project is complete, and
provided some preliminary details about the hearing process. The
planned hearing process includes some new elements, including
participation by NEB panel members other than the Hearing Panel and
public input into the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions evaluation of
Now that the NEB is satisfied that TransCanada's re-filed
consolidated project application (see
here) is complete, the NEB's 21 month timeline to complete
its review has commenced. As explained in a previous
post, the NEB must submit a report to the Minister of Natural
Resources recommending whether the project should proceed (and
including any suggested conditions). The deadline for that report
is March 16, 2018.
The review process for the Energy East project will proceed on
three parallel tracks (see the NEB's press release and backgrounder). This is different from other
NEB proceedings. The following diagram set out the NEB's
As is typically the case, the main role in the hearing process
will be played by the NEB Hearing Panel. They will prepare the
recommendation report. This will likely happen after an oral
hearing and filing of argument. Additionally, though, the NEB
Hearing Panel will offer "Panel Sessions" in communities
along the pipeline route, where interested parties can ask
high-level questions of the applicant and make short statements.
This will help establish the key issues of interest in the
proceeding. The Panel Sessions may also be an opportunity for
Indigenous Peoples to present oral traditional evidence. The Panel
Sessions will commence in Saint John, New Brunswick on August 8,
A new feature of this hearing process is the role to be played
by additional NEB members who are not part of the Hearing Panel.
The plan is for the additional NEB members to facilitate additional
public input. This was mandated within the Federal Government's
five interim principles, for decision making on
major resources projects that were issued in January 2016
(discussed in an earlier
post). Among other things, the additional NEB members will
collect public input through less formal meetings in affected
communities. The additional NEB members will report to the Hearing
Panel by around Spring 2017.
A third aspect of the hearing process is an opportunity for the
public to review and comment on a report to be prepared by
Environment and Climate Change Canada assessing the upstream
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the Energy East
Pipeline project. This report, which is a requirement within one of
the Federal Government's five interim principles will be considered by
the NEB panel and submitted to the Federal Government to inform the
decision-making on the NEB's recommendation.
According to the NEB's backgrounder, more information about the
process (including details of the Panel Sessions) will be released
shortly and a Hearing Order will be released in mid-July 2016.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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