The $6.2-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline – a critical part of the $40-billion LNG Canada project – will not be subject to a review or regulation by the National Energy Board.
Work is already underway of the project, and a review by the NEB would likely have added delays to the project.
The natural gas pipeline, being built by TC Energy Corp., formerly known as TransCanada, will supply natural gas to the LNG Canada plant in Kitimat.
Because the Coastal GasLink pipeline located wholly within B.C., the NEB initially ruled that it did not qualify as a reviewable project. It was approved through the provincial environmental review process.
But Smithers resident Michael Sawyer challenged that decision on the basis that the pipeline network that gathers natural gas in northeastern B.C. links to TC’s Nova Gas Transmission Line (NGTL). Since that pipeline does cross multiple provincial boundaries, Sawyer argued it should have been considered by the NEB.
The NEB agreed to consider whether the project should have been considered for federal review. On Friday, July 26, the NEB ruled it would not be subject to an NEB review.
“Based on the totality of the record before it, the board does not find a basis to conclude that the project is properly within federal jurisdiction,” the NEB said in its ruling.
“Given the board’s decision, the board will not issue a declaratory order that the project is properly within federal jurisdiction and subject to regulation by the board.”
Reacting to the news, Coastal GasLink said it is pleased that the NEB found the project is a local work and an undertaking properly regulated by the province of B.C.
"This is a single-line natural gas pipeline located entirely within B.C. Its only purpose is transport of natural gas within the province — from the Dawson Creek area to LNG Canada’s facility in Kitimat," the proponent said.
"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.
"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."
With a report from the Daily Oil Bulletin