The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved a proposal from Westcoast Energy Inc., doing business as Spectra Energy Transmission (Westcoast), to build and operate the 27-kilometre-long Wyndwood Pipeline Expansion Project. The NEB announced its decision in a letter and expects to issue detailed reasons on or before September 28, 2017.
The NEB attached 32 conditions to its approval, including the requirement to develop a Landowner-Specific Monitoring Plan and Consultation Update and a number of conditions related to minimizing disturbances within caribou ranges and accelerating the restoration of caribou habitat.
Westcoast submitted its application on October 21, 2016 under section 58 of the National Energy Board Act. In general, these types of applications do not require a public hearing. However, given the high level of public interest in this project, the NEB decided to hold a hearing in order to consider the input of those who could be directly affected or who have expertise to share. Oral hearings were held on April 5, 2017 in Calgary and June 6 - 7, 2017 in Chetwynd, BC. The NEB also gathered input through written comments, questions and evidence.
After considering all the evidence, the NEB found that the project was in the Canadian public interest.
This project is a loop of Westcoast's existing Fort St. John Mainline.
The NEB received 16 applications to participate and granted Intervenor status to 14 applicants and Commenter status to one applicant. One application to participate was turned down. One Intervenor withdrew from the hearing process. The estimated cost for the project is $170,300,000. As this project falls under section 58 of the National Energy Board Act, the NEB is the final decision maker and Cabinet approval is not required.