Trans Mountain Expansion route to be reviewed at hearings
First hearings to be held since regulatory processes resumed in July 2019
The Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator (Commission) has begun detailed route hearings for landowners along the path of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
These hearings are the first since regulatory processes on the project resumed in July of 2019.
Detailed route hearings are required where an objection to the detailed route exists, and allow the Commission to decide on whether the exact location of the pipeline is the best possible, and to confirm the most appropriate methods and timing of construction. Landowners whose lands are proposed to be crossed by the pipeline, as well as Indigenous groups and other persons whose lands may be adversely affected were able to object to the detailed route proposed by Trans Mountain.
The Commission granted detailed route hearings where material changes in circumstances were identified since 2018, or where hearings had been granted but not completed prior to the Court decision stopping the Project in 2018.
The 1,147 km pipeline project, including its approximately 150 metre-wide pipeline corridor, was re-approved by the Government of Canada in June 2019. Currently, 68 per cent of the pipeline's detailed route has been approved. Announcements of further detailed route hearings for the pipeline stretching southwest past Kamloops and into B.C.'s Lower Mainland region are expected shortly.
Construction is permitted in areas where applicable conditions have been satisfied and the detailed route of the pipeline has been approved. Pipeline construction is currently underway along Alberta portions, as well as at the Edmonton and Burnaby Terminals, and the Westridge Marine Terminal.
- Trans Mountain applied for regulatory approval of the project in December 2013.
- A hearing order for the project was released in April 2014, and the hearing concluded in February 2016.
- In May 2016, a Recommendation Report for the project was released, recommending the Project be approved subject to 157 conditions.
- The Government of Canada approved the project in November 2016.
- From December 2016 until the Federal Court of Appeal decision in August 2018, 64 of 98 pre-construction conditions were fully satisfied. This permitted Trans Mountain to commence construction at the Westridge Marine Terminal, certain temporary infrastructure sites, and portions of the pipeline route, where the detailed route had been approved.
- On August 30, 2018, the Federal Court of Appeal decision set aside the Order in Council that approved the project.
- On September 20, 2018, the Government of Canada directed the national regulator to reconsider its recommendations as they related to project-related marine shipping.
- On February 22, 2019, the Reconsideration Report was released, confirming the recommendation that certificates should be issued for the project. This included amending six conditions, and converting one condition into one of 16 recommendations to mitigate impacts from project-related marine shipping.
- On June 18, 2019, the Government of Canada approved the project, subject to 156 conditions.