The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) is recommending that Federal cabinet approve NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.'s (NGTL) North Corridor Expansion Project (Project).
The Project seeks to construct and operate approximately 81 km of looped pipeline, in three different sections, and associated facilities in northwestern Alberta. The expansion of the NGTL system is to transport gas from the Peace River Project Area to growing intra-basin markets located in the North of Bens Area.
After considering the evidence and submissions presented by all Parties, the Commission found that the Project is in the Canadian public interest. As a part of its recommendation, the Commission included 34 conditions related to, among others, construction activities, safety measures and standards, environmental monitoring, caribou habitat protection and matters related to Indigenous peoples.
A total of 26 Indigenous peoples were identified as being potentially affected or having an interest in the Project and were invited to participate in the hearing process. The Commission is of the view that any potential Project impacts on the rights and interests of affected Indigenous peoples can be effectively addressed by the mitigation measures, accommodations, and commitments made by NGTL, and the conditions recommended and imposed by the Commission.
Approximately 76 km (95 per cent) of the pipeline route parallels the existing NGTL Right of Way (ROW) or other existing linear disturbances (pipelines, roads, power lines). The Commission notes that NGTL took into consideration input from landowners, occupants, land users, Indigenous peoples and environmental studies in determining the proposed route.
If Federal cabinet approves this project, the Commission will monitor and enforce compliance with all conditions using audits, inspections and other compliance and enforcement tools.
- During its review of the project, the Commission heard from 22 participants including 12 Indigenous peoples, seven industry representatives, and three government departments.
- An estimated 181 hectares (ha) of new permanent ROW and an estimated 86 ha of temporary workspace will be required for construction.
- Approximately 40 per cent (32 km) of all parcels traversed by the proposed pipeline components are private (freehold) land and approximately 60 per cent (49 km) are provincial Crown land. No provincial parks, protected areas, or ecological reserves are intersected by any of the Project components.
- NGTL stated that the Project is necessary to increase NGTL System capability to transport gas from areas where supply is growing, and also to meet delivery requirements in areas where market demand is growing.
- NGTL anticipated that Project construction would generate GDP of over $529 million, with 80 per cent of this economic activity occurring in Alberta ($425 million). NGTL stated that the Project is expected to generate over 4,600 full time equivalent person-years of employment across Canada during development and construction, with most employment effects occurring in Alberta (75 per cent or 3,480 full-time equivalent person-years of employment).
- As this application was filed in April 2019, it was considered by the Commission of the CER under the National Energy Board Act.