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CER recommends approval for NGTL 2021 System Expansion Project

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) is recommending that Federal cabinet approve NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.’s (NGTL) 2021 System Expansion Project. The project includes approximately 344 km of natural gas pipeline in eight loops and three compressor station unit additions. The project would start near Grande Prairie, AB and end just north of Calgary on land that is mostly adjacent to existing right of ways and facilities.

During its review of the project, the Commission heard from more than 50 participants including Indigenous peoples, industry, and both federal and provincial departments. The Commission found there were considerable benefits associated with the project including:

  • increased market access for Canadian natural gas;
  • capacity building for local people and Indigenous communities and businesses;
  • and, the creation of jobs across the country.

The Commission also noted there were potential burdens associated with the project. In particular, adverse effects likely to be caused to the Little Smoky Caribou Range and further changes potentially affecting the abilities of Indigenous peoples to use and access Crown lands.

In its Recommendation Report, the Commission said that: “The benefits and burdens of any project are never distributed evenly across the country. In light of these circumstances, reasonable people can and will disagree on what the best balance and outcome is for Canadians.”

After considering the project’s benefits and burdens, the Commission concluded that on balance, the project is in the public interest. Furthermore, by implementing NGTL’s environmental protection procedures, commitments, mitigation measures and the Commission’s 34 recommended conditions, the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

The Commission also heard concerns which were beyond its mandate to address. As a result, the Commission developed six recommendations in relation to those concerns for the consideration and action by the Federal cabinet and/or other government bodies. These recommendations have been included in the Commission’s Recommendation Report to Federal cabinet.

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.

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