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NEB approves Trans Mountain Pipeline realignment request

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World Pipelines,

The National Energy Board (NEB) yesterday released its decision on Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC's variance application to alter the pipeline corridor of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project for 1.8 km within the City of Chilliwack.

After considering and weighing all the evidence before it, the NEB found that the proposed variance application is in the public interest and is consistent with the requirements of the National Energy Board Act.

The NEB's decision to approve Trans Mountain's Chilliwack variance application now goes to the Federal Government (Governor in Council). If approved, the detailed route approval process for the area in which this variance is located will be proceeding in the fall of 2018.

This decision comes after four days of oral hearing between 15 - 18 January 2018 in Chilliwack, B.C. where the NEB panel heard from intervenors including the S'ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance, the City of Chilliwack and the WaterWealth Project. Understanding that Indigenous peoples have an oral tradition for sharing stories, lessons, and knowledge from generation to generation, the NEB panel also heard oral traditional evidence from the S'ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance.

The pipeline corridor would now follow the existing Trans Mountain pipeline easement. The applied-for variance avoids B.C. hydro infrastructure within the originally approved corridor. The pipeline would also be 500 m shorter in length.

Prior to beginning construction on the pipeline, the company must also satisfy all applicable NEB pre-construction conditions.

Quick Facts

In May 2016, the NEB recommended that the Federal government approve the Trans Mountain Expansion Project subject to 157 conditions.

When the Federal government approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in November 2016, it approved a pipeline corridor, which averages approximately 150 m in width.

In early 2017, Trans Mountain filed seven applications to vary the route of the approved pipeline under section 21 of the NEB Act. Together the seven applications, including the Chilliwack route alignment, make up less than 5 km of the total route of the pipeline.

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project will follow the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline for 722 km, or 73% of the total pipeline length. Approximately 170 km of the new pipeline runs beside other existing rights of way. In total, 98 km or 10% of the new pipeline will be within a new pipeline corridor.

The NEB provided nearly CAN$80,000 in participant funding for this realignment hearing.

To date, the NEB has approved nearly 66% of the entire detailed route of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. Detailed route hearings for the segment of the pipeline that include Chilliwack are scheduled for June and October, 2018.

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