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NEB approves Line 3 replacement

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World Pipelines,

A National Energy Board (NEB) panel has decided to allow Enbridge to replace an ageing pipeline across the Prairie provinces as long as the company meets 89 conditions.

The federal government must now make a decision on the project.

Enbridge wants to spend CAN$7.5 billion to replace its Line 3 pipeline, which stretches 1660 km from Hardisty, Alta., to Superior, Wis.

The pipeline is currently operating at about half capacity after the company voluntarily reduced pressure because of reliability concerns.

"The Enbridge Line 3 project is in the Canadian public interest and is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects," said Robert Steedman, the NEB's chief environmental officer.

As part of the NEB's decision, Enbridge must develop a plan for Aboriginal groups to participate in monitoring construction.

This will be the largest project in the company’s history, enabling hundreds of thousands more barrels of Canadian crude to flow into the US every day.

The federal watchdog is recommending Ottawa approve the Canadian portion of the Line 3 Replacement project, saying it is not expected to cause significant environmental harm.

The project involves removing a half-century-old stretch of pipe from service and building a new pipeline along the same route.

Enbridge aims to ship 760 000 bpd through the newer pipe — about double current capacity (given recent restrictions).

The federal government will make the final decision on the pipeline.

The conditions for the Line 3 project include keeping the permits up-to-date and ensuring that the pipeline isn’t uncovered in the event of a once-in-one-hundred year flood, the regulator said.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: CBCThe StarCalgary Herald

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