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NEB announces assessment topics for Energy East and Eastern mainline

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World Pipelines,

The National Energy Board (NEB) has announced the topics that will be part of its assessment of the Energy East and Eastern mainline projects. This decision follows a comment period during which about 820 submissions were received.

The hearing panel noted the public’s interest in better understanding the risks associated with potential accidents and system malfunctions that may, for example, lead to an oil spill into the environment. As a result, the assessment will provide more visibility to the evaluation of such scenarios, their potential consequences, the proposed mitigation and response measures, as well as the preventative programmes aimed at reducing or eliminating risk factors.

In addition, the NEB will consider upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in determining whether these projects are in the public interest. The NEB also wants to examine the potential market impacts of GHGs reduction targets embedded in laws and policies on the economic viability of the projects.

A broad range of topics will be covered by the NEB’s assessment, including Indigenous participation in the projects throughout their lifecycles, landowner and municipal considerations, cumulative environmental effects, as well as socio-economic elements. The full list of topics to be considered by the NEB is contained in each project’s final list of issues and factors and scope of the factors for the environmental assessment. This decision establishes the foundations for a thorough assessment based on science, traditional knowledge of Indigenous peoples, and other relevant evidence.

The next step leading to the hearing order, which will contain more details about the hearing calendar, is a comment period on the completeness of TransCanada’s applications. This will represent another early opportunity for the public to provide input in the assessment of these two major projects. An additional period to apply to participate will also be announced. The NEB will communicate more details as soon as they become available.

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