Coastal GasLink pipeline to feed LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas plant at Kitimat. (File image)

Most intervenor requests in crucial natural gas pipeline case rejected

At stake is whether gas pipeline to LNG Canada plant should fall under federal jurisdiction

The National Energy Board has rejected many of the requests for standing as it grapples with whether or not a natural gas pipeline to feed the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas plant now under construction at Kitimat falls under its jurisdiction.

In a nine-page decision dated Dec. 10, the board determined a wide range of local governments, First Nations and companies either submited information not material to the issue or that they failed to offer “a useful and unique contribution to the jurisdictional issue before the board.”

Although the 670-kilometre long Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline, which would run from northeastern B.C. to Kitimat, has received provincial approval Smithers resident Michael Sawyer asked the National Energy Board late July to consider whether it should more properly come under its jurisdiction.

Sawyer made his argument based on plans to connect the pipeline to an existing pipeline system that does come under federal jurisdiction.

The board did grant standing to Sawyer, the federal government, the governments of B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as Coastal GasLink, the companies that would be involved in supplying natural gas, the existing federally-regulated pipeline system and the partners involved in the LNG Canada project.

Also granted standing was the environmental group Ecojustice.

“Mr. Sawyer and Ecojustice presented the most compelling arguments that they can provide the board relevant information or expertise that could best assist the board in its consideration of this matter,” the board wrote in its Dec. 10 decision.

The board has now set a schedule for approved intervenors to submit information and responses with final arguments to take place next March.

The National Energy Board did decide in October the project “may form part of a federal undertaking and could be subject to regulation under the National Energy Board Act” and so will consider the matter.

But the board has also been careful to point out the hearing “will not allow for the construction or operation of the project. Rather, if following this hearing, the board determines that it ought to take jurisdiction over the project, it would require a separate application and hold a separate hearing to determine whether to approve the project.”

The prospect of another hearing to approve the Coastal GasLink pipeline aroused worries and concerns from residents, local governments, First Nations and businesses along the pipeline route of a possible delay or cancellation of LNG Canada construction, something that would affect the northern B.C. economy.

LNG Canada did announce in October that it was proceeding with its $40 billion project at Kitimat and pre-construction work along the pipeline is underway.

A grouping of northern B.C. municipalities even released a letter expressing “disappointment” at Sawyer’s application.

Those municipalities as well as all First Nations and companies and others who filed requests for standing — 46 in all — has those requests denied.

The rejected intervenor list includes the Haisla Nation, Douglas Channel Watch in Kitimat, the District of Kitimat, the City of Terrace and Green Party MP Elizabeth May.

Just Posted

Climate, reconciliation and industry top all candidates agenda in Terrace

Debate was the candidate’s last opportunity to address voters in a public forum

New curator starts at Terrace’s Heritage Park Museum

Anna Glass stepped into her new role early October

South Hazelton pellet plant on track for 2021 opening

Company predicts more nearly 100 direct and indirect local jobs will be created

City of Terrace welcomes new economic development manager

Deklan Corstanje makes the switch to city hall from RDKS

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read