Initial timeline released for Energy East

The propose route of Energy East. Photo by TransCanada

CALGARY, A.B. — The National Energy Board has issued a preliminary timeline release for the Energy East Pipeline hearing process, which falls outside its established norm.

Reviews are typically conducted within a 15-month time limit, but it says this timeframe reflects an extended 21-month limit as directed by the federal Liberal Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr.

Given his directive, here’s the time table the NEB expects to follow in considering the amended TransCanada project application.

Filing of the Consolidated Application by Energy East Pipeline Limited is expected to be done by the middle of next month. A Hearing Order should be issued by the middle of June, and then panel sessions will take place in communities along the route from August to December 2016.

The written process for participants will go from January to May 2017, with a draft of conditions for comment expected in mid-2017.

A final argument would then be expected by November and December of 2017. At the end of the review, NEB’s report to Governor in Council would be in March 2018.

The proposed 4,500-kilometre underground pipeline would carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada and a marine terminal in New Brunswick. A few specific locations would be underground, such as fenced valve sites or pump stations.

Claiming safety is its top priority TransCanada says it invests over $900-million a year in maintenance and integrity operations to ensure its pipelines are safe.

To date, the NEB has received more 2,300 applications to participate in the project hearing process.