OTTAWA, O.N. – The Federal Government has approved the expansion of the NOVA Gas Transmission 20121 pipeline project in Northwest Alberta.

The decision was announced late Monday with 35 conditions. TC Energy proposed building 344 km of 48-inch pipe to add to the current NGTL System with an expected $2.3 billion construction cost.

Various pipeline sections will be added starting in the County of Grande Prairie, extending through the Municipal District of Greenview No. 16, Yellowhead County and end in Clearwater County.

Construction was supposed to start in the summer of 2020 but was delayed due to the extra time required to consult with local indigenous communities.

In total, TC Energy must comply with 35 binding conditions related to safety, environmental and wildlife protection, Indigenous engagement, and protection or Indigenous rights and interest.

One of the conditions will require TC Energy to restore 3,840 hectares of caribou habitat (30 times the size of the habitat impacted by the Project) and seek to establish an Indigenous Working Group to assist with the planning for restoration and monitoring the protection of the Little Smoky Caribou range.

The expanded pipeline would give natural gas producers better access to markets for their products. The Project will also help facilitate the phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030.

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