NEB approves Alberta Clipper Pipeline Project

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 01 Feb 2013 20:31

22 February 2008

The National Energy Board has approved the Enbridge Pipelines Inc. application to construct and operate the Canadian portion of the Alberta Clipper Expansion Project (Alberta Clipper).

The Alberta Clipper project is a new 1,607 kilometre (km) oil pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. The Canadian portion of the project involves the construction and operation of facilities including approximately 1,078 km of new 914 millimetre outside diameter (36 inch) oil pipeline between Enbridge's Hardisty Terminal and the Canada - United States border near Gretna, Manitoba. The pipeline would have an initial capacity of 71,500 cubic metres per day (450,000 barrels per day). The estimated cost of the project is $2 billion with construction to be completed by the end of December 2009.

In making its decision, the Board was presented with evidence from intervenors on many issues including impacts to Aboriginal peoples and the impact of the project on domestic interests.

"The Board is satisfied from the evidence that the Alberta Clipper facilities are, and will be, required by the present and future public convenience and necessity and therefore find that approval of Alberta Clipper is in the public interest," said the Board in the Reasons for Decision.

The Board attached a number of conditions to the approval of this project, including one that requires Enbridge to conduct an emergency response exercise at its South Saskatchewan River crossing. This condition is in response to public concerns raised during the hearing process. The exercise tests response procedures, equipment, timing, safety procedures, communications systems, training of company personnel, and the effectiveness of continuing education programs. This is to be completed within six months of the start of operation and a report on the test must be filed with the NEB.

During the public hearing process, a number of organizations and groups, who had been registered as intervenors in the hearing, reached settlement agreements with Enbridge. The Manitoba Pipeline Landowners Association and the Saskatchewan Association of Pipeline Landowners both reached settlement agreements with Enbridge prior to their planned oral hearing date. Evidence the two groups had previously filed was treated as a letter of comment. Three Aboriginal groups (the Red Pheasant First Nation, the Keeseekoose First Nation and the Poundmaker First Nation) also reached settlement agreements with Enbridge prior to their oral participation in the hearing.

Public hearings into the Alberta Clipper project began in Calgary on 5 November 2007 and included an oral hearing in Regina before concluding back in Calgary on 26 November.

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