NEB decides Enbridge's line 9 reversal application will go to an oral public hearing

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 06 Dec 2011 09:06
Tags: canada enbridge n-america pipeline

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The National Energy Board (NEB or the Board) announced today its decision to assess the Line 9 Reversal Phase I application (the Project) submitted by Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (Enbridge) in an oral public hearing.

The Board considers the Line 9 Reversal Phase I application to be a standalone project because it does not depend on any future facilities to proceed.

In its application, which was filed on 8 August 2011 under section 58 of the National Energy Board Act, Enbridge is asking the NEB to approve the additions and modifications required to allow the reversal of crude oil flow within a segment of Line 9 – a 762-millimetre (30 inches) outside diameter crude oil pipeline – from the Sarnia Terminal to the North Westover Station in southwestern Ontario.

All proposed work would take place on existing Enbridge facilities and surface leases, with no planned ground disturbance along the pipeline right-of-way.

The shift in flow direction from west to east would see the pipeline revert back to the direction that was originally approved in 1975. The current westward flow has been in place since 1999.

The Board’s Draft List of Issues and Draft Scope of the Environmental Assessment (EA) are currently available for comment. Suggestions from parties inviting the Board to consider amendments to these documents should be filed with the Secretary of the Board, and a copy should be served on Enbridge and its counsel no later than noon (MST), Thursday, 12 January 2012.

The Draft List of Issues includes the need for the project; the engineering design and integrity of the pipeline, including the potential effects of flow reversal; contingency planning for spills, accidents or malfunctions, during construction and operation of the pipeline; the potential environmental and socio-economic effects of the project; the project’s potential impacts on Aboriginal interests; and its potential impacts on affected landowners.

Following the release of the final List of Issues and the final Scope of the EA, the Board will provide detailed information on the various means of public participation and invite interested persons and parties to register their interest.

Public Information Sessions will be held beginning in January 2012 to provide information on the hearing process and public participation. A Process Advisor will be assigned to provide support to the members of the public who participate in the NEB’s hearing process.

The oral portion of the hearing will likely take place in the fall of 2012 at a location to be determined.

The Board also notes that financial assistance through the Participant Funding Program (PFP) will be made available to applicants who meet the criteria and can demonstrate a need to support their timely and meaningful involvement in the proceeding. Specific information about PFP and how it will apply to this proceeding will be announced separately.

The NEB is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada's energy industry. Its purpose is to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest.

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