Trans Mountain pipeline Dix confronts Kinder Morgan

By Korie Marshall

The National Energy Board (NEB) has set a new time limit to issue its report on the Trans Mountain Expansion. The new deadline is now May 20, 2016.

Kinder Morgan submitted its Trans Mountain expansion project application in December 2013. The NEB is legislated to make a recommendation to the federal Minister of Natural Resources within 15 months of the application, but may exclude periods needed for the proponent to respond to requests for further information.

In early August the NEB released 145 draft conditions for the project. On Aug. 21, the NEB postponed oral hearings and struck from the record any evidence prepared by or under the direction of Steven Kelly, who had submitted evidence on behalf of Kinder Morgan. Kelly has been appointed to the NEB, effective Oct. 13th, 2015.

NEB spokesperson Reny Chakkalakal says Trans Mountain filed a list of the evidence prepared by Kelly on Aug. 28th and indicated it would be replaced by Sept. 25th. On Sept. 24th, the NEB announced it would exclude approximately four months (from Sept 18th to Jan. 8th) from its 15 month time limit to allow both the NEB and intervenors time to review and test the new evidence.
The NEB has also issued a revised hearing schedule, which can be found on the NEB’s website in
Procedural Direction NO. 18.

In July 2014 the NEB also extended the timeline after Trans Mountain indicated a change in their preferred route through Burnaby to the Westridge Marine Terminal. That change extended the recommendation deadline by seven months, pushing it after the federal election. The new deadline for the recommendation from the NEB is May 20, 2016.