Coastal GasLink will not be reviewed by NEB

National Energy Board rejects argument that Coastal GasLink should have been a federally reviewable project

The $6.2 billion Coastal GasLink – a critical part of the $40 billion LNG Canada project – will not be subject to a review or regulation by the National Energy Board (NEB).

Work is already underway of the project, and a review by the NEB would likely have added delays to the project.

The natural gas pipeline, being built by TC Energy Corp. (TSX:TC) – formerly known as TransCanada Corp. – will supply natural gas to the LNG Canada plant in Kitimat.

Because the Coastal GasLink pipeline located wholly within B.C., the NEB initially ruled that it did not qualify as a reviewable project. It was approved through the provincial environmental review process.

But Smithers resident Michael Sawyer challenged that decision on the basis that the pipeline network that gathers natural gas in northeastern B.C. links to TC’s Nova Gas Transmission Line (NGTL). Since that pipeline does cross multiple provincial boundaries, Sawyer argued it should have been considered by the NEB.

The NEB agreed to consider whether the project should have been considered for federal review. On Friday, July 26, the NEB ruled it would not be subject to an NEB review.

“Based on the totality of the record before it, the board does not find a basis to conclude that the project is properly within federal jurisdiction,” the NEB said in its ruling.

“Given the board’s decision, the board will not issue a declaratory order that the project is properly within federal jurisdiction and subject to regulation by the board.”

nbennett@biv.com

@nbennett_biv