After considering and weighing all the evidence before it, the NEB found that the proposed variance application is in the public interest and is consistent with the requirements of the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act).
The NEB’s decision to approve Trans Mountain’s Chilliwack variance application now goes to the Federal Government (Governor in Council). If approved, the detailed route approval process for the area in which this variance is located will be proceeding in the fall of 2018.
This decision comes after four days of oral hearings between January 15-18, 2018 in Chilliwack, B.C. where the NEB panel heard from intervenors including the S'ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance, the City of Chilliwack and the WaterWealth Project. Understanding that Indigenous Peoples have an oral tradition for sharing stories, lessons, and knowledge from generation to generation, the NEB panel also heard Oral Traditional Evidence from the S'ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance.
The pipeline corridor would now follow the existing Trans Mountain pipeline easement. The applied-for variance avoids BC Hydro infrastructure within the originally approved corridor. The pipeline would also be 500 metres shorter in length.
Prior to beginning construction on the pipeline, the company must also satisfy all applicable NEB pre-construction conditions.
- In May, 2016 the NEB recommended that the Federal government approve the Trans Mountain Expansion Project subject to 157 conditions.
- When the Federal Government approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in November 2016, it approved a pipeline corridor, which averages about 150 m in width.
- In early 2017, Trans Mountain filed seven applications to vary the route of the approved pipeline under section 21 of the NEB Act. Together the seven applications, including the Chilliwack route alignment, make up less than five kilometres of the total route of the pipeline. A summary of these route realignment applicationsis on our website.
- The Trans Mountain Expansion Project will follow the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline for 722 km, or 73 per cent of the total pipeline length. Approximately 170 km of the new pipeline runs beside other existing rights of way. In total, 98 km or 10 per cent of the new pipeline will be within a new pipeline corridor.
- The NEB provided nearly $80,000 in Participant Funding for this realignment hearing.
- To date, the NEB has approved nearly 66 per cent of the entire detailed route of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. Detailed route hearings for the segment of the pipeline that include Chilliwack are scheduled for June and October, 2018.
For more information on the NEB and its mandate, please visit the National Energy Board website.