Sunday, Sept 3, 2017 

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Chilliwack Route review of "the big dig" early 2018

By National Energy Board


Wikipedia photo

he National Energy Board (NEB) will hold a route realignment hearing in Chilliwack, BC in early 2018, to review a proposal by Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC to relocate nearly two kilometres of the previously approved general pipeline corridor within the city.

If approved, the Chilliwack BC Hydro Route Realignment (Chilliwack Realignment) would vary the approved general pipeline corridor of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project by relocating it to be within the existing Trans Mountain pipeline right of way.

"After hearing from the public that there were concerns about the proposed Chilliwack Realignment, the NEB has decided to hold an oral hearing to hear those concerns and receive evidence. This will ensure the NEB has all the information it needs to make a decision in the public interest," said Peter Watson, Chair & CEO, National Energy Board.

When the Federal Government approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in late November, 2016, the resulting certificate included a general pipeline corridor from Edmonton through to Burnaby, B.C. Under section 21 of the National Energy Board Act, the company may apply to the NEB for a variation to the previously-approved general pipeline corridor.

In total, the company submitted seven proposed route variances along the entire general pipeline corridor. Following a comment period, the NEB determined that the Chilliwack Realignment will be granted a public hearing. More details of the proposed variances can be found on the NEB website.

The Chilliwack Realignment hearing will examine the proposed alternative route, including the potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of the realignment.

Applications to participate are available now on the NEB's website. The deadline to apply to participate is September 21, 2017.

Funding is available to hearing participants to reduce potential financial impediments to public participation. More information on the Participant Funding Program and how to access it can be found on the NEB's website.

Quick facts:

  • The Federal Government approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project last November, following a NEB recommendation in May 2016 that the project be approved subject to 157 conditions.

  • The company's seven proposed route variances affect approximately four km of the 1,147 km pipeline corridor. The Chilliwack Realignment impacts 1.8 km of pipeline corridor.

  • During the comment period, the NEB received letters from two groups the City of Chilliwack and The WaterWealth Project stating concerns with the proposed Chilliwack Realignment.

  • The approved general corridor is located within a BC Hydro corridor between 500 kV overhead transmission lines. The variance being requested is 500 metres shorter than the approved general corridor and is to be located in the existing pipeline right-of-way.

List of Issues

The List of Issues will only consider issues that are relevant to the Chilliwack Realignment. The Board will not reconsider items that were already determined during the Trans Mountain Expansion Project hearing.

  1. The potential environmental and socio-economic effects of the proposed Chilliwack Realignment, including those to be considered under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

  2. The appropriateness of the general route and land requirements for the proposed Chilliwack Realignment.

  3. The suitability of the design of the proposed Chilliwack Realignment.

  4. Potential impacts of the Chilliwack Realignment on Aboriginal interests.

  5. Potential impacts of the Chilliwack Realignment on landowners and land use.

  6. Contingency planning for spills, accidents or malfunctions, during construction and operation of the Chilliwack Realignment.

  7. Safety and security during construction of the proposed Chilliwack Realignment and operation of the Chilliwack Realignment, including emergency response planning and third-party damage prevention.

  8. The terms and conditions to be included in any approval the Board may issue in relation to the Chilliwack Realignment.


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