NEB rules in favour of pipe­line to Burn­aby

Regina Leader-Post - - FRONT PAGE - CLAU­DIA CAT­TA­NEO

CAL­GARY The Na­tional En­ergy Board has ruled that Kin­der Morgan Canada Inc. could ig­nore the City of Burn­aby’s by­laws and start con­struc­tion in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity on its stalled Trans Moun­tain ex­pan­sion project.

In an an­nounce­ment Thurs­day, the NEB is­sued an or­der declar­ing the com­pany was not re­quired to com­ply with two sec­tions of the Bri­tish Columbia city’s by­laws re­lated to pre­lim­i­nary plan ap­provals and to tree cut­ting per­mits.

“This de­ci­sion al­lows the com­pany to be­gin work at its tem­po­rary in­fra­struc­ture site near the Westridge Marine Ter­mi­nal, and some work at the Burn­aby Ter­mi­nal, sub­ject to any other per­mits or au­tho­riza­tions that may be re­quired,” the NEB said in a state­ment.

Gregory McDade, Burn­aby’s lawyer, said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity will con­sider an ap­peal.

“We think the ev­i­dence was clear the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was reg­u­lat­ing in good faith,” he said in an in­ter­view. “The NEB has ruled yet again in favour of the com­pany, against the in­ter­est of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, and that is a great con­cern to us.”

The reg­u­la­tors held two days of hear­ings in Cal­gary af­ter the com­pany com­plained the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, a staunch op­po­nent of the $7.4-bil­lion project, used stalling tac­tics to de­lay it, putting it in jeop­ardy. The tac­tics in­cluded say­ing its staff was too busy, re­quest­ing time­con­sum­ing and un­nec­es­sary stud­ies, du­pli­cat­ing in­for­ma­tion re­quests, and re­fus­ing to pro­vide time­lines.

On Mon­day, Kin­der Morgan said lack of clar­ity around mu­nic­i­pal per­mit pro­cesses and re­lated judicial process could swell startup de­lays be­yond pre­vi­ously ex­pected nine months. The com­pany says that it ex­pects to lose about $75 mil­lion be­fore certain de­duc­tions for ev­ery month the in-ser­vice date is pushed back.

The com­pany promised the NEB it would fol­low the spirit of the by­laws, but could no longer wait for Burn­aby to is­sue per­mits un­der a process it de­scribed as opaque and ar­bi­trary. Six months af­ter ap­ply­ing for them, it said it had yet to re­ceive a sin­gle one and that it was in the dark about what it was re­quired to do.

With­out NEB ac­tion, the com­pany said it would be im­pos­si­ble to pre­dict when the project could be built.

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