NEB recommends conditional approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project

Amid a flurry of protest from environmentalists and First Nations, the National Energy Board (NEB) has recommended that Canada’s  Governor in Council approve the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (Project), subject to 157 conditions.

Controversial aspects of the recommendation include the Board’s determination that the Project is in the public interest notwithstanding the opposition of at least 17 indigenous communities.

In addition, although the Board imposed a condition requiring the offset of the direct greenhouse gas emissions of the Project, it refused to consider the upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions related to the Project.

This appears to run contrary to the interim measures announce by the Trudeau government in January of this year, which included a commitment to “Assess the upstream greenhouse gas emissions associated with this project and make this information public”. (see our post Trudeau Government Introduces Interim  Measures for NEB Pipeline Hearings

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project proposes to expand the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton, AB and Burnaby, B.C., increasing the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline System from 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 890,000 bpd.

The Project includes approximately 987 km of new pipeline, new and modified facilities such as pump stations and tanks, and the reactivation of 193 km of existing pipeline. The Westridge Marine Terminal would also be expanded under the proposal.

The 157 conditions include regulatory and/or overarching requirements as well as requirements pertaining to project engineering and safety; emergency preparedness and response; environmental protection; people, communities and lands; economics and financial responsibility; and, project-related marine shipping.

The Board recommendation follows a public hearing process that included a comprehensive environmental assessment of the Project under the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 (CEAA 2012).

The Board found that the benefits of the Project would outweigh the residual burdens and concluded that the Project is in the Canadian public interest.

The Board’s recommendation report is one of the factors that Governor in Council will consider when making the final decision on whether or not the Project should proceed.


Manning Environmental Law is a Canadian law firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Our practice is focussed on environmental law, energy law and aboriginal law. 

Paul Manning is a certified specialist in environmental law. He has been named as one of Canada’s leading Environmental Lawyers by Who’s Who Legal: Canada and ranked by Lexpert as one of Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers.

As always, these posts  are provided only as a general guide and are not legal advice. If you do have any issue that requires legal advice please get in touch. Our contact details can be found here

This entry was posted in Air Quality, Climate Change, Energy, Energy Regulation, Environment, Environmental, Environmental Approvals, federal environmental regulation, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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