Energy East Hearing To Restart From The Beginning

The new hearing panel assigned to review the Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications has voided all decisions made by the previous hearing panel.

These decisions will be removed from the official hearing record.

Previous decisions that have been voided include:

  • Determination that the Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications are complete;
  • Decision to review the Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications via a single hearing;
  • List of participants and any subsequent individual rulings on participation;
  • Lists of issues and factors to be included in the environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012; and,
  • Hearing Order.

All hearing steps and related deadlines are no longer applicable. The new hearing panel will decide how to move forward with the hearing.

Those who have already submitted an application to participate do not need to reapply. The panel will review all of the filed applications to participate and release a new list of participants.

The hearing panel has also decided that the project applicants do not need to refile their applications. If the new hearing panel determines that the project applications are complete the 21-month time limit will begin anew.

The NEB will share more information when it is available.

Earlier this month, the NEB appointed the new hearing panel composed of presiding member Don Ferguson, along with Carole Malo and Marc Paquin (DOB, Jan. 10, 2017).  The new panel members are bilingual, and bring considerable knowledge and experience, said the board.

The new panel was appointed after the previous panel stepped down following the news that two of its members had met with Jean Charest, the former Quebec premier who at the time was a lobbyist for TransCanada.

The previous panel had begun the proceeding with plans to hold 10 panel sessions along the pipeline route in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. It had held only two sessions in New Brunswick before deciding to postpone further hearings following protests at the start of the Montreal session.

Energy East would transport up to 1.1 million bbls a day of crude oil from Western Canada and the Bakken to Saint John, N.B., using a combination of TransCanada Mainline converted natural gas pipeline and new construction.