A section of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline being twinned in Jasper National Park in 2008.

Delay puts Trans Mountain oil pipeline decision past 2015 election

NEB extends review of Kinder Morgan twinning, deadline for final recommendation now January 2016

The National Energy Board is extending its review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion by seven months to give the company more time to provide information on its revised route.

The regulator now plans to make a final recommendation on the project by Jan. 25, 2016, instead of July 2, 2015.

The federal government would then have six months to make a final decision on approving the project.

B.C. Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver said the delay has major political ramifications.

“What this has done is pushed the final decision on Kinder Morgan from before the federal election to after the federal election of 2015,” Weaver said. “That’s not going to be lost on people, because this is very much going to be an election issue.”

Burnaby NDP MP Kennedy Stewart called the extension a major victory that makes the pipeline unlikely to ever be built because the review process is now a “shambles.”

It’s not yet clear if the revised schedule will mean any significant delay for the review’s oral hearings, expected early next year.

Aboriginal traditional evidence hearings slated for late summer have now been split into three sessions through the fall.

The changes so far mean only minor delays in the next deadlines for intervenors, who say Kinder Morgan has not supplied good enough answers in response to their questions. Those intervenors include the provincial government, the City of Vancouver and Lower Mainland regional districts.

The new preferred route would drill or tunnel through Burnaby Mountain and the NEB has requested the company supply more information about that plan.

The City of Burnaby, however, has so far refused to allow Kinder Morgan access to the area and the company could ask the NEB for an order compelling the municipality to cooperate.

Weaver, who is also an intervenor, said the extra time added to the process should be used to ensure better answers are provided on many fronts, not just ones related to the Burnaby routing.

He suggested more testing be conducted on how diluted bitumen behaves in ocean water.

Legislation requires the NEB to complete the review within 15 months, but that can be extended if the regulator requires more information.

Kinder Morgan did not immediately comment, saying it is “considering the implications of these changes.”

The NEB will now take applications for new intervenors affected by the route change in Burnaby.

The proposed $5.4-billion pipeline twinning would nearly triple Trans Mountain’s capacity to 890,000 barrels of oil per day and bring hundreds of additional oil tankers through Burrard Inlet each year.

– with files from Wanda Chow

Just Posted

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Swimmer set for double crossing of Georgia Strait

Jill Yoneda’s Aug. 3 swim will benefit Canuck Place

Sport fishing ban protest organizers trolling for attention

Hook-less anglers hitting Sooke area waters July 29 to protest DFO’s summer fin-fish ban

From hot dog to not dog: stuffed toy prompts car break in

The stuffed dog had been in the backseat for 18 years without problems

VIDEO: Victoria woman recounts driving past wildfire near Peachland

Jenna Smith compared the fire to an apocalypse movie

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

Cigarette packs with graphic images, blunt warnings are effective: focus groups

Warnings considered effective flag ailments smoking can cause, like colorectal and stomach cancers

Most Read